World of Warcraft a Winner in China, Loser in America
Just a week ago it seems Activision was blaming a drop in World of Warcraft subscribers as the reason for their stock's recent dip in price. It seems that American gamers are now being spoiled by the free-to-play games out there, with over 1.1 million subscribers ditching the MMO juggernaut in favor of cheaper pastures. Yet WoW's Chinese distributor NetEase isn't having the same problem, their stock actually up 33%, with subscriber counts on the rise.
NetEase, who licenses WoW from Activision Blizzard, is now valued at $279.3 million, as compared to $209.3 million as of last year. This makes NetEase a major player in the Chinese gaming market, and given their relationship with Activision, they could find themselves as the exclusive Chinese publisher of recent hit Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.
So what's the deal. Are American gamers just tired of WoW, or are Chinese gamers just overly excited for the asian-themed Mists of Pandaria expansion?