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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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