The world’s number 1 subscription-based MMORPG has lost another 1.3 million subscribers.
Activision-Blizzard confirmed the worrying news. According to the publishing giant, the majority of those who have jumped ship are mostly from the East, but there were enough from the West to make the large drop worrisome.
As Activision notes, the decline raises concerns, “as do continued challenges in the global economy. For these reasons, we remain cautious. However, our focused and disciplined approach to our business has served us well in the past, and through continued investment and careful management of our costs, we expect to continue delivering shareholder value over the long term as we have for the last 20 years.”
This large drop comes at a time where free-to-play is quickly becoming the norm. Almost every MMO on the market has gone free-to-play after a brief stint trying the subscription route. Even Star Wars: The Old Republic, which was labeled as the World of Warcraft killer was unable to sustain its subscription plan due to subscribers leaving the MMORPG in droves. World of Warcraft is one of the few that has remained on a subscription plan.
World of Warcraft launched in 2004 and hit its subscribers peak in 2010 when they reached 12 million subscribers. That number has been declining since then. 10 million subscribers were reported September 2012 right before the launch of World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria.
Blizzard Entertainment is currently developing a brand new MMORPG, though no details have been revealed. It is unknown if it will be free-to-play or require a subscription.