World of Warcraft Subscribers Plummet to 7.7 Million Players

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yammerpickle2

I played WoW up to 85th level for several character types as both Ally and Horde. My wife still plays, but really the constant grind to get gear was a another job, and not a game. It was not fun any more, but a chore. If you where not willing to invest at least 20 hours or more a week in grinding rep, gear, badges, etc. you would get left behind. Since my normal job is a 80 hour a week demand, I just could not justifying spending 20 or more additional hours in front of a computer. All for the possibility of a slight stat increase to one item. Wow, now I only need to do this 12 more times to upgrade the rest of my items!

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jedisamurai

I've installed this game twice and still never played it.

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bensen408

For the Horde!

Yes, I'm still playing WoW but I honestly think they need to consolidate servers and so low population servers like mine will have more players around.

Also, Pokemon in Warcraft was not the best idea. It could be better, like traps that actually work on the first try and not the fourth.

Finally, the players have advanced to such a level that by Lich King standards I can solo and smack Arthas himself but other trash found in the Firelands and Pandaria can spank him (and me depending...) That's just not well balanced.

While the graphics are a bit dated, I'm someone who likes to fire up Red Alert and Red Alert 2 now and then and rush the Allies with a field of pixelated Mammoth Tanks, so not too picky there.

Could be better, but at least its not Star Trek Online.

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Yusonice

That many people probably passed away due to long hours of inactivity

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Scatter

So how many regular readers does Maximum PC have?

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West996

I stopped playing WoW after the burning crusade, but I did enjoy it when I played. Right now I'm playing GW2 and loving it.

I don't keep tabs on all the MMO's active subscriber base, most MMO's can't even really release those kinds of numbers because games like Guild Wars 2 don't charge a sub, so it is hard to say how many of their players are 'active'.

That being said I am pretty sure for a sub based MMO 7.7 million is still the highest. It is certainly not a hit to WoW or Blizzard's rep no matter what good or bad you have to say about the game itself, 7.7 million people actively playing your game after 10 years is nothing to be ashamed of.

I am pretty sure they called off their most recent MMO project not because it failed or was bad, but because at the time Blizzard had no reason to compete with itself.

Rest assured Blizzard will have another MMO ready when the profit margin for World of Warcraft drops below their target.

Something tells me they are still a ways off from that.

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Cy-Kill

They didn't call off "Project Titan", it's still being worked on, although they've rebooted it and started from the beginning.

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ScamBreakers

You know, I think the problem is people just giving up on it. I haven't dedicated my life to it, but I feel if people had a sorta "cheat sheet" (there's actually a great manual about it on our ScamBreakers.com site), it would positvely boost Blizzard and WoW subs.

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methuselah

Is this really a surprise? If you look at every power house MMO, they eventually wane into nothingness.

Honestly, if ActiBlizzard didn't know this was coming then it's their own fault.

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Bucket_Monster

7.7 million is still probably more than many newer MMO's combined.

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Refuge88

Just lost all interest in the world. I guess its just time I heard a new story.

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Refuge88

Just lost all interest in the world. I guess its just time I heard a new story.

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Cy-Kill

They better make "Project Titan" an action-oriented non-targeting MMORPG, maybe they should just rewrite WoW's engine to make it an action-oriented non-targeting MMORPG, but of course the latter will never happen, and who knows about the former!

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jai151

Why? There is nothing intrinsically better about that approach, in many ways it makes the game much worse (EG Wasted attacks because no target means no range check) and as it's more reaction based, not as accessible.

No one has been able to replicate WoW's success, even those that use the "action" MMO style. I don't think that's the key to the puzzle.

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bjoswald

The game is 10 years old. It's expected.

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jbitzer

My wife and I loved playing WoW, up until we got to 80 (top level at the time) Getting there seemed to be the fun, and then once you were at cap, I didn't want to run the same repetetive dungeons over and over again to collect badges to get gear to run raids over and over again to get gear to be UBER.

Sorry Blizzard, but you made it feel like a job.

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bensen408

You said it best... "Sorry Blizzard, but you made it feel like a job."

Grinding for Valor Points, Secrets of Pandaria, etc.... That's what I hate the most about the game. Grind. Grind. Grind. Grind.

