Blizzard has confirmed that it will no longer report the numbers of subscribers for World of Warcraft. Despite quarterly updates that coincide with earning reports, this weeks announcement, documenting 5.5 million current players, will be the last time this information is publicly released.
The company explained via Gamespot that alternative measurements will be used:
“Note that this is the last quarter that we plan to provide subscriber numbers….There are other metrics that are better indicators of the overall Blizzard business performance.”
World Of Warcraft is currently suffering its lowest subscriber count in nine years, losing approximately 100,000 users in the past three months. Reports from June of this year indicated that almost 1.5 million subscribers had been lost since April. However, World of Warcraft still remains the No. 1 subscription based game across the globe.
Activision Blizzard hopes to encourage players to return with its sixth expansion; Legion. In the past WoW’s subscriber figures have increased drastically upon each content release, with Cataclysm boosting numbers to 12 million in 2010.
Legion is currently without a release date, but a beta will begin later this year which players can opt into now.
The record breaking MMO has been on a steady decline for the last few years, with critics citing a lack of captivating endgame features leaving gamers with little desire to continue playing. Despite this however, it has remained the reigning king of the MMO genre for 11 years. It’s safe to say this isn’t Blizzard’s first rodeo with the player count.
Even so, these losses continue to hurt Blizzard, despite a considerable effort to turn the tide. Not only are there a wealth of numerous expansions to follow the release for Legion, WOW will even be receiving a big screen adaption on June 3rd 2016. Hopefully it will be less depressing than the last film.