The Number of Subs Goes Up and Down, Up and Down

As MMO-Champion reports, WoW had “more than 9.6 million” subscribers as of December 31st, 2012. This is down at least 400k from what Blizzard reported at the end of Q3 2012. I’m not particularly interested in spin or theories of causes, because as we all know, these sort of losses are rarely attributable to any one thing.

I do find it useful though, to keep the following in mind: the subscriber count was 9.1 million back in August of 2012, pre-pandas. If this is what decline and a descent into irrelevance looks like, then we’re in for a pretty soft landing.

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Posted on February 8, 2013, in WoW and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Very different stages of the Expansion cycle though. What will Pandas look like 6 months before the next Expansion?

    • > What will Pandas look like 6 months before the next Expansion?

      Depends if they will offer a year pass with the upcoming D3 expansion or not. :)

      • That’s an interesting point, I think most of those who purchased the AP already paid their dues – if they figured they made a mistake and stopped playing, they probably unsubscribed as well.

    • Hopefully Blizzard doesn’t go 8 months without any content again.

      • And hope is the last to die…

        WoW history show that each expansion happens between 2 years or 2 years and half. That will be the time until the next expansion. So, 2 years of slow losing subscriptions.

        You are using the wrong metrics. If we follow the WoW history, the game had to be 12 million subs now after the MoP expansion. So, WoW is losing 3 millions sub… for now.

  2. I find it funny that between the end of Cata and now, WoW went up 2 EVEs and then dropped another EVE. Really puts it in perspective.

    I think it is clear though that the era of growth in established markets is over…the only way WoW grows from here is to break into new markets.

    Another interesting factoid is that the 2.5 million players who stopped playing WoW didn’t move to another MMO, or at least not all of them.

  3. dachengsgravatar

    I think that a lot of them were just trying out the genre, Matt, and then realized they preferred something else. They moved on to Skyrim, or World of Tanks, or Call of Duty, or Shogun Total War, or the Sims.

  4. 9.6 million .. that’s a lot of FarmVille players!

  5. I’d be out too if I hadn’t done the Annual Pass. I just feel tired of the game. I’ve been playing on and off since launch and I need a break. It just sucks that I have to keep paying for a few more months. I’ll never do an annual pass again, regardless of the incentives.