Wednesday, February 24, 2010

World of Warcraft in decline, but perhaps not for long ...

Hey all,

Yep, World of Warcraft subscription numbers are declining for the first time in it's history.

In december 2008 WoW had 11,5m active subscribers, in may 2009 it was already clear WoW was stagnating with 11,6m active subscribers and now Blizzard Top Dog, Mike Morhaime, says WoW is stable with 11,5m active subscribers, which is actually a small decline of 100k subs.

However, meanwhile the GAPP ( Chinese government ) finally approved The Burning Crusade, so WoW China is back on track, and will probably bolster Chinese WoW numbers in the near future.

Add to that the upcomming expansion Cataclysm in the West and one can see that WoW still has a strong future ahead.

Update :
It seems WoW has actually been on 12 million players around January 2010, this means that their current numbers are a bigger drop than first assumed.
You can check this link : WoW and Vivendi at Reuters
At first I was reluctant to use this number, but after comparing them to the PCU numbers I got it looks to be valid after all.


  1. WoW's numbers are declining globally. NCSoft's Aion, though nowhere near WoW's numbers, is in the #2 spot right now in the US and is gaining traction globally.


    Postmortem: Behind The Scenes of NcSoft’s Aion
    By mmodata

    According to an NCSoft spokesperson quoted in the Game Developer Magazine, NCSoft had only spent around $20M to develop Aion. The development of the game took roughly four years with 130 people working on this blockbuster title. Aion is credited with a 836 percent revenue increase last year and is responsible for NCSoft’s stock price surge to all time high levels.

    MMOLOG ( is currently tracking Aion and other NCSoft game titles. The daily character creation numbers (43,269) quoted by the publisher are consistent with our data set. MMOLOG Data products include monthly game sales and subscription data collected from a combination of proprietary data sources and innovative technology. For this and other MMO title data, please contact our sales team (

    133 Current Number of Servers for Aion (worldwide)
    60 Nations in Which the Game is Distributed
    7 Number of languages serviced
    (Korean, English, Japanese, French,

    German, Chinese, and Russian)
    43,269 Average number of characters created daily during
    Aion’s first year
    3 : 2 Ratio of Male to Female Characters created
    2,500,000 Total Number of Words in Aion
    31,000 Number of Items in Aion
    16m/s Max Flying Speed
    50 meters Fatal Fall Height
    228,336 Number of Legions (Aion’s guilds)
    created since the OBT
    10:1 Ratio of Aion’s land mass to Seoul’s
    2 real-world hours Length of one full 24 hour cycle in Aion’s world
    Number of Developers 130
    Length of Development About 4 years
    Release Dates November 11, 2008 South Korea;
    September 22, 2009 North America;
    September 25, 2009 Europe
    Budget KRW 23 billion (about US $20 million)

  2. Not really a surprise here. Blizzard started going after the kiddie market more strongly with the release of Wrath. They were hoping to keep the more serious players while gaining with the younger crowd. Unfortunately, they went too far and many of the serious players left...and Blizzard gained just enough kids to maintain only. Blizzard was hoping to grow, so steady numbers is actually a pretty big failure in their book...but it doesn't look like Blizzard is going to learn from this mistake.

    Note that Blizzard has been very hush-hush about subscriptions in the past year when they have historically been more forthcoming about their subscriptions in the past. I take this as a bad sign of Blizzard being a typical corporate company...hopefully it won't taint their games any further...and hopefully, they'll try restoring WoW to have some degree of challenge in the future.

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