Earnings Report: Hell on the Rise, Azeroth in Decline

Earnings Report: Hell on the Rise, Azeroth in Decline

"Only" bringing in a billion dollars is a good problem to have.

Activision Blizzard has published its Q2 2012 earnings report, and the numbers aren't half bad. The company earned $1.08 billion in revenue: more than the $950 million prediction made in May, but not quite on par with last year's Q2 earnings of $1.15 billion. That's a lot of money by anyone's standards, and Activision knows exactly where it's coming from.

"Our performance was driven by strong audience demand for our great games," stated Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick. "For the first six months, we had the top three best-selling games in North America and Europe with Activision Publishing's Skylanders Spyro's Adventures and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, and Blizzard Entertainment's record setting Diablo III."

Blizzard doesn't have quite as many horses in the race as Activision Publishing does, but it's certainly not falling behind in revenue. World of Warcraft subscriptions, alongside Call of Duty DLC, were responsible for $343 million this quarter, making up nearly a third of Activision Blizzard's total earnings. Blizzard was particularly proud of Diablo III's success, reporting that as of July, "more than 10 million players have entered the world of Sanctuary." About 1.2 million of those players grabbed their copy of the game for free via the WoW Annual Pass, which included a copy of Diablo III when players subscribed for 12 months of World of Warcraft playing time.

The biggest slip-up in the company's finances comes from a notable decline in World of Warcraft subscribers. After being dethroned by League of Legends last year, the MMO currently has only 9.1 million subscribing players - down from 10.2 million at Blizzard's last count (which itself was a 1.8 million decrease from last year). This marks the first time since 2008 that the game has had less than 10 million active players. The report still names it "the #1 subscription-based MMORPG," but with most of its competitors switching to free-to-play models, Blizzard may need to start considering other options.

Overall, the company seems to have high hopes for the rest of 2012. Blizzard plans to release its fourth World of Warcraft expansion Mists of Pandaria on September 25, which may bring a resurgence of WoW subscriptions. Meanwhile, Activision is making an effort to bring the Call of Duty franchise to Chinese markets with an upcoming free-to-play title. As for how successful these plans will be, only time will tell.

Source: Activision

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This gives me a chance to use my joke now, Someone made a better game then WOW? LOL!

Evil Smurf:
This gives me a chance to use my joke now, Someone made a better game then WOW? LOL!

It's a cheap comparison, LoL is a free to play game, which means it already has a HUGE lead over WoW in term of accounts and activity simply because you don't have to pony up any actual money to play it.

But nobody seems to admit that part, cus it's just not cool to stand up for big bad WoW and all of its success.

Hisshiss:
It's a cheap comparison, LoL is a free to play game, which means it already has a HUGE lead over WoW in term of accounts and activity simply because you don't have to pony up any actual money to play it.

But nobody seems to admit that part, cus it's just not cool to stand up for big bad WoW and all of its success.

If you want to bring in technicalities then you should state that WoW is also free for the first 20 levels. So it's not quite so cut and dry.

In some fairness, WoW hasn't been updated with content in the last 9 months. The same thing happen before Cataclysm, it lost a lot of subs because it wasn't updated, then regained them back afterwards(then lost them again). I expect the same with Mists. Though I say people will be pleasantly surprised how good Mists is compared to the disaster that was Cata.(I'm in Beta and I like it so much better than live)

I'm so bored of WOW it's not even funny it's not a bad game just Christ I was playing the damn thing for years. I've had enough lol.

Allow me to speculate about what will happen:

For the next 2 months, the number of subscribers for WoW will continue to fall due to the typical pre-expansion mindset of "Anything I do now will be invalidated by the new gear and/or profession-levels, so I might as well do nothing".
Then, starting at 2 days before the release of Mists, it'll climb back up, quite probably going back over the 10 million mark , to stabilize about 2-3 weeks after teh release, and over a few months after the first big content patch, we'll be back at the familiar whining on the forums that:
- WoW is obviously dying
- The expansion before the current one was obviously better and Blizzard are idiots for changing things
- [Class A] is overpowered/underpowered/screwed over by the expansion, so [Class B] must be nerfed/buffed/removed from the game altogether/used to nail Ghostwalker to a wall.

Then in 2 years we'll be back at a slowly dropping sub number, a new expansion, and more whining that Blizzard is obviously trying to cater to some peripheral demographic for some arcane reason.

Me, I'll just do the same as what I've always done (3 1/2 years and counting): Happily pay the monthly fee to play a well designed (Your mileage may vary), decently balanced (YMMV) and most importantly, fun (if it weren't, you weren't playing it, now would you?) game, while being cautiously optimistic about the upcoming expansion pack.

As much as it pains me to say this, WOW needs to die, just so the MMO marketplace can get really competitive again, because no one with any sense wants to go toe to toe with WOW.

and the gaming industry crash of 2012 continues to escalate.

