If you thought World of Warcraft losing 14% of its users — over one million — during the first quarter of the year was bad, just wait; according to Activision-Blizzard, subscription numbers are expected to dip even further. Of course, even with the loss, WoW is still the most popular sub-based game in the world, but shares in the studio still dropped after the announcement was made to investors, down by nearly 5% on Wednesday .
The loss of players is coming primarily from the East, and Activision-Blizzard points to the rise of free-to-play games as the culprit. Chief Executive Bobby Kotick stated to investors, “It’s important to note that the nature of online games has changed, and with the environment becoming far more competitive.” So what’s to be done? “To address this,” he continued, “we’re working to release new content more frequently to keep our players engaged longer and make it easier for lapsed players to come back into the game.”
The first is the RL economy. Yes, it’s hard to pay out for a game repeatedly in this economy. I used to justify it by claiming that it was entertainment monies that I would have spend on movies or dining out… but the truth is now we don’t have the discretionary cash we used to go to a movie or dine out. Free to play games are not taking the place of Wow in many cases.. we don’t have the time to play them either..and if you are a serious player it will cost you more to play a “free to play” game then a subscription game.
Second, many of the things that long time players have enjoyed doing in the game have been removed, changed, or replaced with less attractive versions. Case in point, twinking is no longer the challenge it was before they co-opted it and it is not fun twinking when you have to wait for hours to get into a battleground because you’re now relegated to only twink BG’s .
Third, the massive changes to talents and skills that happens every time a new expansion comes out is tiresome for anyone whose been with the game and enjoyed it in the past. They have gutted what some of the long time player base who were attached to the game found they liked about the character classes. They’ve removed complexity in the name of drawing the less committed players… which in turned turned away long time players who enjoyed complex gaming… It plays so much like a different game after every expansion it’s hard to keep reforming that attachment… in some cases the spirit of a character class is so changed that characters you enjoyed are not as fun as they had been in previous expansions. I have to confess also that I get very tired of chasing a moving target over and over.. taking things away from me or my character so they can dole them back out to me in the next expansion is frustrating.More game content and third-party services click here WOW Gold.