World of Warcraft is still facing major subscriber issues. Things haven’t looked so bad since 2006 and people would expect a little more from a company that has so many successful titles such as Diablo, Hearthstone or Heroes of the Storm. But the truth is that World of Warcraft is going down, sort of. Not surely, and we will explain why down below.
There are around 5.6 million active players in World of Warcraft right now. The population is still large enough that it could boast about hosting more people than some countries in the world do, but around 6 months ago thing were looking a little bit differently: around 10 million subscribers. That population was around mostly because of the Warlords of Draenor Expanion.
Now Warcraft is has almost the same population as Final Fantasy has, the latter one happily hosting around 5 million players every month. So, theoretically, if Warcraft were to stay where it is right now, it would be taken by surprise by Final Fantasy in the following, let’s say, 6 months.
But the only things that are keeping Warcraft together are the expansions. The trend is that Blizzard Entertainment have to come up with a new major expansion every year around October, November or December. Why? Because people will pay to get a subscription and play the game for a couple of months. There are new things going around, people explore a little, get some loot, then they stop playing again.
What’s the catch? There are people who have been playing the game for 10 years. They know every zone, the majority of secrets, they have the best gear around and they only have to do raids or fight against each other from time to time. This population is saturated and there is frankly, for them at least, no reason to play the game anymore.
Why would you pay $10 every month in between April and October and then purchase the new expansion for an extra $50 when you could just play any other free-to-play game on the market and save those extra $50 and pay them when the expansion arrives? There is no point in playing if you are top level and top gear. You do the same things over and over again every day.
Blizzard needs to figure out what they want to do with World of Warcraft because, ever since Cataclysm, the game has been limping and players kept either quitting for good or quitting form time to time, which are both losing Blizzard’s money.
Photo Credits flickr.com