Im sorry, but really WoW is not even a competitor any more. They are on the decline and basically everyone who might have had interest in playing WoW has already tried it. While there will be no giant killer, the kill shot has been lobbed and it was Blizzard that lobbed it with the aptly name Cataclysm. Im sorry, but Wow will only continue to dwindle from here on out. Friendship and nostalgia can only hold people so long before they get tired of the same antiquated game mechanics and graphics. As "friends" leave, so too will more people leave because their friends left. The giant is dead... all we see now is the death throws and reflex reaction.

CoD is much in the same boat for different reasons. CoD is that they have reached the peak of their innovation as well as the peak of their saturation. From here its just a matter of dwindling to a more moderate fanbase in favor of other gametypes.

Diablo 3 defies all logic on so many different levels. No one in their right mind should have bought this game. Those who did were treated to exactly what they were warned of. Only problem is that by the time they realized it, the damage had already been done and they made entirely more money than a game built around making a profit for having its players play it should have never been rewarded.

So... Two wounded franchises, and an abomination. But hey.... they did pretty good things with Spyro, right?

Cognimancer:
The biggest slip-up in the company's finances comes from a notable decline in World of Warcraft subscribers. After being dethroned by League of Legends last year, the MMO currently has only 9.1 million subscribing players - down from 10.2 million at Blizzard's last count (which itself was a 1.8 million decrease from last year).

Why does the Escapist's writing staff keep pretending that League of Legends has "dethroned" WoW when League of Legends isn't an MMO? This is just dishonest.

WoW is a subscription-based MMO (with a subgenre of MMORPG), whereas League of Legends is a free-to-play MOBA. One is an RPG, one is an offshoot of the RTS genre. One has subscriptions, the other does not. The only real similarities are that they both feature a typical per-industrial + magic fantasy setting. WoW doesn't consider League of Legends its direct competitor, nor should it. Its direct competitors are other subscription-based MMOs like Aion or TERA or Rift....and it's soundly beating the shit out of all of its direct competitors.

While this chart is decently out of date, it does drive home this fact quite well.
image

I don't understand why this site is so obsessed with seeing WoW fall that it's willing to spin its own fabricated stories about how WoW is no longer the top MMO....when in fact it most definitely still is. >_>

Nice chart. I was wondering what the number 2 MMO was. Looks like it's Aion, and SWTOR just announced that they dropped below 1 mil subs

Rainboq:
As much as it pains me to say this, WOW needs to die, just so the MMO marketplace can get really competitive again, because no one with any sense wants to go toe to toe with WOW.

Hey, I agree. The sooner it dies, the better it will be for the rest of the industry.

Yeah, not buying that chart. Sorry. We know Blizzard has always fudged their sub numbers. However there is no way that the ratio of east vs west on WoW is anywhere near as small as 1 million. Only way that is plausible is if the true figure of Blizzards sub numbers is closer to 5 million, which actually is pretty likely.

Also I have a lot of trouble thinking AION has or ever had anywhere near 4 million subs.

Now as for League of Legends. You can make the case that it dethroned WoW as highest subbed MMO. Remember, MMO stands for Massively Multiplayer Online. So by that definition you also have to include every Massively multiplayer online game regardless of genre. That includes MOBAs, RPGs, FPS, RTS, literally everything.

WoWs time has come and gone. Thats why people keep talking about it. From here in it is only going to be a downward spiral. Granted with as large as the 5 or so million subs WoW actually has, it might take upwards of a decade or more before its figures whittle down to the level of other competitors today topping 1-3 million, but the end has begun.

viranimus:
and the gaming industry crash of 2012 continues to escalate.

Im sorry, but really WoW is not even a competitor any more. They are on the decline and basically everyone who might have had interest in playing WoW has already tried it. While there will be no giant killer, the kill shot has been lobbed and it was Blizzard that lobbed it with the aptly name Cataclysm. Im sorry, but Wow will only continue to dwindle from here on out. Friendship and nostalgia can only hold people so long before they get tired of the same antiquated game mechanics and graphics. As "friends" leave, so too will more people leave because their friends left. The giant is dead... all we see now is the death throws and reflex reaction.

viranimus:
Yeah, not buying that chart. Sorry. We know Blizzard has always fudged their sub numbers. However there is no way that the ratio of east vs west on WoW is anywhere near as small as 1 million. Only way that is plausible is if the true figure of Blizzards sub numbers is closer to 5 million, which actually is pretty likely.

It's alright, you're forgiven. There's no need to keep apologizing.

SonicKoala:

viranimus:
and the gaming industry crash of 2012 continues to escalate.

