Although World of Warcraft is definitely a long ways from dying off, it’s clearly starting to show its mortality. The latest Activision Blizzard earnings report shows that the MMORPG’s subscribers have fallen by 100,000, down to 5.5 million worldwide.
Due to waning subscription numbers, Blizzard has stated that it will no longer be publically reporting the number of concurrent subscribers and that it will now shift to a new metric. Despite its decreasing popularity, World of Warcraft is still the most popular subscription-based MMORPG in the world.
Even with World of Warcraft subscribers down, Activision Blizzard is clearly doing well as a company overall. The release of Destiny: The Taken King has now made the game more successful than ever, and the community has reached 25 million registered players. Key, unspecified metrics for Hearthstone have increased 77% since last year and the release of The Grand Tournament set a record revenue quarter for the CCG. Finally, event Diablo III is still doing well, and has passed the 2-million unit milestone by hitting a key demographic in China.
It’s still unlikely that World of Warcraft is going anywhere, anytime soon, however, there is always the possibility of it dropping the subscription model and going free-to-play. The most likely reason that numbers are down right now is because new content isn’t being released for Warlords of Draenor. There is almost always a lull between the time a new expansion is announced and its release, and World of Warcraft will definitely see improved numbers when Legion launches.
Source: Activision BlizzardRelated: Activision, Blizzard Entertainment, Destiny, Hearthstone, MMORPG, World of Warcraft