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Posts with tag subscriber-numbers

Hearthstone hits 20 million registered players

Hearthstone header
Blizzard hit a milestone recently with the free-to-play digital card game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft breaking 20 million registered players. For scale, that's double the number of players WoW had at its peak during Wrath of the Lich King in 2010. The most amazing thing about that is Hearthstone has yet to release on all intended platforms: Android tablet, Android phone, and iOS phone versions are still forthcoming.

All in all, the registration numbers indicate that there is very widespread interest in Hearthstone indeed, and for good reason. It's a ton of fun to play!

Filed under: News items, Hearthstone Insider

World of Warcraft up to 7.8 million subscribers

According to the press release of the Activision-Blizzard earnings call taking place today, World of Warcraft has seen a rise in subscription numbers, up from 7.6 million as reported in November, to 7.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2013.

A rise of subscriber numbers is almost to be expected following big events like BlizzCon, and big announcements like the upcoming expansion Warlords of Draenor. It's a small bump, but the number is still higher than even the 7.7 million subscribers reported in the second quarter of 2013. Subscriber numbers seem to have leveled off entirely in 2013, with the one dramatic drop for the year being the 1.3 million lost in the first quarter of 2013.

With a new expansion on the horizon, a free level 90 to those that pre-order said expansion, and pre-orders set to become available soon, we may see another rise at the next earnings call. New expansions have a tendency to lure back old players, and garner the interest of new players as well. We'll have to wait and see how the game performs in 2014.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

World of Warcraft down 100k subscribers to 7.6M

According to the press release of the Activision-Blizzard earnings call that will take place later today, World of Warcraft is down 100,000 subscribers to 7.6 million. This is a drop from the 7.7M reported for the second quarter of 2013.

This represents a continued decline from the 12 million subscribers reached at the height of WoW's popularity in late 2010. However the most recent subscription decline is a fraction of what previous quarters have seen. For the first quarter of 2013, WoW lost 1.3M subscribers, landing at 8.3M. The second quarter of 2013 lost 600k subscribers. It would appear, at least from the limited data we have been given, that the subscriber losses are leveling off.

Much of WoW's future growth and/or continued life rests upon the back of Blizzard this weekend at BlizzCon 2013, when it is expected they will announce the game's fifth expansion.

Filed under: News items

Activision earnings call offers more insight on WoW subscriber losses

In addition to the news that Titan may not be subscription-based, today's Activision investor call also shed some light on WoW's most recent round of subscriber losses. Blizzard says that the subscriber loss was more or less evenly split between Eastern and Western markets, which is to say that they've lost subscribers in North America, Europe, and Asia. However, patch 5.2 and 5.3 both had a positive impact on subscriber numbers and Blizzard is working on making returning to the game easier for players who have left.

While there's been a lot of panic over the subscriber losses, Blizzard isn't throwing in the towel yet: in this call they assured everyone that they're committed to the World of Warcraft playerbase (that's us!) in spite of the subscriber downturn and other projects like Titan on the horizon.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

World of Warcraft down to 7.7M subscribers

Noted in the press release this evening announcing the split of Activision-Blizzard from Vivendi is the fact that World of Warcraft ended the last quarter at 7.7 million subscribers, down from 8.3 million in March.

For the quarter, Activision Blizzard was the #1 independent publisher in North America and Europe combined, including accessory packs and figures, with the #1 and #2 best-selling titles year-to-date– Skylanders Giants™ and Call of Duty: Black Ops II.¹ Additionally, Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft® remained the world's #1 subscription-based MMORPG, ending the quarter with approximately 7.7 million subscribers.


Subscriber Definition: World of Warcraft subscribers include individuals who have paid a subscription fee or have an active prepaid card to play World of Warcraft, as well as those who have purchased the game and are within their free month of access. Internet Game Room players who have accessed the game over the last thirty days are also counted as subscribers. The above definition excludes all players under free promotional subscriptions, expired or cancelled subscriptions, and expired prepaid cards. Subscribers in licensees' territories are defined along the same rules.

