No more subscriptions for World of Warcraft. It is not what you think it is. People didn’t stop subscribing and we are not announcing the game’s demise. What we are announcing is that Activision Blizzard are not giving away details about the amount of subscribers the game has. Blizzard are explaining this decision by saying that there are “better indicators” that can show how World of Warcraft performs.
The truth is that this is a smart statement, but it also reveals in how bad a shape World of Warcraft is. Given the fact that the game dropped down to 5.5 million subscribers, it appears that these are the “few people” left who play World of Warcraft on a regular basis. It will probably never be as good as it was during the Wrath of the Lich King and Blizzard are very aware of this.
Hence, no more subscriber reveals from now on. And let’s face it: every year we wonder how many more subscribers came to World of Warcraft, how many of them are leaving by the end of the third quarter and how much longer until the gaming community can claim that World of Warcraft is finally dead. Well, this is the time.
The number of subscriptions and the number of players have always been great indicators for online games. Destiny prides itself with 25 million players now, Final Fantasy claims it also has around 5 million subscribers and Star Wars Battlefront was also very proud to claim that 9 million people joined the beta. Now World of Warcraft backs out because “there are better indicators”.
This shows that Blizzard are under great pressure with this game. There are no “better indicators” when you know that you drop 5 million subscribers in 6 months and when the rest of the world knows that. Imagine how a gamer who has never played World of Warcraft thinks about the game. “Man, I’d love to play World of Warcraft. But if more and more people are leaving it means that it’s not good. I will try something else.”
There are no more subscriptions for World of Warcraft because Blizzard knows that whatever they do right now is not going to save the game from a slow demise. The game is old, the gameplay feels stale and the community is tired. There is no coming back from this and it’s time for the MMORPG community to move on. Warcraft will never be what it once was.
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