The lights are on
Blizzard’s still-powerful MMO, World of Warcraft, is going through another ebb phase. Blizzard reports that subscriptions have dropped quarter to quarter by 800,000 subscribers.
Subscriptions now number 6.8 million, down from 7.6 million reported at the end of first quarter. The publisher says that the drop is geographically disproportionate, with a concentration in the Eastern hemisphere.
The drop is attributed to the current expansion’s end of life, and the decrease is in line with what happened during the last expansion transition phase.
Revenues are up, and Blizzard says that Warlords of Draenor pre-orders are 1.5 million. There is an expectation that there will be an uptick when the new expansion arrives. The current target for public release is fourth quarter 2014.
Correction: This story originally pinned current subscriptions at 6.4 million. The correct number is 6.8 million, making the drop 800,000 and not 1.2 million. Game Informer regrets the error.
Our TakeThe explanation for the drop falls in line with historical patterns. It will be more telling to watch the uptick in Q4, when Warlords of Draenor is released.
WoW is still strong, but its power is waning as time goes on. The graphical updates to character classes currently rolling out give the game a much needed coat of paint. WoW has newer titles to compete with, and looking its best is part of competing well.