Im sorry, but really WoW is not even a competitor any more. They are on the decline and basically everyone who might have had interest in playing WoW has already tried it. While there will be no giant killer, the kill shot has been lobbed and it was Blizzard that lobbed it with the aptly name Cataclysm. Im sorry, but Wow will only continue to dwindle from here on out. Friendship and nostalgia can only hold people so long before they get tired of the same antiquated game mechanics and graphics. As "friends" leave, so too will more people leave because their friends left. The giant is dead... all we see now is the death throws and reflex reaction.

viranimus:
Yeah, not buying that chart. Sorry. We know Blizzard has always fudged their sub numbers. However there is no way that the ratio of east vs west on WoW is anywhere near as small as 1 million. Only way that is plausible is if the true figure of Blizzards sub numbers is closer to 5 million, which actually is pretty likely.

It's alright, you're forgiven. There's no need to keep apologizing.

NOOOO !!! Im not apologizing. Im calling myself miserable and pathetic!

viranimus:

SonicKoala:

viranimus:
and the gaming industry crash of 2012 continues to escalate.

Im sorry, but really WoW is not even a competitor any more. They are on the decline and basically everyone who might have had interest in playing WoW has already tried it. While there will be no giant killer, the kill shot has been lobbed and it was Blizzard that lobbed it with the aptly name Cataclysm. Im sorry, but Wow will only continue to dwindle from here on out. Friendship and nostalgia can only hold people so long before they get tired of the same antiquated game mechanics and graphics. As "friends" leave, so too will more people leave because their friends left. The giant is dead... all we see now is the death throws and reflex reaction.

viranimus:
Yeah, not buying that chart. Sorry. We know Blizzard has always fudged their sub numbers. However there is no way that the ratio of east vs west on WoW is anywhere near as small as 1 million. Only way that is plausible is if the true figure of Blizzards sub numbers is closer to 5 million, which actually is pretty likely.

It's alright, you're forgiven. There's no need to keep apologizing.

NOOOO !!! Im not apologizing. Im calling myself miserable and pathetic!

Now that's just too harsh. You gotta stop being so hard on yourself, man - it's not warranted. Here you are making all these great points, totally contributing to the discussion and what not - nothing miserable or pathetic about that. Just straight up gentlemanly discussion. Kudos.

WOW lost 1.1 million subscribers in 3 months, ouch!

Yet Activision is still by miles the largest publisher even as it seems to publish the least amount of games.

WoW is dated.
It is so old it's not even funny anymore. They keep trying to spin it like it's a whole new game, but it's still the same old game. I'm actually very ready for them to move on. I think a War craft 4 to set up a World of Warcraft 2 would be a good direction to move in, rather than keeping the hulking beast that is WoW alive as it right now. Sadly that's not how these things work. As long as there is still money to squeeze out of WoW they will keep it going as long as they are able. I grow fearful that WoW is going to out live me.

Kay, so Blizzard/Activation is doing fine, though there profits are going down slightly and WoW's user base is doing its standard tango of burnout cycles. Congrats to them, I suppose. Then again, if they did poorly then it would mean a hundred other companies went under at the same time.

with 10mn units sold diablo 3 is the best selling game of the year so far. When was the last time a PC game got that distinction

WoWs subs took quite a beating this quarter. In addition Diablo 3 may have sold well, but a VERY high percentage have stopped playing the game already (I'd say way over 80% - check xfire stats for july for example).

Blizzard lost quite a bite of good reputation with Cataclysm and Diablo 3 and I highly doubt that the WoW subs will go back up to it's original numbrs with MoP. Maybe they'll go back to 10m for a short while, but they'll go down even further afterwards. Trust me, WoW is finally slowly dieing.

Blizzard destroyed its own Community in WoW with all that casual crap they pulled out of their a****.

This stuff started at the end of Burning Crusade with the LFG tool and went on with dumbing down the game mechanics, providing more and more content for solo players and finally basically sealing WoWs fate with the LFR tool.

Today it's not even necessary anymore to communicate with anyone in WoW. You can do anything "solo" (pvp, instance, raids, questing). Other players are only seen as opponents that could roll on "your" gear. WoW has become a game for "loners" and selfcentered a-holes.

The veteran players have mostly left the game and for the most part they wont return. It's mostly casual players that are still playing WoW (or real die hard WoW fanboys/-girls) and if they're bored with the game they'll leave quickly.

In the past the players that left the game were quickly replaced by new ones. This time is over. WoW has reached it's peak long ago and the numbers of leaving players is far higher than the number of returning or newly beginning players.

...And in 2 months or sooner watch the number shoot back up (not to 12million, the days of that are over) when mists comes out, all the people who are bored of D3 come back for new content after being stuck with one 8 boss raid for 7 months. WoW is still amazingly, not dead, the phase "only 9 million people" is so bad it honestly confuses me, ONLY 9 million people pay 9 a month? Wow, poor Blizzard, Name one other MMO that would not cut off its own foot for that kind of money incoming, not counting the 10million copies of another game you sell, or all of the 15 race/sex/Faction changes you sell a month, or the pets/Mounts that sell in the millions when you can be arsed to code one.

