Analyst firm Lazard Capital Markets has concluded World of Warcraft could lose between 900,000 and 1.6 million players when Star Wars: The Old Republic launches next month.
According to data obtained in conjunction with Peanut Labs, out of 381 online consumers surveyed, over half have grown tired of Blizzard’s MMO juggernaut, and 50% of the players plan on purchasing SWTOR when it releases, with another 38% expressing interest in the Bioware MMO.
While subscriber numbers always ebb and flow, whether due to new game releases and expansions or the fact the majority of players are MMO polygamists, 33% of the WoW players surveyed plan to resubscribe when Mists of Panaria releases next year.
Add-ons such as this always bolster active users and subscriber numbers for any MMO, and the Asian theme of Pandaria could resonate well with the game’s Chinese market. If so, the fourth expansion to the MMO could bring back some of the 800,000 subs it recently lost, as the majority of the exodus occurred in China.
Due to the survey’s findings, Lazard Capital Markets has downgraded Activision Blizzard’s stock from buy to neutral.