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Reader Comments (73)

Posted: Oct 7th 2010 3:08PM Pingles said

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12 million times $13 a month = $156,000,000 a month.

Blizzard, you win.

Posted: Oct 7th 2010 3:16PM Verus said

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Only in NA and EU do we pay that. The 6-7 million players from asia do not pay a monthly fee. They don´t need to buy the boxed game either. They pay usually pay for a prepaid game time card that can hold say 50-60 hours or so and the cost of that is a tiny fraction of what is paid in the west.

For instance there are chinese mmo with more than 15 million accounts but they don´t pay 15 dollars per month ;)
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Posted: Oct 7th 2010 4:40PM Malagarr said

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And then there's the question of how many of those are actually paying subscriptions?

Case in point, my wife's account is active and she is in the Cat beta. But her account was cancelled almost 10 months ago. She has beta access without being a paid subscriber.

No doubt, WoW is still king of the hill when it comes to the MMO genre. But I doubt the number of actual, paid subscription accounts has really gone up.
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Posted: Oct 7th 2010 6:30PM sandwiches said

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Malagarr,
If you had read the press release, you would've noticed that those are ALL paying or active subscribers. From the press release:
"World of Warcraft subscribers include individuals who have paid a subscription fee or have an active prepaid card to play World of Warcraft, as well as those who have purchased the game and are within their free month of access. Internet Game Room players who have accessed the game over the last thirty days are also counted as subscribers. The above definition excludes all players under free promotional subscriptions, expired or cancelled subscriptions, and expired prepaid cards."
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Posted: Oct 8th 2010 10:29AM Malagarr said

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That doesn't say all of the accounts are "both paid and active", it says it includes all "paid and active accounts". Big difference. My wife's account is listed as Active on her Blizzard account page. Not promotional. Active. This despite the fact that it is not paid. And that's the thing with statistics, as we all know. You can make numbers say whatever you want.

I'm not playing WoW at the moment. I'm waiting for Cat to release to go back. But if you're playing, answer me this: do the servers really feel more crowded now then they did a year ago?

Again, I'm not saying WoW is going to be replaced as the King of the Hill anytime soon. I'm just not willing to take these numbers at face value. Too often we get caught up in the debate of "hey, this game is doing great because it has X million active accounts". I'd rather hear "hey, this game is doing great because it made X amount of money this year!".

Just my two copper...
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Posted: Oct 8th 2010 3:38PM Brendan Drain said

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I'd say the majority of those 12 million players are covered under the following clause:
"Internet Game Room players who have accessed the game over the last thirty days are also counted as subscribers."

The Internet Game Room thing is an alternative payment scheme used in the east, wherein a gaming centre will pay for a WoW license that lets people play there for free. Those players do not pay a subscription fee. The number of players who logged into WoW for free in a gaming centre over the past month is not compatible with the number of players who paid a recurring subscription fee for the month. To reach a very big number and obscure the number of actual subscribers (and thus obscure the amount of money being made from subscriptions), they have added the two numbers and will never release them separately.
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Posted: Oct 8th 2010 4:00PM Brendan Drain said

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Actually, I apologise, I can't come up with a source for how the Internet Game Room thing works. I could swear I've read that's how it works, but it may be that they have to use pre-paid game time in gaming centres rather than it being free. Either way, the two subscription models are incompatible and the numbers should not be added.
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Posted: Oct 7th 2010 3:08PM AlluvianEstEndrati said

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Suddenly Monty Python comes to mind.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sor9GzivGbk

Posted: Oct 7th 2010 3:10PM Kalec said

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Wasn't it like 2 years or so ago when they were:

Day X: O_O we reached 7 mil subs today :D
Day X+2: we are now at 8 mil subs
Day X+10: 10.5 Mil subs just now ^_^
Day X+14: 11.7 Mil subs, we are the best, we rule, oh yeah, WoW ftw.

and now 2 years later 12 Mil subs, who's your daddy ?

Am I the only one who is noticing that something is wrong here ?
Is it possible that the decline will start soon, will we be rid of WoW once and for ever ? I hope so!

Posted: Oct 7th 2010 3:14PM Solp said

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I think you're mistaking "decline" for "slow incline". They're getting more subs = more money.

Course it's slowed down over the years; 6 if I remember rightly and they're still getting more subs?

Agreed with first poster. You win Blizz.
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Posted: Oct 7th 2010 3:15PM (Unverified) said

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wanting to get rid of a computer game you propably don't play is weird in so many ways, i won't even start telling ...
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Posted: Oct 7th 2010 3:24PM GryphonStalker said

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Actually it was their set back in getting their Wrath of Lich King expansion published in China. Which took a little over a year from it's NA retail launch (only launching there a month or two ago) due to in-fighting between two Chinese regulatory bodies.

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Posted: Oct 7th 2010 3:31PM Not THAT Matt said

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@ Arthy0

Hoping for a popular and well-loved game's demise? Reaching a bit much, are you?
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Posted: Oct 7th 2010 3:31PM Eamil said

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Your timeline's a touch exaggerated. It was well after TBC when they hit the 10 million mark, and just after Wrath came out when they hit 11.5 million. Most of the "x million" subscriber milestones were spread out over vanilla WoW's time.

Other than that, I'll just agree with Hammer and sunny.
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Posted: Oct 8th 2010 3:32AM anduz said

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It's a 6 year old product and the fact that it's still increasing it's subscriber base is pretty damn impressive. The only other "pay per month" MMO that does that is eve-online, all the rest of them are struggling to lose their subscribers as slow as possible. :p

It basically means they're still able to draw in new customers all the time, because 6 years is a long ass time. Not only will people eventually get tired of eating the same type of candy all the time, they also do crazy things like grow up, get married and have babies etc. ;)

Honestly though, I wouldn't be surprised if they hit 15 million with their NEW MOON expansion.
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Posted: Oct 7th 2010 3:19PM mttgamer said

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I just wanted to post some numbers and see what people think:

October 7th, 2010: WoW reaches 12 million subscribers
October 8th, 2008: WoW reaches 11 million subscribers
January 22nd, 2008: WoW reaches 10 million subscribers

Do you see a wierd trend here or is it just me? I know there can be a bunch of reasons for the 2 year to gain a mil vs 9 months to get a mil.

What do you think? Is it the economy? or is WoW starting to slow down in popularity?

Posted: Oct 7th 2010 3:35PM (Unverified) said

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I would think mmos to survive bad economy better than most forms of entertainment being as cheap as they are. The most likely conclusion is that WoW is indeed starting to reach its plateau and will after that begin a steady decline. It will certainly be almost impossible to accurately predict when it happens. The release of cata will have some effect but for how long is hard to say.

And what is most important is that Blizzard is unlikely to do a press release for having lost a million. So even if the decline begins today it will take years before we can be sure that it has happened.
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Posted: Oct 7th 2010 3:47PM Voltron said

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Most likely the issues they had with China to blame they only just recently got going again there
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Posted: Oct 7th 2010 5:45PM Unverfied B said

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1) Market saturation
2) World economic crisis (know many business that actually showed growth over the last 2 years?)
3) China government being asses
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Posted: Oct 7th 2010 3:14PM Darkmoone said

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I think we're at the peak of WoW's subscribers. Star Wars:TOR, Guild Wars 2, and Rift will start to chip away at those numbers.

SW especially will command about 2 million Subs.

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