WoW is still fine, is this the decline? yes, it will never get to 12 million again, and will probably go down hill slowly for the next few years, Is it the Death? No, Don't be stupid. All even at its lowest in some years, its still well above everyone else in its Field and worst comes to worst, It goes fremium and wins all over again, or Titan.

*Edited for anger, The MMO champ which i was reading for...some reason forums make me hate humanity

Now, after a deep breath. As someone who is part of that 1.1Million who quit, i get annoyed when its considered its dead over one report. My guild is currently down from 140 Active member's too 40, yet a recent poll on the forums found that all par 5 are coming back, some as soon as the 5.0 Prelauch patch. Its impossible to judge WoW this late in the expansion as for the first time in a long time, Nothing has been added to keep people from the last Major raid too the next expansion happy or content. No quests, events, raids nothing. 4.3 came out. Nothing else. Then Diablo came out, its a not a problem or a sign of death when you're biggest rival is a game you yourself made.

Some time after MoP launches WoW will go f2p. Blizz wants to release a new mmo anyway.

viranimus:

Diablo 3 defies all logic on so many different levels. No one in their right mind should have bought this game. Those who did were treated to exactly what they were warned of. Only problem is that by the time they realized it, the damage had already been done and they made entirely more money than a game built around making a profit for having its players play it should have never been rewarded.

I've heard stuff like this a lot. What am I supposed to be pissed off about in Diablo 3? It's a dungeon crawler, it's quite a lot more challenging than I was expecting (in fact the farthest I got was the start of act 2, just killed the boss in act 1 then promptly died to 2 uniques that spawned a bit too close to one another. Was only my second character though), it looks pretty, new auction house and shared stash means I'm not starting over completely when a character dies which is nice.

Psst, not to let facts get in the way of a story but lets do some math here. If WoW had 9.1 million subscribers minimum during the last quarter at $15.00 each, the quarterly revenue for that period would be $409.5M alone. If you use $14.00 as the base subscription price to account for currency values and longer term subscription discounts it comes out to $382.2M the only question left to ask is did CoD3 DLC lose them $66M or $39M in revenue? If you assume CoD3 DLC brought in $100M, and assume a $14.00 price as the average monthly fee, that gives you just shy of 6M subscribers. Still an impressive number mind you, but that means the publicly released numbers are being inflated by over a third and nobody is calling them on it.

"Subscribers" in this context are accounts that incur a monthly, quarterly or yearly fee, stop counting accounts that don't fall into that definition, such as China's customers who don't use a "subscription model" to play WoW.

Want this stuff to be considered "news"? Start using real numbers and not the BS numbers they feed the idiots to dumb to do 10 minutes of research.

Morganan:
Psst, not to let facts get in the way of a story but lets do some math here. If WoW had 9.1 million subscribers minimum during the last quarter at $15.00 each, the quarterly revenue for that period would be $409.5M alone. If you use $14.00 as the base subscription price to account for currency values and longer term subscription discounts it comes out to $382.2M the only question left to ask is did CoD3 DLC lose them $66M or $39M in revenue? If you assume CoD3 DLC brought in $100M, and assume a $14.00 price as the average monthly fee, that gives you just shy of 6M subscribers. Still an impressive number mind you, but that means the publicly released numbers are being inflated by over a third and nobody is calling them on it.

"Subscribers" in this context are accounts that incur a monthly, quarterly or yearly fee, stop counting accounts that don't fall into that definition, such as China's customers who don't use a "subscription model" to play WoW.

Want this stuff to be considered "news"? Start using real numbers and not the BS numbers they feed the idiots to dumb to do 10 minutes of research.

Shut down...?

viranimus:
Yeah, not buying that chart. Sorry. We know Blizzard has always fudged their sub numbers.

And your evidence is....where?

If you have evidence to prove your claim, then fair enough, please present it. Otherwise, I'd point out that the chart is based on reports from the companies themselves, and that would make it somewhat more reliable than your unfounded assertions.

However there is no way that the ratio of east vs west on WoW is anywhere near as small as 1 million. Only way that is plausible is if the true figure of Blizzards sub numbers is closer to 5 million, which actually is pretty likely.

Also I have a lot of trouble thinking AION has or ever had anywhere near 4 million subs.

Why is that? You've made a lot of accusations here to claim that the chart is wrong, but you haven't actually got any evidence to back these accusations. You're basically just saying "obviously this chart is a lie because I don't believe it". That's nice. It doesn't make it wrong until you can prove it's wrong. :P

Again, this chart is based on the company reports. I'm inclined to believe the company reports seeing as how most of these companies can't actually afford to lie about their numbers (at least not without risking the wrath of their shareholders).

Now as for League of Legends. You can make the case that it dethroned WoW as highest subbed MMO. Remember, MMO stands for Massively Multiplayer Online. So by that definition you also have to include every Massively multiplayer online game regardless of genre. That includes MOBAs, RPGs, FPS, RTS, literally everything.

