Skip to main content

World of Warcraft user base continues to tumble

World-of-Warcraft
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Reported during a recent Activision Blizzard conference call,  the subscriber base of the MMORPG World of Warcraft fell by another 800,000 players over a three month period. This constitutes a much larger decline than the lost 300,000 players that quit the game during the second quarter. The total user base now stands at approximately 10.3 million subscriptions, a large drop from a peak of about 12 million players during October 2010. Activision Blizzard attributes the decline to canceled subscriptions in Asian countries rather than North American players quitting the game. The company also hopes that the upcoming Mists Of Pandaria expansion pack will help bring veteran players back to the game as well as encourage new subscribers to sign up. 

world-of-warcraftWhile the ongoing success of Modern Warfare 3 is certain to keep investors in Activision Blizzard happy with the company, after hours trading of the stock is down by about three percent following the World of Warcraft news. During the fourth quarter, the World of Warcraft player base faces a possible increase in defections to games like DC Universe Online that have been made free-to-play as well as new MMORPGs like Star Wars The Old Republic when it launches in December. Beyond the planned panda-themed expansion for World of Warcraft, company officials are looking into speeding up the development time between expansion packs to keep players interested in the game. 

After going free-to-play, Sony Online Entertainment’s DC universe Online has skyrocketed by 1,000 percent. The player base that previous had about 30,000 players has grown to over 300,000. However, new players have been faced with long queues to access the game as Sony merged 26 servers down to a single server during August 2011. While certain restrictions limit players that want to play the game for free, players that continue to pay for the service get all all DLC packs for free as well as a larger number of inventory and character slots. 

Editors' Recommendations

Mike Flacy
By day, I'm the content and social media manager for High-Def Digest, Steve's Digicams and The CheckOut on Ben's Bargains…
Tales of the Shire is very serious about second breakfast
A hobbit chops food in Tales of the Shire.

There have been plenty of Lord of the Rings video games created over the past two decades. Many of those focus on epic fantasy action, retelling the story of the original trilogy or at least playing around in its surrounding events (with mixed results). While that makes for a fun literary fantasy come to life, the franchise has always left a market untapped. Fighting is fun, but what about players who simply want to live out a quiet hobbit life?

Tales of the Shire: A The Lord of the Rings Game is set to deliver that fantasy. Rather than focusing on bloody battles against orcs, it's a cozy life sim that lets players enjoy a leisurely life in a hobbit hole. It’s a dream come true in its own right. I got to see a bit of how that works at Summer Game Fest, where I tried out a sunny, 30-minute demo. While it didn’t give me a full sense of its life simulator elements, I at least learned one important thing: Tales of the Shire is as serious about cooking as its hobbits are.

Read more
Zelda: Echoes of Wisdom: release date, trailers, gameplay, and more
Key art for The Legend of Zelda: Echoes of Wisdom.

Every new Zelda game feels like an event, and yet Nintendo managed to keep a new mainline entry hidden almost all the way up until release. The Legend of Zelda: Echoes of Wisdom is not on the size and scale as the 3D entries like Breath of the Wild or Tears of the Kingdom -- it's actually the long-awaited continuation of Zelda's 2D titles. The last game we got in this style was 2019's Link's Awakening, which was a remake of the 1993 Game Boy title.

The Legend of Zelda: Echoes of Wisdom caught the attention of everyone at the June Nintendo Direct where it was announced for many reasons, chief among them being Zelda taking on the starring role instead of Link. The perspective and style might look familiar, but there's a lot to learn about Zelda: Echoes of Wisdom before you jump back into Hyrule.
Release date
Zelda: Echoes of Wisdom will be released on September 26, 2024.
Platforms

Read more
These are the 10 best gaming monitors of 2024
Alienware ultrawide OLED on a desk.

A good monitor is essential for gaming due to its significant impact on the overall experience. There are a ton of options if you are on the hunt for one of the best gaming monitors, but for us, Alienware's 34 QD-OLED still takes the cake in 2024. It's not the display for everyone, though, and after reviewing dozens of the top gaming monitors, we've settled on a list of displays that offer great gaming performance for any budget or purpose.

We're focused specifically on gaming monitors here, which come with higher refresh rates and adaptive sync features like G-Sync and FreeSync. If you're looking for an all-around display, make sure to browse our list of the best monitors.

Read more