Despite the brief rise in subscribers at the beginning of this year, it appears that World of Warcraft is once again on a downward trend. Yesterday, Activision Blizzard announced that World of Warcraft has lost about 800,000 subscribers in the company’s quarterly earnings report. Is this a sign of an inevitable end for WoW in the near future?
Ever since the MMO giant, World of Warcraft, hit it’s subscriber peak of 12 million back in Q3 of 2010, it has had a steady decline of subscribers in each quarter following. Despite a few spikes in subscribers following the release of new expansion packs, the trend has stayed fairly consistent. Now in 2014, 10 years after the game’s original release, the amount of subscribers for WoW is equivalent to numbers recorded back in 2006. So this raises some pretty serious concerns for fans and investors alike.
However, while it is true that World of Warcraft is in decline, Blizzard has also mentioned recently that there are already over 1.5 million pre-orders for the the expansion, Warlords of Draenor. Also, it is starting to appear as if about 7 million is the new norm for the MMO and this current decline is only part of a natural “ebb and flow” of consumer behavior. So WoW could easily have a long and fairly prosperous future for the company in the years ahead. To put it frankly – there still is not enough data yet to conclusively project the end of the game in the future.
Either way, all good things eventually will come to an end, (Even if it happens to be one of the biggest MMO’S to ever exist.) and it doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. So whether it be a few years from now, or even a decade, whenever World of Warcraft ends, hopefully it will cause the birth of many great new MMO’S to follow in it’s massive footsteps.
I believe that the end of WoW is closer than most people probably think. At this point in the MMO’s life, for the company it is an upwards battle with time. Blizzard may be able to milk the game for a few more years, but eventually the MMO will begin to lose subscribers enmass again. I wouldn’t worry too much however. Activision Blizzard most likely understands this and will be prepared for the future. Who knows, perhaps we will see a sequel to World of Warcraft sometime soon?
What do you guys think? Are these recent numbers foreshadowing the end of World of Warcraft? Feel free to comment below!