There are now “only” 8 million Warcraft players

Activision-Blizzard fears fewer money piles after WoW sees sharp subscriber drop

Don’t you just hate it when you hear a sports pundit on TV say something like “compared to two years ago, when he was only making £20,000 a week”? REALLY? ONLY twenty grand a week? That poor bastard; how did he ever manage to pay the bills?

It’s a sentiment I’m aiming squarely at World of Warcraft creators Blizzard this week, after their quarterly report went out yesterday as part of Activision’s fiscal duties. Multimillionaire chief executive Bobby Kotick lamented having only 8.3 million subscribers paying them ten pounds per month for the privilege of paying their game, on top of their record-breaking sales of Diablo 3 and the latest WoW expansion pack, Mists of Pandaria.

Poor Bobby. Poor, poor Bobby.

Poor Bobby. Poor, poor Bobby.

Yes, by comparison, that’s a number of players which is significantly down from the 9.6 million reported for Q4 2012, but 8.3 is, nonetheless, a huge fucking number that’s way beyond comprehension – or at least, it should be if not for the bean-counters ruining our fun.

I understand that yes, having 1.3 million people no longer paying you ten pounds per month for the privilege of playing your game can be harmful, but these steep drops have been occurring ever since the game’s audience peaked in 2010 at 12 million so why the big surprise only now?

Kotick sobbed uncontrollably into hundred-dollar bills as he commented: “We expect to have fewer subscribers at year end than we do today.”

Yes, but that’s because your company is charging people ten pounds a month to play your game – not to mention the expansion packs, the dungeon-busting trilogies and all those blasted annual updates to the FPS shooter you call the Call of Duty series. You really can’t expect a game which is nearly eight years old to keep churning out original content year on year, can you? Oh, hang on, that explains CoD; just answered my own question there.

The scariest bit of it all for me comes from this article in the Wall Street Journal; apparently, WoW, CoD, Diablo III and Skylanders –yes, fucking Spyro and his mates- accounts for “83% of its net revenues and “a significantly higher percentage” of its operating income for the year.”

Now that’s just ridiculous, isn’t it? Think about that while you’re on your next raid, and try not to get too emotional; us poor folk can only afford those regular old tissues to dry our eyes with.

One thought on “There are now “only” 8 million Warcraft players

  1. To be honest, they do this ” we have no money left” thing around the same time every year. A million people quit because they’ve finished all the new content so far. Then a few months later the new expansion comes out and three quarters of those million come back.

    Also…after diablo 3 turned out to be a big pile of nothing, a lot of people have lost faith in Blizzard. With Starcraft 2 parts one to three and Diablo 3 (and however many expansions they’re planning for that) they’re starting to look a bit like money whores.

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