World Of Warcraft Subscription Numbers Suffer A Small Dip
The number of people roaming the plains of Azeroth has fallen to its lowest point in almost three years, according to financial reports released by Activision last night. Following a high point in October 2010 when there were in excess of 12 million World of Warcraft subscribers, numbers have dropped to a mere 11.4 million. For those of you struggling a little with numbers this morning, that represents a loss of 600,000 subscribers.
Although 600,000 might seem like a large number, it’s worth bearing in mind that October 2010’s peak came two months before the release of the game’s seminal expansion pack Cataclysm. Consequently, it is possible that many of the 600,000 subscribers were lured to Azeroth on Cataclysm’s promise and represent a less committed player base than the game’s core audience.
That said, a comparison to the numbers surrounding the previous World of Warcraft expansion pack, Wrath of the Lich King shows that whilst Cataclysm created a subscriber peak shortly before release, Wrath of the Lich King created a post-release peak. Before Wrath of the Lich King’s release in 2008, numbers stood at a comfortable 11 million and rose to 11.5 million shortly after the game’s release.
What the current dip means for World of Warcraft is unclear. It’s possible that numbers have dipped beneath the 11.4 million mark at other points in the last three years, but this just hasn’t been reported by Blizzard. And yet Cataclysm was only released in December, so one would be forgiven for expecting slightly better figures only five months after its monumental release.
It’s important to keep everything in perspective however. Whilst these reports are not the best news for Blizard, World of Warcraft still sits comfortably atop the MMORPG throne, with more subscribers than any comparable game.