World of Warcraft subscribers are currently at their lowest in years, following a focus switch from Western players to China, where they enjoy a modified business model of microtransactions. In the West, however, consumers currently enjoy both a premium subscription, and a micro-transaction store – a further implementation to casualise and make the game more accessible.
In March, Blizzard pointed the subscription number at 8.3 million, meaning a huge loss in only three months.
It’s possible the Warcraft film could boost numbers temporarily, but World of Warcraft looks to be steadily on the downfall, allowing a possible replacement MMO to take its place. However, most efforts have proved fruitless in ‘replacing’ the MMO giant, with gamers used to the more casual WoW dynamic, unable to shift the majority back towards a more hardcore, ‘vanilla’ experience. It’s a damn shame.
It’s unlikely World of Warcraft will ever see the 2010 peak of 12 million subscribers again.