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Jeffredo

Stopped playing two years ago this month (after five years). I just got tired of it and have no interest in doing another MMO. Eventually the tedium of the constant repetition wore me down. Same basic premise regardless the expansion. I almost wish they had stopped with the expansions after Wrath of the Lich King. Once he was defeated that pretty much ended the story. Just let it die.

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Cy-Kill

I haven't played it for 7 years, got to level 18, found no one to help me on a quest because the mobs were 6 levels above me, so there was no way to finish the quest, so I quit and haven't looked back since!

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Bucket_Monster

So... do other quests? Go to a different zone where things are more your level? It's extremely easy to level in WoW, and unless you went to a zone that you were not ready for, I'm not sure how you weren't able to get past that.

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Cy-Kill

I don't remember the name of the quest I quit on, but it was the one where you need to place the listening device on a barrel on the Tower of Ilgalar in Redridge Mountains.

I won't touch WoW again, haven't played it in 7 years, and have no inkling to go back, when there are now much better MMORPGs out, some of which are action-based.

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jai151

To be perfectly fair, from what you've indicated here, you never really played it in the first place.

You don't even scratch the surface of an MMO until you are at the endgame. If you quit while never getting past the teens, you have nothing really to judge the game on.

I haven't seriously played since Wrath, and haven't played at all (with the exception of one three month stint to check out Mists) in about a year and a half. While WoW has a myriad of flaws and many MMOs have come out with improvements on the formula, I have not seen one strictly better MMO appear.

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Cy-Kill

TBC wasn't out yet, and didn't come out till a few months after I quit WoW in the fall of 2006, so it was still the vanilla WoW!

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cownaetion

Have to agree with Jai151, especially with WoW. Back in Burning Crusades you could easily level any character to level 20 in one day, now it is even easier. As Jai has said, you barely played the game.

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Cy-Kill

TBC wasn't out yet, and didn't come out till a few months after I quit WoW in the fall of 2006, so it was still the vanilla WoW!

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wolfing

Why is it bizarre to see a 10 year old game struggling to retain customers, when they've been doing pretty much the same old 'raid-to get better equipment-to raid' day in and day out?

I would say it's bizarre that this didn't already happen a long time ago.

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Raswan

Agreed. This article is completely nonsensical. Not even a whiff of acknowledgement that it's unheard of for a decade-old game to still pull in 7.7 million people at a minimum of 12.99/mo.

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Bucket_Monster

Yeah exactly. Even though it "plummeted", 7.7 million is probably still a lot more subscribers than most newer MMO's have.

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AndySocial

I'm not sure if "plummet" or "exponential" are the words that I would have chosen. Perhaps, "continues its inevitable decline" might work better to explain a mature game being replaced by newer games in people's lives.

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kiaghi7

I'm neither for nor against WoW at this point... I played for many years and enjoyed it quite a bit, and at the point I no longer enjoyed it I quit playing, and no "hard feelings" as some who've left seem to harbor...

That said noting my stance on WoW, it's currently suffering from its own success... Because it had such a rocketing success up to over 12 million subscribers at its peak, it has nowhere else to go but down in total number of subscribers.

Now does this spell the end of Wow? Absolutely not, it's CLEARLY got many years left in it, even if it continues to lose between 500k to 750k players per quarter, that's still between 2.5 and about 4 years before supposedly everyone quits in a mythical continued mass exodus which we all know isn't what's really happening.

Between two major factors of gamer burn-out, and generally wanting to move on to other things (work, life, other games, etc.) players tend to play for a while, and stop. Sometimes coming back and sometimes not...

WoW's population will continue to decline until it reaches a point of general sustainability. What that number ultimately is I don't really know, but I'd guess 1 to 3 million... Wide margin I know, but it's pretty much the most determined to stay, and the occasional returns to off-set the drop-outs. Even THAT low figure I estimate to be SEVERAL years off.

One only needs to look at even older MMOs that are going strong to this day, regardless of the success of WoW, to see that WoW itself has nothing to fear from a diminishing population in the next few years, other than obviously reduced massive subscription revenues...

So they will only be able to by a 300 foot yacht made of solid gold this month, rather than the 350 foot yacht they had been eyeing... Times are tight though so I understand their need to economize...