Blizzard has acknowledged its dip in World of Warcraft subs are due to players waiting on new content and who are off playing other games in the meantime.
Speaking with Eurogamer, WoW producer John Lagrave said some of this can be attributed to the release of Star Wars: The Old Republic.
“Of course people are trying Star Wars – our development team are trying Star Wars. I’m one of the few people who’s still playing it actually, but yeah we’ve seen a dip in subs. It certainly has to at least be attributable to The Old Republic, but it’s also attributable to people who want to wait and get Mists of Pandaria, so it’s not surprising,” he said.
“Are they going elsewhere? Yes they are. We don’t have a lock on all the best games in the world – Skyrim was an amazing game, [but it didn’t cause] a sub drop but people definitely [played] that as well as WoW”.
As of November 2011, WoW subs dropped to 10.3 million from a 12 million peak the year prior, however, Blizzard doesn’t seem concerned over the drop, and doesn’t plan to add extra levels to its free-to-play option where you can download and play the game up to level 20 without paying for the game or a sub.
“We could certainly look at extending the level of the trial, what you can do in the trial in terms of the amount of gold that you can have and all that kind of stuff,” said Lagrave. “There’s a fair amount that you can experience up to level 20, because you really get most of the core systems in by that point.
“But we can absolutely say: ‘Hey, why don’t we make it level 40? Why don’t we make it level 60? Do we let you at least experience the old world?’ It’s all possible. Right now, no – but that’s all absolutely on the table.
“Right now we’re very happy with the subscription system with World of Warcraft. We think it works very well.”
WoW’s next expansion, Mists of Pandaria, will launch this year.