World of Warcraft loses 800k subscribers — down to 6.8 million total, its lowest since 2006

Above: Few games can claim to hold onto a consistent player base for more than a decade.

Image Credit: Emence

The World of Warcraft bleeding continues, but the upcoming expansion should act as a temporary tourniquet.

Publisher Activision Blizzard announced that its long-running, popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game is down to just 6.8 million subscribers. That’s down 800,000 from 7.6 million last quarter. This is the lowest membership for World of Warcraft since 2006. It’s not much of the surprise that the decade-old game is losing players, considering its age and how some online gamers are moving from paid subscriptions to free-to-play games with in-game transactions. Blizzard also intends to launch the MMO’s latest expansion, Warlords of Draenor, in the next few months. That should boost subscriber numbers, and 1.5 million people have already prepurchased the add-on. So while the game is still making money, Blizzard’s need to replace World of Warcraft’s revenue is clearer than ever.

World of Warcraft is down from its peak of 12 million paying members in 2010. Players have slowly trickled away from the MMO over recent years, and that has left a small hole in Blizzard’s revenue. While that is something the company is looking to address, it continues to hold on to millions of people who are all dropping $15 a month 10 years after the game first debuted.

That dedicated audience is buying Blizzard plenty of time to figure out what to do next. The developer is experimenting with free-to-play games, including its recently released collectible-card game Hearthstone and the upcoming multiplayer online arena battler Heroes of the Storm. Analysts expect those games to generate around $200 million in revenue this year.

With World of Warcraft generating plenty of cash and some other games starting to grow and make money, Blizzard is still quiet about its next MMO. In May 2013, the publisher dismantled its upcoming game Titan and sent much of the team working on the game to other projects. Titan was Blizzard’s followup to World of Warcraft, but it has rebooted production and now it won’t debut until 2016 at the earliest.

More information:

Activision (Activision Blizzard) is an American video game developer and publisher headquartered in Santa Monica, CA, but now operating worldwide. It was the first independent developer and distributor of video games for gaming consol... read more »

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T Mann
T Mann

Cross Realm Zones killed this game!! I remember reading the blueposts in the forum all smug and arrogant about how the long time players leaving didn't matter, their opinions didn't matter. Well here we are.. More and more players waving bye-bye to a once great now over simplified game!! This game will be dead sooner than later as the numbers keep falling.. They brought it upon themselves.

Steven Manson
Steven Manson

Game will die a slow death.  

Lvl 10 stuff selling for 400 gold (your normal new person would have about 1G by that time. 

Blizzard REFUSES to do ANY sort of balancing before end level.  BG's are FULL of Disc Priests, Hunters, Rogues, Destro Locks, and Prot/Arms Warriors.  Every other spec is sub-par.  It's VERY discouraging to attempt any PVP before level 86.

Arena is Blizz's Angel for PVP.  If you don't Arena or Rated BG you don't get the same gear as them for doing the same damn thing they do.  Statistics gets you gear.

Sexual Conversations, Profanity, and Racism is far out of control in Public Chats.  6 months of listening to the N word and F word and how My mom did something to this guy and report after report and he's still foaming at the mouth in Public Chat.

This is most definitely NOT a MMORPG for a new person.

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