Okay, I'll play along and we'll say that LoL is technically an MMO (even though it doesn't fit the literal definition of an MMO due to its heavy use of instanced combat and separate maps....it's roughly as much of an MMO as GW1 or Diablo 2). There's still one big problem.

League of Legends doesn't have subscriptions. It's a F2P game.

So it's impossible for it to have more "subscriptions" than WoW, and therefore it hasn't "dethroned" WoW. WoW would still be the top subscription MMO, making the story as reported by the Escapist STILL inaccurate. >_>

If instead the claim is that LoL has "dethroned" WoW as the most played game, then that might be accurate (it's not what the Escapist staff keeps saying, though)....problem there is that in that case I'd point out that you'd be forced to count things like Farmville, so it's roughly meaningless. :P

WoWs time has come and gone. Thats why people keep talking about it. From here in it is only going to be a downward spiral. Granted with as large as the 5 or so million subs WoW actually has, it might take upwards of a decade or more before its figures whittle down to the level of other competitors today topping 1-3 million, but the end has begun.

This has been claimed no less than a half dozen times in the past. Its best days are probably behind it, certainly. But it's not dying nor dead until it's down to numbers closer to its competitors. As it stands, not a one of its competitors is close yet. They may want to start worrying since the numbers are definitely down, certainly, but they're still in a very dominant position over the market.

CriticKitten:
Snip for space

Hell just look at the impossibility of server populations vs server numbers. The numbers are made out of air and defy any sort of logic or reason. Heres an example At its height of supposed 12 million subs, how many servers were there? 500? Every estimate I have seen suggests closer to 250, but we will go ahead and assume 500 for the sake of this example. So that comes to what? An average of twenty four thousand concurrent active subscribers per server. Eve Online puts one active server for roughly 50k... and thats pretty much raw text. Now imagine doing that on a server that must also house an infinitely deeper package of assets. No other MMO has even remotely tried to claim anything near that figure, with the average MMO even back in the days of EQ coming in at around 5000 per server. Even with modern Architecture some have claimed to have pushed upwards of 7000, but 24000 is absolutely absurd. Looking at populations all you have to do is comparative exploration. Look at the number of people you see running around at any given time in densely populated areas such as Hubs. Averages still come in at 200-400 people, If wow actually had anywhere near the figure it claims, the hubs would be packed with closer to 2-4K people you would not be able to step 4 feet without tripping over someone else, Lag would be unbearable and render the game completely unplayable. and that is still with comparing to other highly instanced games.

Simple logic and deductive reasoning.

You suggest Blizzard cant afford to lie? Im pretty sure when your raking in billions per quarter you can pretty much afford to do whatever you damned well please. Actually that is illustrated by the existence of diablo 3.

As for your argument on LOL.. I wouldnt care if your right. Not really interested in what is actually popular. However by the definitions of your reasoning, your argument is flawed. LOL has subscribers. Every individual user is a subscriber entered into a license agreement. http://na.leagueoflegends.com/legal/termsofuse

Just because its free doesnt mean it isnt a subscription. You can subscribe to all sorts of free things such as newsletters. In the case of LOL you subscribe to a free, Limited use license. So im afraid this falls flat.

Others may have said it before, but it does not make it less true. The end of Wow has begun. Blizzard will not be able to reach some new untapped market that they have yet to failed to exploit. They will not resurrect their subscription losses. From here on in it will be a slow downward spiral of subscriptions. There is no viable way to fully revitalize the game. It falls prey to the same problem EVERY old MMO has fallen to. Its anchored to a fixed point in time. The base code was written, and it has been repeatedly modified to accommodate new changes. However that base code dictates what changes can be made. Thats why you have only seen modest graphical improvements over the years in WOW. To keep the game fully vibrant and relevant it would require constant complete overhaul, and if a company is going to do that (which Blizzard attempted and failed pretty miserably, at least from a sales/sub standpoint. Code its fairly solid.) they are just as likely to start over from scratch with a fresh code base that bypasses the need for half assed work arounds. Thats why EQ2, Lineage 2, FFXIV, Champions Online (thought not exactly a sequel) and really even PROJECT TITAN exist.

The game will never be any "better" than it has already been. All that is left now is for the vultures that are up and coming MMOs to pick Wows carcass clean, Including PROJECT TITAN.

So sorry.. you can claim tin foil hat, or specious reasoning, but really do you have any actual substantiation to support this chart other than "Blizzard said so"? Given they still to this day dont release server numbers, does that not at least cast the shadow of doubt?

nodlimax:

Blizzard destroyed its own Community in WoW with all that casual crap they pulled out of their a****.

This stuff started at the end of Burning Crusade with theLFG tool and went on with dumbing down the game mechanics, providing more and more content for solo players and finally basically sealing WoWs fate with the LFR tool.

