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WoW subscriber numbers still increasing, multi-boxers trivial

There has been a long thread about WoW and the philosophical changes and approaches over the past four years, and in particular to some of the larger design decisions made recently (dual specs). In it Ghostcrawler makes an offhand remark about WoW's subscriber numbers:

"Wrath of the Lich King is still selling very well and our subscribers are increasing."

Now I want to be clear that this was made off-hand and is not from an official earnings statement. But that doesn't discount it from being full of truthiness; and nonetheless, this is rather significant in that it's been a while since we last heard any indication of current subscriber numbers. To some this news won't be very surprising, given that Wrath of the Lich King has been a huge hit. But others might raise an eyebrow that after five months of Wrath things are still up-ticking.

He also mentions the ever hot topic of multi-boxers:

"The number of multi-boxers is trivial. If you are a hardcore player you may know several of them, but in the grand scheme there are very few people really doing that."

Now what is trivial when your subscriber numbers are approaching 12 million? 100,000 might be trivial. So might be 50,000. That's still a lot – but even if there are 100,000 multi-boxers, it's still less than 1% of the total population.

This is all quite timely for me, as I've recently been pondering the longevity of the World of Warcraft, or at least the point where subscriber numbers begin to decrease. My personal thought is that it will remain on an upswing or at least not decrease significantly for a couple more years. And then the decrease will be very gradual for quite a long time (and I pray this means job security for me, but that's another subject).

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items

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