It should be noted that these numbers are world-wide, and they are not broken out into the North American / European / Asian split that people often like to talk about.


World of Warcraft loses 1.3M subscribers since February, down to 8.3M

WoW loses 13 million subscribers since Feb down to 8 mil
Today's Activision-Blizzard financial reports states World of Warcraft took a subscriber hit this quarter, losing 1.3 million players since February.

The loss brings the total number of WoW players down to 8.3 million, its lowest level since the launch of the Burning Crusade expansion in 2007. Subscriber levels have fallen by about a third since WoW's post-Cataclysm peak of 12 million subscribers. The loss is hardly unusual -- you have to remember that WoW is a 9-year-old game, and we're at a pretty uninteresting time in the expansion cycle.

Have we mentioned yet that we're really excited to see if Blizzard is announcing a new MMO at BlizzCon?

Filed under: Blizzard, The Burning Crusade, BlizzCon, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

World of Warcraft down to 9.6 million subscribers

World of Warcraft down to 96 million subscribers
Today's investor call for the fourth quarter of 2012 reported that World of Warcraft's subscription numbers are now at 9.6 million subscribers, down from the reported over 10 million at Mists of Pandaria's launch. This still makes World of Warcraft the largest subscription-based MMO out there on the market by a long shot, but the numbers have seen a dip. However, it doesn't mean that Blizzard isn't breaking records. Diablo III remains the #1 best-selling PC game at retail, and Mists of Pandaria came in at #3.

Although subscriber numbers seem to have dropped, they have yet to reach the Cataclysm low of 9.1 million prior to the release of Mists. Keep in mind that these numbers are for the final quarter of 2012, ending on December 31, 2012 -- so they may not count players that received the game over the holidays and subscribed after the new year. For more information, the official press release from the investor call is available online.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

World of Warcraft subscriber numbers remain over 10 million

During today's Activision Blizzard investor call, it was announced that during third quarter of calendar 2012, World of Warcraft claims over 10 million subscribers.

The given number is not as precise as we've grown accustomed to during these calls, but even the general number of 10 million gives us a good idea of the game's current climate. World of Warcraft subscriber numbers saw a dip to 9.1 million subscribers prior to the release of Mists of Pandaria, shedding 1.1 million subscribers in the pre-expansion lull.

Mists of Pandaria is still a fresh release as far as these investor calls are concerned, so its overall effect on World of Warcraft's playerbase will not become clear until 2013.

Edit: Correction made to account for the 1.1 million dip earlier this year.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

World of Warcraft subscriber numbers dip 100,000 to 10.2 million

During this afternoon's Activision Blizzard investor call, it was announced that WoW's subscribers numbers dropped another 100,000 players from September 2011 to 10.2 million at the end of December 2011.

World of Warcraft's subscriber numbers peaked around 12 million back in late 2010 and early 2011 and have been in decline since. The game slipped to 11.4 million subscribers in May 2011, then down to 10.3 million in September of 2011. While subscriber numbers continue to fall, the rate of lost subscriptions has slowed significantly.

In further clarification of the game's subscriber numbers, Blizzard President and Cofounder Mike Morhaime said that Blizzard has seen no significant change and that "December was a good month for us." This past quarter was, according to Morhaime, the "most competitive quarter ever." World of Warcraft's competition primarily came from Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Blizzard believes that the success of patch 4.3, community engagement, and the Annual Pass contributed to the subscriber retention it's seen.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Blizzard remains optimistic about WoW subscriber numbers

This past May, Blizzard announced its World of Warcraft playerbase had declined to 11.4 million, a 5% drop from its post-Cataclysm high of 12 million. Predictably, the game's detractors pounced on the news, citing it as evidence of WoW's impending demise.

