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 World of Warcraft  gains 1M subs following  Pandaria  release
World of Warcraft gains 1M subs following Pandaria release
October 4, 2012 | By Mike Rose

October 4, 2012 | By Mike Rose
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    11 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



Newsbrief: The latest expansion pack for behemoth MMO World of Warcraft has provided the Blizzard title with a notable boost in subscribers, as the title has once again passed 10 million total subs.

The game has been gradually losing subscribers over the last year -- at last count, it was down to 9.1 million users and had lost 1 million in the space of three months.

However, the launch of Mists of Pandaria has seen the subs total swing back and top 10 million subscribers again, with the expansion having sold a total of 2.7 million units in its first week.


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Comments


Alex Boccia
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I'm happy to see the improvement.

Simon Ludgate
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I think the more interesting fact from that data is that 7.3 million people are actively subscribing to WoW without the latest expansion. I'd love to see Gamasutra put together a report on the actual active versioning of WoW: how many of those 7.3 million are on Cataclysm? WoLK? BC? Vanilla?

Steven Yu
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Some markets, like China for example, are about an expansion or so behind.

Kellam Templeton-Smith
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As Steven suggests, it's not going to be as enlightening as you think. Also, given that the basic version now includes TBC and Wrath, it's mainly down to "How many active subscribers don't own Cataclysm or Pandaria yet?". By the time the next expansion comes out, Cata will be included for free as well.

Besides, you can turn off experience in game-if you really want to have a lvl 70 pvp twink, or be in a Vanilla raiding guild, you can do that and still have access to all the rest of the content.

Anders Karlsson
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I would be interested to know how many unique subscribers there are, bet most hardcore have two accounts.

Ron Dippold
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That's down from 4.7M in the first week for Cataclysm.

So a nice little boost against the downwards trend, but in a month or so those people (like me) will have eaten the content and start dropping again - there's nothing here to keep you if Cata didn't.

9M people still doing monthly subs even before the expansion hit is nothing to sneer at, but it's been a long, long run and the game is seriously creaky. Of course they know that too - that's what Titan's for.

Kellam Templeton-Smith
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I disagree-I thought Cata was easily the worst of the three expansions, and I'm blown away by how much Pandaria has improved. If the new challenge modes, LFR from the get go (if you're not a progression raider), pet battles, farming and a host of other stuff doesn't appeal to you, chances are you're just burned out on WoW in its entirety.

If you want more WoW in your life, this will satisfy that urge and then some. If you're bored of WoW (or MMO's), this isn't some panacea.

Ron Dippold
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@Kellam: It is indeed quite likely that I'm just burned out entirely by WoW's mid-school mechanics now and nothing would rescue it. It's just so incredibly creaky after Age of Conan, Vindictus, TERA, and Guild Wars 2.

Now, that said, I can see what you mean about it being more appealing than Cataclysm. I loved how it made the initial areas better, but it had other serious issues. It's quite possible that Cata just burned people out so much they're not even trying Pandaria.

But then on the other other hand, I'm also sure that I'll stop playing this pretty soon and that this won't stop the hemorrhaging. :)

Kellam Templeton-Smith
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Keep in mind though that sub numbers remained stable for most of Cata-they lost 1 million initially, but the next report (I believe they're quarterly) said none had been lost. Just like in Wrath (which saw subs plummet after ICC was old news, and before RS), people left when they were bored of killing Deathwing-which for a lot of players, I bet LFR just hastened.

Still, I say this as someone who leaves at the drop of a hat. I love the game, but I've never let it get in the way of anything else. I've unsubbed a bunch of times when I grow bored of it, but I'm probably at least interested in one more expansion after this.

Joshua Yu
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@Kellam: I'm like you, I dropped the game many times, yet every expansion I'm back again. I believe the numbers reaching 10 mil again are the people like us who just come back every expansion, burn through the content, then leave again.

WoW is still the powerhouse MMO. I would think only Guild Wars 2 has the slightest power to put a dent into it, but the numbers aren't really reflecting that.

Vindictus is free, TERA sorta flopped, and Age of Conan did well enough I suppose.

Maria Jayne
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What I see is that about a million people canceled their subscription while they waited for new content.

I know people that actually subscribe to WoW but haven't played it for a while, they just haven't bothered to cancel yet, that has gone on for months and it boggles my mind that people have that much money to burn they don't even care they're paying for something they're not using.

I'm curious of what percentage of the remaining subscribers actually log in once a week. I have no doubt it's the majority but I do wonder just how many pay and don't play.


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