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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Blizzard Subscription Holding Steady

The most recent WoW subscriber numbers have come out, and I'm actually rather surprised by the numbers.

So according to MMO-Champion  WoW is holding at around 10.1 million subscribers which comes as a huge surprise to me personally, as cynical as I was about SWTOR's release I had expected it to make a much bigger impact. The loss of 100,000 subscribers since the last call is extremely surprising given that in previous quarters they had lost many more.

However given that SWTOR is claiming somewhere in the realm of 3 million subscribers I find it interesting because it means: they have managed to magic up 3 million players that were not previously MMO players, they lured away all the missing WoW players and those of other games, or a large number of players are playing both.

I personally suspect the last one, and while I hope SWTOR does well, the reaction I am seeing towards it on 4chan, reddit and in the blogosphere suggests it will have a similar cycle to Rift. A large early surge because it is new and because people are tired of WoW but soon enough it'll burn out and fall down into the few hundred thousand subscriber mark. Mainly this is because, once you've completed the game's story your option is only alts...but the endgame discussion is for another time.

Now, one thing to take into account with regards to this conference call is that it comes on the heels of a new content patch...two months, about the time when most people will start to finish the content and drift off to do their own thing, so I would suspect they'll lose a few more before Mists is released. All in all however it means WoW is holding more or less steady.

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