World of Warcraft subscriber base drops further

World of Warcraft‘s player base continues to dwindle – with publisher Blizzard confirming that the MMO has “just” 8.3 million subscribers these days, compared to 9.6 million in February, itself down from the “ten million plus” cited at the launch of Mists of Pandaria.

[img_big]center,8587,2011-10-31/wowx4-screenshot-01-full.jpg,Mists of Pandaria[/img_big]

Reasons for the drop are varied, with Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick explaining:

Though the majority of our subscriber decline occurred mainly in the East, where we have more subscribers and lower revenue per subscriber, we saw declines in the West as well.

Down from more than 12 million just two years ago, the numbers are disappointing but not surprising.

One major theory behind this latest drop is, coincidentally, Blizzard itself. Roughly a year ago, the company launched its 1 year Annual Pass project – which was bundled up with a free copy of Diablo III. Plenty of Diablo fans signed up for the MMO before May 2012, and now – 12 months later – those subscriptions are lapsing and simply not being renewed.

Kotick continues:

World of Warcraft remains one of the most successful franchises in the history of entertainment. We believe in the long-term value of this franchise and will continue to commit substantial resources to World of Warcraft.

Those substantial resources include dedicating a solid weekend to BlizzCon 2013, which – hopefully – will include a new World of Warcraft reveal, something to revitalise the nearly 10-year old title.

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