Today it's not even necessary anymore to communicate with anyone in WoW. You can do anything "solo" (pvp, instance, raids, questing). Other players are only seen as opponents that could roll on "your" gear. WoW has become a game for "loners" and selfcentered a-holes.

The veteran players have mostly left the game and for the most part they wont return.

As a WoW veteran of 5 1/2 years (stopped playing seriously about 2 years ago, officially stopped altogether a year ago), this pretty much sums up my entire problem with the game.

viranimus:
Hell just look at the impossibility of server populations vs server numbers. The numbers are made out of air and defy any sort of logic or reason. Heres an example At its height of supposed 12 million subs, how many servers were there? 500? Every estimate I have seen suggests closer to 250, but we will go ahead and assume 500 for the sake of this example. So that comes to what? An average of twenty four thousand concurrent active subscribers per server. Eve Online puts one active server for roughly 50k... and thats pretty much raw text. Now imagine doing that on a server that must also house an infinitely deeper package of assets. No other MMO has even remotely tried to claim anything near that figure, with the average MMO even back in the days of EQ coming in at around 5000 per server. Even with modern Architecture some have claimed to have pushed upwards of 7000, but 24000 is absolutely absurd. Looking at populations all you have to do is comparative exploration. Look at the number of people you see running around at any given time in densely populated areas such as Hubs. Averages still come in at 200-400 people, If wow actually had anywhere near the figure it claims, the hubs would be packed with closer to 2-4K people you would not be able to step 4 feet without tripping over someone else, Lag would be unbearable and render the game completely unplayable. and that is still with comparing to other highly instanced games.

Simple logic and deductive reasoning.

No, simple logic and deductive reasoning should have indicated to you that obviously not every single player with a subscription to WoW is on the game at the same time. I'm truly baffled at this post because you apparently seem to think that the number of total subscribers is representative of their peak server load at any given time. Anyone who has played an MMO could tell you otherwise.

You're talking about two completely different figures: the number of subscriptions to a game are always MUCH larger than the number of players during peak times, because not every single subscriber is on the game 24 hours a day.

Here's a chart from the same site that provides data about concurrent users on the game at a given time:
image

As you can clearly see, the data is nowhere near identical. And that is to be expected, since it wouldn't make any sense for every single subscriber to WoW to be online at the same time. It appears their norm is closer to around 1 million users on their western servers and about a million on the eastern servers as well. Assuming they ran approximately 20k people per server (a more generous spread than you assumed), that's only 50 servers, which I'd say is most certainly more than Blizzard has available to them since they run several of their games through their Battle.Net servers 24 hours a day.

Also, please keep in mind that this chart represents peak server loads (NOT the average), as in the absolute most people they had playing the game at that given point in time. So for example, if they had a weird spike of activity and had 2 million people on at the same time at one point during the given period, that would be the data point that shows up on this chart.

You suggest Blizzard cant afford to lie? Im pretty sure when your raking in billions per quarter you can pretty much afford to do whatever you damned well please. Actually that is illustrated by the existence of diablo 3.

The success of Diablo 3 is rather irrelevant to the notion that Blizzard is intentionally lying to its shareholders about their subscriber count. If they were caught doing such a thing, they risk criminal and civil charges, and could reasonably be sued out of billions of dollars (depending on the losses sustained by the shareholders). Why would they risk their entire company and their hundreds of employees by falsifying earnings reports and subscriber counts?

Also you're clearly out of your breadth of knowledge. Blizzard is not quite "raking in billions". A report straight from NASDAQ denotes that the company's revenue in Q2 is actually down by 45%, with their earnings somewhere around $185 million for the quarter. That's a pretty massive drop, and nowhere near the "billions" you're claiming they are pulling in. Unless you meant they are making billions in revenue, but I would hope you are wise enough to understand that revenue and net income are two different things.

As for your argument on LOL.. I wouldnt care if your right. Not really interested in what is actually popular. However by the definitions of your reasoning, your argument is flawed. LOL has subscribers. Every individual user is a subscriber entered into a license agreement. http://na.leagueoflegends.com/legal/termsofuse

Just because its free doesnt mean it isnt a subscription. You can subscribe to all sorts of free things such as newsletters. In the case of LOL you subscribe to a free, Limited use license. So im afraid this falls flat.

No, LoL does not have subscribers, any moreso than any other F2P game. The definition of "subscriber" in the context of an MMO is any customer who is engaged in a long-term payment plan in exchange for continued access to the game. The term "subscription" itself refers either to lump sum payments or to periodic payments made in exchange for services. For example, a magazine subscription obligates you to pay some sum of money periodically in exchange for continued delivery of their magazines. In all cases, the transfer of money in exchange for services is a core part of the term.

