Blizzard attributes drop in WoW subs to SWTOR, other games, content wait

Tuesday, 20th March 2012 13:34 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

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.



  1. DSB

    That was surprisingly candid.

    I don’t think WoW is going to see a revival at this point. Mists of Pandaria is going to bring all the old addicts back, but keeping most of those isn’t very likely.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. viralshag

    I just think WoW’s getting on a bit. It’s impressive they have held onto as many players as they have over the years.

    I think at this point to act like people aren’t getting tired of the game or wanting to move on would be pointless and a little blind.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Sini

    blizzard, you’re delusional if you think fat panda monks are going to bring people back

    #3 3 years ago
  4. viralshag

    Yeah… because space goats, human coloured elves, humanoid wolves and goblins are like a totally different league to what this is…

    #4 3 years ago
  5. DSB

    I don’t remember any race ever being revealed without people whining about it. I whined quite a lot myself.


    But then I rolled a blood elf and that became my main, and I realized that those squidpeople are actually incredibly ugly and stupid to look at (kinda like half the races in SWTOR, obvious troll).

    And I felt the same way with Worgen and Goblins. “FUCKING GREEN DWARVES VERSUS TOTALLY COOL WEREWOLVES?! WTF”.

    And yeah, worgen are still a lot cooler than goblins, but goblins are all delightful assholes, and they did grow on me during my short time in Cataclysm.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. viralshag

    Space goats are awesome, brah. You clearly don’t know what you’re talking about DSB. Belves are totes gay!

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Hybridpsycho

    @3 It will bring back people to the game, people will also stop playing again after a while. Just as it has been every other expansion, just as people will complain during MoP that Cataclysm was so much better (Same as in every other exp, WOTLK is defo better now according to everyone).

    WoW is however slowly dying, which Blizzard is fully aware of. They’re not gonna say it out loud but they know it. They even said a few years back that “Hey, WoW will sooner or later be cannibalized by another game. Why not make it so that one of our own games cannibalizes it?” Hence they started on Project Titan.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. OlderGamer

    I think DiabloIII will have more of an impact on wow then SW is.

    The biggest reason I stop playing wow is that new content just doesn’t come out fast enough. I want expansions not end game rep grinds for gear. And Cati, I thought was just plan bad. It was very lite on new content. I like the older world rethink, but could have done without it. And many of the new Cati features are just stolen ideas from other games. Nothing wrong with making your game better, but Cati felt more like fine tunning then outright expansion.

    One of the biggest draws to return to the game is the expansions. New content. But I held off on Cati for a very long time. Only returning when my brother inlaw started playing wow for the first time. He plays, not as much as me, and I am bored already. I have my three 85s(maxed) and am curently grinding for gear looking to be geared enough to raid … and this where it hits me, today actualy. That same old sinking feeling…am I really having fun anymore?

    Not really. I mean yes, but … not really. You know? I am starting to crave playing other games. And eventualy I will log out one day soon and not log back in for awhile. Prolly a very long while. And so on goes WoW. it is a fun, adictive game. But it can feel old and stale pretty fast.

    It just needs more content. New races. New classes. New profesions. And some new ideas. A good 10-25 new levels. They need to bring back unlocking a new talent point each level. Rebalance things(stop playing the wow shell game of who is the hot class/nerfed class for this update). I doubt going forward, that any wow expansion will satisfy me and be everything I want it to be. Which is why I didn’t buy Cati for so long.

    Damn brother in law lol.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. TheWulf

    I just hope it’s dying off because people are slowly realising that Blizzard don’t have a single original idea of their own.

    In Mists of Pandaria we see many rip offs of other games. The Warriors have banners (Guild Wars 2), there are scripted story events (Guild Wars 2), there are monster battles (Pokemon), and so on. There’s nothing in there that’s really Blizzard.

    I mean, when I look at Guild Wars 2, there are some things that make me think ‘wow, I’ve never seen anything like that before!’ One of those things is the Charr. And I would quite merrily spend all day proving how entirely original they are. The only thing that comes close are the Kzinti, but even then not so much.

    The main problem that Project Titan is going to have is that much like WoW, and much like Diablo III, it’s going to be a Frankenstein’s monster of a game. It’s going to be parts of many other games stitched together. And I don’t think that’s very interesting, or cool.

    You see people working really hard to come up with original, clever ideas, and then you see Blizzard stealing them and incorporating them into their ever growing cancerous mess. And that’s a problem. Blizzard doesn’t care whether something fits their game – if it’s popular, they steal it and bolt it on anyway.

    One of the casualties of this is the lore. I have never seen a game with more consistently retconned lore than WoW. Either Metzen doesn’t care, or they’re just tossing so much random shit in there that they can’t even keep up with all the things they’ve stole and bolted on any more. There’s a long page on WoW Wiki dedicated to this.

    The only part of Blizzard that had any originality really was Blizzard North. And I still find it funny that the vast majority of Blizzard North went on to work at ArenaNet (Guild Wars 2) and Runic Games (Torchlight II). And in my opinion, if you’re not a crazed fanboy, then the Blizzard North influences at both of those development houses are pretty obvious.

    Another problem with Blizzard is that eventually all their games are going to melt down into this melange. I’ve spent some time with Diablo III and I came out of it wondering why it plays so much like a singleplayer WoW. Titan, I suspect, despite having a different setting is going to play a lot like WoW.

    At this point, I think it’s all they know how to do.

    Oh well, Guild Wars 2 is around the corner. And that’s a game that’s as different from WoW as chalk is from cheese.

    And all I can think right now is: charr engineer charr engineer charr engineer charr engineer charr engineer

    #9 3 years ago
  10. TheWulf

    “And many of the new Cati features are just stolen ideas from other games.”

    And other players are starting to see it, too.

    Guy, they’ve been doing it for a long time. Way longer than Cataclysm. It’s just that there used to be a time when WoW blocked out the sun for a lot of people, so they wouldn’t even be aware of what they were stealing from.

    And it made the enlightened fume, since there were always those that could see Blizzard thieving constantly from existing MMOs. Warcraft wasn’t a brilliant game, it was a circlejerk of theft from prior MMOs and clever marketing. It also proves that marketing is more important than having a good game, because by the gods do people ever listen to marketing.

    But yeah, there is nothing new about this. It didn’t start in Cataclysm. Cataclysm was just when people’s eyes started opening to it.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. DSB


    #11 3 years ago
  12. GwynbleiddiuM

    @OlderGmaer Cataclysm was boring and that is fact. I didn’t enjoy it all that much until 4.2 Firelands, it was awesome and Ragnaros encounter was epic. The coolness of the 4.2 kinda made up for short comings of Cataclysm for me. Although Blizzard worked hard on the world re-design and quests which was a good thing, yet I think that was no excuse for Cataclysm to be this boring.

    @TheWulf Naaaah, I can’t agree with anything you said there.

    @5 Though Worgens are totally cool :D, I have 3 of them, don’t like my druid worgen all that much but boy I love my DK worgen, he looks sexy with his Gurthalak, The Voice of the Deeps. Really hope to get a Heroic version before it stops being cool (come MoP).

    #12 3 years ago

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