The company isn't worried that it's all downhill from here, however, according to The Market for Computer & Video Games interview with Blizzard Entertainment's VP and executive MD of internal operations Michael Ryder. Citing the game's impending launch in Brazil, growth in China, and the new free-to-play aspect of WoW (at least, free-to-play up to level 20), Ryder insists that the world's most successful MMORPG has room to become even more successful.

Spin? Perhaps. But still, even if subscriber numbers continue a slow decline, there's no question that WoW will be profitable -- and thus, still around -- for a long time to come.
Brace yourselves for what could be some of most exciting updates to the game recently with patch 4.3. Look at what's ahead: new item storage options, cross-realm raiding, cosmetic armor skinning and your chance to battle the mighty Deathwing -- from astride his back!

Filed under: News items

The Lawbringer: Mailbag 3.0

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Running parallel to the games we love and enjoy is a world full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps. How about you hang out with us as we discuss some of the more esoteric aspects of the games we love to play?

Since last weekend was my stepsister's bat mitzvah, I was incommunicado down in Florida celebrating with family, eating a ton of delicious food, and getting sunburned within 30 seconds of stepping into the punishing Florida sun. The emails to Lawbringer never stopped, however, and I picked my favorites to answer while lounging next to the pool, happily oblivious.

A lot of people sent me emails about the Blizzard earnings call that has been making the rounds in the gaming news cycle this week, for a few specific reasons. First, Diablo III's beta is coming between August and September, which is super exciting to me because of how much I want to be playing that game again. BlizzCon was not enough. Friends at Blizzard, send all beta invites to

Second, Mike Morhaime revealed that World of Warcraft is currently boasting subscriber numbers mirroring pre-Cataclysm subscriptions. Subsequently, the internet went crazy and collectively, shall we say, made a mess in its pants about the state of WoW's prominence.

Let's mailbag.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

Blizzard's Frank Pearce predicts renewed subscriber growth with Cataclysm, China

If you've been following World of Warcraft's published subscriber numbers for a while now, you know that we haven't seen a rise in WoW subscribers since late 2008. Blizzard's been holding steady on a figure of 11.5 million subscribers. But, according to Frank Pearce, Blizzard's Executive Vice President of Product Development, that's going to change.

When asked if by VG247's Adam Hartley if he thought WoW's subscribers had permanently peaked, Pearce had this to say:
"I mean, you can look at that number and if you look at some of the details around it ... In China, for example, we haven't even launched Wrath of the Lich King yet, and that expansion is already 18-plus months old. They're still playing The Burning Crusade there, because we're waiting for approval for Wrath from the appropriate agencies. And once we get that approval and launch Wrath in China then I think we will see growth."
Pearce also noted that "win-back" of subscribers who had left the game after previous expansions is particularly high for WoW, and that subscriber counts should grow when Cataclysm is released.
"Hopefully we will get some people back from Cataclysm as well. I don't think 11.5 million is a peak, necessarily, but there are certain things that we need to do and need to do well in order to see it go further."
Like refining the 1-60 game, an area many players have never gotten past, no doubt. You can read the full interview with Frank Pearce at VG247.

[via Massively]

Filed under: Blizzard

WoW Insider Show live this afternoon on Ustream

Your Saturday seem kind of boring? Could you maybe use a little cheering up with a side of Warcraft insight to go along with that? Then we've got just the thing: our podcast is live this afternoon, April 11, 2009 3:30 PM EDT over on our Ustream page, and as usual, right here after the break on this post. Today we'll have our good friend Turpster along for the ride, as well as WoW Insider writers Michael Gray and Chase Christian, so it'll be a nice full house.

Topics of discussion will include what's been going on with all of the expansion speculation lately, the fact that WoW subscriber numbers are still on the rise, Wintergrasp and what's happening in its future, and PETA's little foray into Azeroth. Plus, we'll answer your emails as always, and since Chase is on, we'll probably talk about what life will be like for Rogues in 3.1 as well.

Should be fun. We'll see you this afternoon!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Humor, Raiding, Classes, WoW Insider Show

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