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2-09-2012 @ 5:06PM
The reason behind lower subs isn't rocket surgery, the economy has been in the crapper for at least 3yrs. While WoW is "cheap" entertainment, $180/yr is now maybe something people can't or are unwilling to afford anymore. People have been losing their jobs, homes, and savings. I think Blizz should be, and probably is, very happy that they still have over 10mil accounts active.
2-09-2012 @ 5:12PM
I agree !The subscription based market has a hard time with the economics AND the free to play garbage out there.Both EVE and WOW had 15% (or more) losses in 2011 (you can see it on the activity website of EVE) because of those dreadful "free to PAY stuff".We will all see its impact in the futeure even more.Glad WOW stayed at 10.2 M this time. Another 5 months and the MOP expansion will secure this 10M point with ease.
2-09-2012 @ 5:19PM
There is no 'one reason' behind it all.People have quit because;-It's too easy-It's too hard-Not enough to do-Not enough time-Not good value for money-Can't afford it anymore-Starting a family-Starting a new career-Became unemployed-Burntout-Too much reused assets-Too long between content-Not fond of story direction-Not fond of PvP imbalance-Not getting enough out of the raid system-Raiding takes too much time-Friends stopped playing-Got hackedAnd plenty plenty more.Anyone declaring that only one reason was behind each drop, like claiming that the loss in Q1 was ONLY because Heroic dungeons took too long/were too hard, in Q2 because of "lazy development" because of ZA and ZG, in Q3 because of the severe nerf in FL or in Q4 because of LFR, or any other agenda an individual has with Blizzard at this time are quite frankly not worth listening to. They often don't even understand how the sub numbers reflect the success of the game.Here's a hint, if most of the subs from Wrath were only active for one month, but in Cata they were active for two, then Cata made more month. Without real numbers that actually matter, the numbers that are issued during these calls mean nothing to us.
2-09-2012 @ 7:42PM
There's no ONE single reason WoW has been losing subscriptions. But burnout, real-life interference, economy woes, and the like have existed in every expansion. A 15% drop in one year is a pretty clear indication that people didn't like Cata in general. That manifested itself in specific gripes, sure - but when taken as a whole, the overall direction of Cata was poorly received. It's pretty telling that the subscriber loss lessened after the last patch, a patch which reversed most of the game design decisions of Cata. It's also interesting that there were more subscribers at the end of Wrath after a year of nothing but ICC than there are right now after a brand new content patch. I'm glad that Blizz is on the right track again, but let's not pretend they were never on the wrong track.
2-10-2012 @ 12:45PM
@ Glen,Here's the problem that I have. In regards to reviewing the quality of the expansion, the number of unique subscribers over a three month period is not a good means to measure. Hell, I'm still trying to work out how it's even relevant to shareholders and the information, given as it has been over the last 7 years, doesn't really show any relation to subscriber numbers and profit.For example, as we know, Wrath had 12 million subs for the majority of it's time. Nice number, however, that's 12 million unique subscribers over a 3 month period. How many of those were subscribed for all three months? How many for 2? How many for 1?I mentioned it earlier, and on previous Investor Calls, but I'll say it again here too. Even though we are seeing a decline in active subs over a 3 month period, and continually for the course of the year so far, that doesn't mean WoW has lost 1.9 million subs over the course of the expansion. It has actually lost far more than that, but what's really an interesting stat, that no one outside of Blizzard even knows, is how many subs Wrath lost. If you say "none" because it had 10 million when it was released, then sadly, you don't understand what a subsriber loss really is.Total units sold - current subscribers = real loss.Subscribers on release - Subscribers now = inaccurate loss.Why is it inaccurate? Because it doesn't tell you how many people bought Cataclysm during that time.For example, Cata has a subscriber difference between now and release of Cata of about -1.9 million, however, if Cata sold 15 million units since release, then it has actually failed to retain 4.9 million subscribers.Now let's look at a hyphthetical Wrath scenario. Let's say over the two years of Wrath (from release to the last FULL quarter before Cata), let's say 20million units sold, but at that last quarter there was only 12 million active subs, then Wrath failed to retain 8 million subs.Bear in mind that I am pulling the sales numbers out of my arse. My point here isn't to argue about whether Wrath or Cata was a better expansion, it's just to point out that the difference between Current and Initial expansion active subs really doesn't mean much. And considering that an even MORE important statistic, which is how long each sub was active for during a quarter is also not announced, NO ONE outside of Blizzard knows the real score here, so citing these numbers as proof of a demise or lack of quality is meaningless.
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