World of Warcraft population drops by 1 million+

While the gaming public is obviously still crazy about MMOs, it looks like their tastes are changing. Activision Blizzard has just announced the latest player numbers for World of Warcraft, and more than one million gamers have left Azeroth in just the past few months.

According to the stats, there are still 9.1 million current, active subscribers playing World of Warcraft, a drop of 1.1 million since the last report, back in May.

[img_big]center,8587,2012-03-20/Smoky_Porcupine_in_Jade_Forest.jpg,World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria[/img_big]

The gamers deserting the game are primarily from Eastern regions (rather than the U.S., Europe or Australia).

Of course, this information comes just before the eagerly-anticipated launch of fourth expansion set Mists of Pandaria, meaning that some gamers are expected to have let their subscriptions lapse before picking the game up again after the update.

Another contributing factor: Blizzard itself, which has announced that the recent release of Diablo III has effectively cannibalised the WoW playerbase.

It is the first time in several years that we’ve seen World of Warcraft languishing below the 10 million subscriber mark – back in October 2010, the game was riding high with more than 12 million active players. Since then, efforts to reinvigorate the franchise have had some success, but this was all-but negated by other games targeting the same audience. With Mists of Pandaria due September 25th, all eyes are on Blizzard to see if it’s enough to stop the decline.

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