Corrected at 1:30 p.m.: This story originally compared World of Warcraft’s current subscribers to its May levels. The most up-to-date comparison is to the game’s subscriber numbers from August. We’ve fixed that and apologize for the confusion.
Activision Blizzard revealed that World of Warcraft continues to slowly bleed paying subscribers.
The massively multiplayer online role-playing game is now down to approximately 7.6 million subscribers, according to Blizzard. That’s down from 7.7 million in August, and it’s down 400,000 from May. Despite the slow leak in members, World of Warcraft remains the world’s No. 1 subscription-based MMO role-playing game.
This is the lowest subscription rate for World of Warcraft since 2006. It’s down from a high of 12 million in 2010.
This news comes as Activision Blizzard, which publishes World of Warcraft, revealed its third-quarter earnings today. Even while its premiere MMO is losing revenue, the company managed to beat its earnings outlook.
“Our third-quarter results exceeded our expectations, and we are able to raise our outlook for 2013 net revenues and earnings per share,” Activision Blizzard chief executive Bobby Kotick said in a statement. “Robust continued engagement with our core franchises drove digital revenue, which constituted a majority of all revenue. This quarter demonstrates that games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft engage and entertain our fans year round.”
In addition to the core WOW experience, Activision launched the beta for its digital collectible-card game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. This free-to-play title has players competing head-to-head and spending money to buy card packs and compete in special matches. This is the company’s first major free-to-play game, and it could act as a testing ground Blizzard’s future game or potential changes to World of Warcraft.