World of Warcraft down to 7.7 million subscribers
Activision Blizzard has announced that subscriptions for its long-standing MMORPG World of Warcraft have dropped to 7.7 million, down from the 8.3 million last quarter. That's a 600,000 subscriber drop in just three months.
The new total represents the lowest amount of subscribers since before the launch of the first expansion, The Burning Crusade, in 2007. It seems the excitement of the game's latest expansion Mists of Pandaria, which pushed subscriptions back over the 10 million mark, has worn off.
World of Warcraft remains the world's number one subscription-based MMORPG, but it's clear that it will no longer be the beast it was in 2010 when it had more than 12 million subscribers at its peak. While it's unlikely that Blizzard will ever see numbers like that again for this game, the company is taking steps to mitigate the loss in earnings caused by canceled subscriptions; earlier this month, Blizzard confirmed an in-game store is coming to World of Warcraft, offering Eastern regions additional items like experience boosts.
With each passing quarter it seems that World of Warcraft is one step closer to the free-to-play ledge.