World of Warcraft bleeds another 1.5 million subscribers in Q2 of 2015.
The world’s biggest MMO, World of Warcraft, is hemorrhaging customers like a bloodlusted rogue blowing through Goldshire. Down from a recent subscriber base of 10 million since Nov 2014, Blizzard has lost nearly half of its users which currently remain at 5.6 million. As a seven year ex-wow veteran myself I look upon the game with fond memories, wanting it to do well, but too disenchanted with the direction or lack there of that game was steered.
Many companies have tried to steal away Blizzard’s lucrative customer base including some former Blizzard employees with Wildstar, but none have presented the experience as well as Blizzard did at it’s peak success. There was something for all kinds of gamers: a competitive pvp community, lore, exploration and community, challenging raid content, even down to pet and mount collecting.
With no real competitor Blizzard seems to have slowly beat itself by not releasing a new modern version of the game likely due to the fact they would be competing with themselves. They development team did dabble in the creation of a modern game codenamed project Titan, but ultimately was scrapped.
The current iteration of World of Warcraft is suffering from its aged engine. While the stylized graphics have given the MMO life a decade without looking too dated, modern engines offer more immersion when it comes to lighting and environments that could make a game like this pop. PVP seems to have taken a step back as well. In the Burning Crusade expansion Arenas were introduced allowing you to ladder with your friends against other teams to claim special gear and prestige on your particular server. But in further expansions nothing else was brought to table that promised the same level of intimate competitive pvp.
With the popularity of micro-transactions as a way to fund your game, Blizzard wasn’t going to remain shy of allowing their customers to give them extra money. Spending time creating content for subscription customers to purchase could rub people the wrong way.
But the worst offender might be the new garrison system released in the latest expansion, Warlords of Draenor. While offering a new experience, it is it a bit more reminiscent of a mobile game. Players are pulled out of the game world into their own instanced zone as their home where focus in a MMO should be social and congregative systems.
That said there is always a lull in subscribers as expansions near the end of its life span. Hopefully Blizzard can breathe some new life into the game with its next expansion soon to be revealed in a couple days at Gamescom streamed live on Thursday, Aug. 6 at 9am PDT.
The biggest problem with coming back to WoW is likely the people you used to play with have left it as well, and you will have to find a new guild to join up. A World of Warcraft sequel might remedy that by pulling a lot more people back in the WoW universe with a truely new experience, but that’s still surely a long way off.
What will WoW have to do to bring you back to its game?