World of Warcraft
developer Blizzard has admitted that the behemoth MMO's recent drop in monthly player subscriptions is, in part, down to the launch of rival MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic
late last year.
Electronic Arts launched The Old Republic
in December last year, and the game quickly brought in 1 million players within three days
. EA said last month that the game now has over 1.7 million subscribers
, and has sold more than 2 million units worldwide.
Meanwhile, Blizzard's World of Warcraft
has been losing subscribers steadily -- at last count in November, the game had 10.3 million players
, down from 11.1 million just three months prior to that.
In an interview with Eurogamer, senior World of Warcraft
producer John Lagrave said
that the game's recent drop in subscriber numbers "has to at least be attributable" to the release of The Old Republic
, although he did not divulge updated subscriber numbers.
"We certainly do look at [where WoW
players go], and we have a very smart bunch of guys who do our analytics for us," he explained.
"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."
He continued, "It certainly has to at least be attributable to The Old Republic
," but added that "it's also attributable to people who want to wait and get Mists of Pandaria
expansion pack due for release later this year], so it's not surprising."
Gamasutra has contacted Blizzard to clarify whether World of Warcraft
subscription numbers have dropped since the release of Star Wars: The Old Republic