World of Warcraft revenue drops 54% in seven month stretch – report

Thursday, 12 September 2013 11:15 GMT By Dave Cook

World of Warcraft’s revenue dropped 54% over a seven month period ended April 2013, according to an analyst group. The report suggests that Blizzard needs to now consider new micro-payment strategies.

In a report by Super Data Research entitled, “World of Warcraft is thinking of microtransactions, and that’s a good thing”, the firm stated that the MMO’s revenue was $93 million in April, a decrease from the $204 million figure recorded seventh months earlier.

The report muses the possibility of WoW going fully free-to-play and introducing microtransactions beyond pets, cosmetic items and other content. It explains, “What we generally see after a switch to free-to-play is an influx of new players and a spike in revenues, which, if the cards are played right, can be sustained. But to switch entirely to F2P is currently too much of a jolt for WoW, and doesn’t make sense with the current metrics.

“For example, in order to have sustained the US revenues the game saw in 2011, it would have had to convert 53% of the total free-to-play audience in the US at the time. However, there are now more F2P gamers in the country—and worldwide—so it’s becoming easier to capture this audience. But there’s also more competition.”

The firm has checked the numbers, and apparently the game’s store data shows that active players are willing to shell out on microtransactions, but to reel back core elements and retro-fit them into a micro-payment model, Blizzard would need to converge several mechanics and ideals into a new format. It could prove both disruptive and may serve to alienate the fan base.

What do you think needs to be done for WoW to sustain? Let us know below.

Via MCV.