If you thought World of Warcraft
losing 14% of its users -- over one million
-- during the first quarter of the year was bad, just wait; according to Activision-Blizzard
, subscription numbers are expected to dip even further. Of course, even with the loss, WoW
is still the most popular sub-based game in the world, but shares in the studio still dropped after the announcement was made to investors, down by nearly 5% on Wednesday .
The loss of players is coming primarily from the East, and Activision-Blizzard points to the rise of free-to-play games as the culprit. Chief Executive Bobby Kotick
stated to investors, "It's important to note that the nature of online games has changed, and with the environment becoming far more competitive." So what's to be done? "To address this," he continued, "we're working to release new content more frequently to keep our players engaged longer and make it easier for lapsed players to come back into the game."