League of Legends does not have such a system by either definition, and thereby has no "subscribers" in that sense. The number of people who play it might be higher than WoW, but that does not mean its subscriber count is higher than WoW. LoL has a subscriber count of zero. So no, it does not "fall flat", because that is the proper definition and use of the term. >_>

Others may have said it before, but it does not make it less true. The end of Wow has begun. Blizzard will not be able to reach some new untapped market that they have yet to failed to exploit. They will not resurrect their subscription losses. From here on in it will be a slow downward spiral of subscriptions. There is no viable way to fully revitalize the game. It falls prey to the same problem EVERY old MMO has fallen to. Its anchored to a fixed point in time. The base code was written, and it has been repeatedly modified to accommodate new changes. However that base code dictates what changes can be made. Thats why you have only seen modest graphical improvements over the years in WOW. To keep the game fully vibrant and relevant it would require constant complete overhaul, and if a company is going to do that (which Blizzard attempted and failed pretty miserably, at least from a sales/sub standpoint. Code its fairly solid.) they are just as likely to start over from scratch with a fresh code base that bypasses the need for half assed work arounds. Thats why EQ2, Lineage 2, FFXIV, Champions Online (thought not exactly a sequel) and really even PROJECT TITAN exist.

The game will never be any "better" than it has already been. All that is left now is for the vultures that are up and coming MMOs to pick Wows carcass clean, Including PROJECT TITAN.

I believe I stated previously that I do believe WoW is in decline, but Blizzard is hardly in a position where they need to go into panic mode. Their lowest subscriber count on their current gen MMO is roughly twice that of its top competitor. They're still bringing in money from Diablo 3. They're hard at work on another (likely full-priced) addition to Starcraft 2. And Titan will probably be released well before WoW "dies", so they're already prepared for that future. Blizzard is not going to die, even if WoW by some miracle just keeled over and died one day. They have no reason to be all that concerned, they could afford to shed half their current subscriber count still and they'd still be beating their competition.

It's inevitable that the game will die, but folks like yourself are all too quick to declare the game's death when it is nowhere near such a fate yet. The birds aren't circling yet, and the fat lady isn't even on the stage. Chill your jets with all of this "WoW is dead" talk. If WoW is dead because they're down to "only" 8 million subscribers, I guess every other MMO on the planet has been a rotting corpse since birth. >_>

So sorry.. you can claim tin foil hat, or specious reasoning, but really do you have any actual substantiation to support this chart other than "Blizzard said so"? Given they still to this day dont release server numbers, does that not at least cast the shadow of doubt?

You're attempting to dismiss factual numbers with your own assertions that Blizzard is staking their entire company's net worth on false earnings reports, dear sir. So yes, I would be inclined to either ask you for evidence or ask you to kindly remove your tin foil hat.

The burden of proof is on YOU to back your claims. I've already provided evidence for mine, and you haven't linked anything to make me or anyone else believe that the data is wrong. In a proper debate, this is the part where you either provide valid evidence to the contrary, or admit that you're wrong. I wish you the best of luck in finding your evidence, otherwise it's safe to say that this discussion is over.

viranimus:

SonicKoala:

viranimus:
and the gaming industry crash of 2012 continues to escalate.

Im sorry, but really WoW is not even a competitor any more. They are on the decline and basically everyone who might have had interest in playing WoW has already tried it. While there will be no giant killer, the kill shot has been lobbed and it was Blizzard that lobbed it with the aptly name Cataclysm. Im sorry, but Wow will only continue to dwindle from here on out. Friendship and nostalgia can only hold people so long before they get tired of the same antiquated game mechanics and graphics. As "friends" leave, so too will more people leave because their friends left. The giant is dead... all we see now is the death throws and reflex reaction.

viranimus:
Yeah, not buying that chart. Sorry. We know Blizzard has always fudged their sub numbers. However there is no way that the ratio of east vs west on WoW is anywhere near as small as 1 million. Only way that is plausible is if the true figure of Blizzards sub numbers is closer to 5 million, which actually is pretty likely.

It's alright, you're forgiven. There's no need to keep apologizing.

NOOOO !!! Im not apologizing. Im calling myself miserable and pathetic!

I wanted to tell you how wrong you are and how strongly I disagree but now I would just feel bad. :(

Yes, youve clearly established you must have "facts" provided to you... does not matter what those "facts" state, or the fact that Blizzard has always been evasive regarding server numbers Specifically for the hype generation effect that helped propel them to the top.

Many years ago learned people all agreed the earth was the center of the universe and had their own evidence to support those claims.

Youve got to look with your own eyes and utilize critical thinking. Believe none of what your told and only half of what you see.

So, dont believe me. Im telling you not to. Because I am dealing with reasoned information here. Your dealing with information that you have simply accepted as the truth with no evidence to back it up either, other than "we say so" which the company had clear vested interest in making the game look more popular than it was. In doing so they generated self fulfilling prophecy.

I never suggested 24000 was concurrent users. But you do fully realize server structures and data on a server is still data on a server regardless of if it is active or not right? Yes... non logged in accounts can generate lag too because it is a larger pool of caramel for the data to work its way through to get from point A to point B.

