World of Warcraft has hit its lowest subscriber total in ages.
As part of a quarterly financial statement, Blizzard announced that WoW hit a recent-years low of 5.6 million subscribers. In a follow-up financial call, the blue giant was jollier than you might expect, given that Diablo, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm upped their overall revenue despite WoW’s woeful drop.
When we last got an official count from Blizzard back in May, WoW was at 7.1 million subscribers. It was a pretty steep drop from the game’s post-Warlords of Draenor high of 10 million, and our own Gergo speculated that character boosts (which let people get to level 90 sans grinding) and a lack of compelling endgame content might have been to blame.
Since then, Blizzard’s expanded Warlords of Draenor’s endgame with some of their most challenging raid content yet, but perhaps it was a case of too little, too late. On top of that, casual players tend to return to the World of Chorecraft (hint: it’s real life) after hitting the level cap. Raiding, daily quests, and high end PvP? Not so much.
There is a silver lining here: Blizzard’s been trying to speed up their expansion cycle, and they’re set to announce a new one this week. Given that the MMO megaton has been known to go far longer than a year without a new expansion, that’s pretty huge. Perhaps, if Blizzard can reliably put their expansion factory into overdrive, players will stop canceling subs between expansions, throwing the game into this torrid cycle of boom and bust.
We’ll see. For now, though, are you glad that Blizzard’s doling out expansions with more regularity? Or did Warlords of Draenor’s brief run leave you feeling shortchanged?