‘World Of Warcraft’ Subscriptions Down Again At 5.5 Million, Blizzard Will Cease Reporting Subscription Figures

Activision Blizzard’s quarterly earnings call based for the quarter ending on September 30 was made today. The publisher and developer revealed many figures for their games including Destiny, Skylanders, and the publisher’s acquisition of King Digital Entertainment for $5.9 billion. Among the statistics nestled together in the release is the subscription-based MMORPG World of Warcraft.

As a measure of the game’s success and longevity, subscription numbers are publicized in each earnings call. When the latest expansion released, the game’s subscriptions surged back to 10 million then fell to 7.1 million the first quarter thereafter. The previous quarter for World of Warcraft saw another dip to 5.6 million, and the latest quarter marks the game’s lowest subscription numbers since its initial climb at 5.5 million. In fact, subscriptions to World of Warcraft have not been this low since November 2005 according to the figures compiled on MMO-Champion.

World of Warcraft Nagrand in Warlords of Draenor [Images via Blizzard]With the sixth expansion announced but yet to be released, World of Warcraft is still growing; however, fewer players are enjoying the MMORPG today than were just a year ago. World of Warcraft remains one of an ever-dwindling group of MMORPGs that still require a subscription to play, although it is still leading that pack of games. With a subscription still required to play, World of Warcraft also supports an in-game store; a feature often found in free-to-play or hybrid titles. Services, like character renames and faction changes, are in the store but so are several additional amenities. Players can purchase pets and mounts from the in-game store, and even a few cosmetic helms are available.

With that in mind, it is not so surprising that Activision Blizzard plans on no longer announcing the game’s subscription numbers. According to Gamespot, Blizzard announced that this earnings call is the last to include the exact number of subscribers to World of Warcraft. The company is quoted as saying, “Note that this is the last quarter that we plan to provide subscriber numbers. There are other metrics that are better indicators of the overall Blizzard business performance.” Sales from the in-game store, or revenue in general, could be a good example of a possible metric; however, the new measure of World of Warcraft‘s performance was not detailed at this time.

World of Warcraft Archimonde, the last boss of the final raid of Warlords of Draenor [Image via Blizzard]With BlizzCon happening this weekend, World of Warcraft fans are in for some new Legion information as well this week. The recently announced 6.2.3 patch is adding a number of goals for players to achieve in the interim before Legion releases, as well. The upcoming patch is adding Valor back to the game, introducing Cataclysm Timewalking, and offering a unique moose mount for those that defeat Archimonde on Heroic or higher difficulty. As the Inquisitr reported, these new features and the start of a new Warlords of Draenor PvP season may indicate that Legion is releasing much later than some would expect. After all, Blizzard developers have said for years that they want to be on a yearly expansion schedule and Warlords of Draenor is turning one-year-old next week. It seems unlikely that Legion will release this year since players cannot even pre-order the expansion yet.

No matter when Legion releases, there will probably be a bump in subscriber numbers when it releases. Unfortunately, with the developer’s plan to no longer reveal subscription numbers, players will be left in the dark. Perhaps subscriptions are not as important to the nearly 11-year-old game’s health anymore. Maybe there is a minute chance World of Warcraft is truly going to have some sort of free-to-play option, making subscriptions less impactful on the game’s meter of success in the future. One thing is definite, though, the immediate fate of World of Warcraft will be revealed at BlizzCon on November 6.

Do you care if Blizzard stops reporting the subscriptions for World of Warcraft?

[Images via Blizzard]