The burden of proof is for you to find out for yourself. You provided no more evidence or less specious reasoning than I. So go find the answers to those questions yourself.

So go ahead, find the answers to those questions on your own. Figure out why the largest Non WoW MMOs also support 200-400 players in hub zones just like WoW. Figure out why with roughly equal size worlds you dont see any more players at any locale in WoW than any other comparatively large MMO. Figure out why most MMOs have Server databases from 5-8k yet wows individual server databases would be roughly 5 times larger than that without any sort of technological advancement to explain the disparity. If there is a rational explaination for it, all the better, youve proven me wrong. However Blizzard purposely hides that info and your not going to obtain that answer through direct means.

You have been told an answer, and you just accept that answer as fact. Thats why there still seems to be a struggle with the whole LOL thing.

Ill make that clearer.

Subscription:Noun; assent, agreement, or approval expressed verbally or by signing one's name. Money nor mode of subscription are relevant but it is an access license subscription. It is an agreed upon arrangements of terms and conditions to create the account that grants the access. Its a free subscription (though there are 3rd party paid subscription elements in the terms and conditions of the subscription) but a subscription none the less. A free magazine subscription is still a magazine subscription. So too is an account created for the purpose of accessing a licensed subscription still a subscription.

But you know, Im really wasting my breath here. Ive said what I intended. Youve clearly indicated your not going to sway from the viewpoint you have regardless of what information is presented, so at this point the only thing we can do is agree to disagree and respect each others opinion on the matter because thats all they are.

Edit: One caveat. I never said Blizzard was going to die. I said WoW WILL die. Most of your other conditions around that statement were accurate enough to simply accept. However that was a pretty glaring one that needed to be touched on.

Edit: Sorry.. Butchered this post with edits. Its getting late, im calling it a night. Maybe ill get up and realize that I was an amazing nozzle talking out his ass. However given this is a long standing argument I think its more of being in a fatigued state and lacking the skill or elloquence to properly convey what I am trying to get across. Either or, .

viranimus:
-snip-

You seem to be under a mistaken impression. Allow me to simplify this:

I have provided evidence for my claims. You can choose not to accept that data as real (as you have), and that's perfectly fine. I have no interest in trying to convince you. But if you intend to convince anyone of your point of view then you need to provide data of your own that proves me wrong. And you have patently refused to do so, all while making even more radical claims. Ergo, why should we take your claims as anything but tinfoil hat conspiracy theories?

Seriously. You are attempting to imply that Blizzard is falsifying data that it gives to the shareholders for the sole purpose of being able to say that they're the #1 subscription MMO. It's a title with no prize, so why the hell would they risk everything for it? If they were caught falsely boosting their subscription numbers on their records, their leadership would be fired and their company would fold under multiple criminal and civil charges. It's actually illegal for them to lie about such a thing, since subscriber data feeds directly into their revenue figures and is part of how the shareholders render their decisions. So please, explain why they would risk the entire company on a lie they clearly don't need to make?

The charts I've provided are an aggregate collection of data points taken directly from the reports that these various MMO companies post to their shareholders. Your only counterargument to this is "Blizzard is obviously lying", but you haven't proven it, you haven't TRIED to prove it, and clearly don't intend to try to prove it. So naturally, I'm not going to believe you. And I don't consider that a mistake on my part, since only my point of view has evidence backing it up and yours does not.

Keep on talking about how I'm "choosing to believe what I'm told" and not "critically thinking" about the situation. You might as well have gone the full distance and accused me of being a "sheep", for all the benefit it would do your argument right now. :P

Slycne:

Hisshiss:
It's a cheap comparison, LoL is a free to play game, which means it already has a HUGE lead over WoW in term of accounts and activity simply because you don't have to pony up any actual money to play it.

But nobody seems to admit that part, cus it's just not cool to stand up for big bad WoW and all of its success.

If you want to bring in technicalities then you should state that WoW is also free for the first 20 levels. So it's not quite so cut and dry.

The first 20 levels of wow isn't a freemium experience though, that's really just a demo. And more importantly nobody keeps track of how many people are playing WoW's free trial, just the subscriptions, and thats the number that LoL beat. It would only be a fair fight if they did count all those accounts.

But just like LoL, that would be stupid, cus people who never put in any money aren't really proper measurements of a products success, you don't have to sell free.

Now if they came up with a list of people who have active LoL accounts and have actually spent some money on stuff in game, well that's a much more honest number, but I bet you it wouldn't be quite high enough for them to brag about.

Edit: In the spirit of taking a shot at another bit of news people on this site love to throw around like its true, WoW never went FTP. that 1 to 20 is a demo, by that reasoning any game ever that released a demo would be considered FTP, since it gives you a tiny piece for free then wants you to pay for the rest. saying its the same thing as the game itself being FTP just suggests a person doesn't really understand what a FTP MMO is.

 

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