World of Warcraft subscriber numbers drop again

Subscribers are leaving World of Warcraft in droves. While Blizzard‘s MMO enjoyed a steep spike in fans following the release of last year’s Mists of Pandaria expansion, nearly all of the new-found residents have again packed their bags and left Azeroth.

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

The news was revealed during today’s Activision Blizzard earnings call, which looked at the quarter ending December 31, 2012.

According to documents, World of Warcraft currently has 9.6 million subscribers – nothing to scoff at, but a noticeable drop from the “10 million plus” reported at Pandaria‘s launch.

In comparison, prior to Pandaria, as previous expansion pack Cataclysm trailed off, World of Warcraft had 9.1m subscribers, its lowest point in recent years.

The numbers still leave World of Warcraft as the largest subscription-based MMO on the market (by a long way), and Blizzard is still enjoying remarkable successes with other projects. Diablo III was the best-selling PC game at retail last year, with Mists of Pandaria coming in third. That said, it’s an undeniable trend – could the king of modern MMOs be reaching the end of its reign?

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