‘World of Warcraft’ Subscriptions Decline By Nearly 3 Million, Expansion Lull Likely To Blame

Records for Activision Blizzard’s Q1 financials were disclosed during an earnings call today. Many Activision and Blizzard games were mentioned, and overall the company’s net revenue for the session exceeded one billion. However, there was a drastic decline in subscribers to World of Warcraft during this period.

The official presentation of Activision Blizzard’s first quarter of 2015 conference call is available on Activision’s website. The slide show points out the company’s victories like Destiny and Hearthstone, which have over 50 million players and nearly 1 billion in life-to-date revenue. A large portion of that, over 30 million, comes from those playing Hearthstone alone.

Unfortunately, World of Warcraft subscriptions declined post-expansion release. The earnings call reported that there were about 7.1 million subscribers to World of Warcraft for the quarter. That is a drop of nearly 3 million from the previously recorded 10 million when the latest expansion released. MMO-Champion also points out that this is the greatest subscriber loss in the history of World of Warcraft.

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor screenshot
A screenshot of World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor

A decline is not uncommon after an expansion’s release within World of Warcraft. As VG247 points out, although the loss is substantial, the game is still widely profitable.

“World of Warcraft subscriber numbers declined to 7.1 million for the quarter, which is to be expected after a major expansion has been released and played through by users. The MMO’s revenue remained stable due in part to price increases in select regions. This helped offset subscriber declines, particularly in the East.”

This decline in subscriptions for World of Warcraft during this time period does not include the recent release of the WoW Token. As the Inquisitr reported, these tokens let players subscribe to the game for free by using in-game gold to purchased subscriptions from other players. Other players simply buy the WoW Token from the game’s official in-game store for $20 and sell the game time on the auction house. Both revenue and subscriptions are likely, but not guaranteed, to increase in the next earnings call thanks to that new system.

Overall, Blizzard’s Battle.net is in great health, with this quarter brining in the largest online numbers in the company’s history. According to the slide presentation, over 11 million players have signed up for Heroes of the Storm, the final StarCraft II expansion will be standalone, and Overwatch will enter beta this fall.

Did you stop subscribing to World of Warcraft after the recent expansion’s release?

[Images via Battle.net]