Today was a big day for World of Warcraft, although it is quite debatable whether this this big day was a good one or a bad one. The quarterly earnings from Activision Blizzard were made today and a lot of details were given about games like Skylanders, Destiny and you obviously won’t find it surprising if World of Warcraft was involved too. These details are, in fact, statistics and they give an overall impression about how a specific game performed in that quarter.
As a means of measuring how well World of Warcraft performed, subscriptions are obviously included and this is where things got a little trickier. When Warlords of Draenor launched one year ago, subscriptions skyrocketed back to 10 million, which is a fairly good score and ensures that the game will go on. But things started looking not so good when the second quarter revealed a 3 million sub loss.
And it kept going down. The third quarter showed another impressive drop from 7.1 million to 5.6 million and the latest report shows that it fell again to 5.5 million. As far as numbers go, World of Warcraft was never in a worse position since November 2005. Who would have known that the game would literally find itself in the same place where it started from in 10 years’ time?
The newest expansion “Legion” is set to come out this month and it is widely expected to bolster the ranks of heroes in the game once more. This is exactly what is putting World of Warcraft in its relatively awkward position as MMO king. Whenever a new expansion comes in, people start joining by the millions, but right after the next patch numbers drop like anchors. People just come back for a little bit more of the story then run away.
Frankly, Legion might bring back millions of players due to the return of one of the greatest characters in the Warcraft lore: Illidan Stormrage. We would go so far as to speculate that Illidan alone might be the reason why many people would come back, given the fact that some of the other great characters in Warcraft are already in the game, or they have died.
Until Legion is released, however, Blizzard will have to deal with the fact that they do not have a lot of dedicated players left. Warcraft has never been in a worse position, but we will have to see if this new expansion can bring enough people back and keep them glued to the game.
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