Being King of the Hill is an amazing accomplishment, but staying on top for close to ten years is unheard of. The King of MMO’s, World of Warcraft, is without a doubt one of the greatest successes in video game history. However, in a recent interview with MCV, lead game designer, Tom Chilton, doesn’t sound convinced that WoW will be able to maintain its level of subscribers.
Since 2010, WoW has seen a steady decline in the number of paid subscribers for their service. If it was any other MMO in place of World of Warcraft, this would be understandable, but considering at one point the company boasted 12 million paying subscribers, this dwindle is far more noticeable. As of July, nearly half of the market base has left the game, leading to a far more modest 6.8 million subscribers.
During the interview, Chilton describes how, “we really don’t know if [World of Warcraft] will grow again… It is possible, but I wouldn’t say it’s something that we expect. Our goal is to make the most compelling content we can.” Although maintaining close to 7 million subscribers is nothing to scoff at, Blizzard can’t be thrilled that one of their biggest products is losing steam.
Blizzard is hoping that Warlords of Draenor, an upcoming expansion pack, will hopefully help right the ship and bring some costumers back on board. Chilton claims that, although they want to bring back returning customers, they are also trying to win new ones over by, “…including the level 90 character in this expansion, [giving] people the opportunity to jump right into the content.”
Whether WoW continues to see a perpetual decline or not is to be seen, but as of now World of Warcraft still has the highest amount of subscribers, including free-to-play MMORPG’s Star Wars: The Old Republic and Guild Wars 2. On the other hand, if WoW stops producing revenue for Blizzard (not going to happen anytime soon) maybe we will finally get a sequel to Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos.
In other news, pertinent to UK subscribers, Blizzard has announced that they will be increasing the price of World of Warcraft subscriptions by £1.