Prison Architect's alpha 23 update adds remote access systems and floods prisons with contraband

Michel Ancel opens up a new studio, but will stay at Ubisoft to work on Beyond Good & Evil sequel

Gotta have wraith: Shadow of Mordor's spectral powers

World of Warcraft

Don’t call it a decline: World of Warcraft subscriptions are back up a bit

Warlords of Draenor is scheduled for release before the end of the year.

MMO doomsayers like to characterise World of Warcraft’s twilight years the way Telltale describe The Walking Dead - like a man slipping inexorably down a hill, desperately grasping for things to hold onto.

In actuality, Blizzard are playing ongoing WoW development more like Tiny Wings - keeping their heads down to ensure the highest possible peak after each trough. Mists of Pandaria came out at the tail end of 2012, and first annual expansion Warlords of Draenor isn’t due till later this year - but the books have already turned up again.

The MMOiest of the MMOs currently hosts 7.8 million monthly subscribers, Blizzard told investors last night. That figure’s up 200,000 from November, when the developers last talked numbers.

WoW subscriptions peaked in late 2010 at a positively silly 12 million. They’ve declined steadily since - contributing to a 25% decline in Activision’s PC revenues, from $1.071 billion in 2012 to $805 million in 2013.

It’s still far and away the most successful subscription MMO in the business. And while Hearthstone will be funded through in-game pack purchases, Blizzard head Mike Morhaime dismissed the idea of a free-to-play option in WoW as recently as November.

“We've always taken the business model on a case by case basis,” said Morhaime at BlizzCon. “In the case of World of Warcraft, the first 20 levels are free. It wasn't designed as a free-to-play game. I don't see that type of transition happening in World of Warcraft, although we are always looking for new ways to make the game more accessible.”

Warlords of Draenor will catapult new players to level 90, allowing them immediate access to its great-looking RTS-ish garrison features. Will that make subscribers of any of you?

Login or Register
1
+1
-0
Shriven's picture
1169

I must admit, the changes and planned changes have me more than a little curious, so much so that if someone were to have a scroll of resurrection to send me, id use it.

2
+2
-0
Tim Edwards's picture
298

I'll send you one - what's your username/battletag?

Alienware - Game VictoriousNvidia Shield - Titanfall
Here are all the new cards coming to Hearthstone: Curse of Naxxramas thumbmail

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Here are all the new cards coming to Hearthstone: Curse of Naxxramas

Full steam ahead: World of Warcraft's Grimrail Depot dungeon is sure to become a favourite  thumnnail

Full steam ahead: World of Warcraft's Grimrail Depot dungeon is sure to become a favourite

A British MP asked for in-game theft to be treated like real-world theft thumnnail

A British MP asked for in-game theft to be treated like real-world theft

Elder Scrolls Online apparently has more than 750,000 subscribers thumnnail

Elder Scrolls Online apparently has more than 750,000 subscribers

World of Warcraft's art director unveils Draenei 2.0 thumnnail

World of Warcraft's art director unveils Draenei 2.0

Hearthstone's Curse of Naxxramas won't cost you your soul thumnnail

Hearthstone's Curse of Naxxramas won't cost you your soul

The best Hearthstone decks for beginners thumbmail

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

The best Hearthstone decks for beginners

Hearthstone's Curse of Naxxramas expansion will kick you out of the tavern and into a dungeon next month thumnnail

Hearthstone's Curse of Naxxramas expansion will kick you out of the tavern and into a dungeon next month

World of Warcraft's human male MKII thumnnail

World of Warcraft's human male MKII

Blizzard reveals your first steps into Draenor: Tanaan Jungle thumnnail

Blizzard reveals your first steps into Draenor: Tanaan Jungle

Ding: World of Warcraft player hits level 90 on his neutral Pandaren thumnnail

Ding: World of Warcraft player hits level 90 on his neutral Pandaren

Warlords of Draenor's patch notes will keep you reading until launch thumnnail

Warlords of Draenor's patch notes will keep you reading until launch

Why Heroes of the Storm is the MOBA Blizzard always wanted to play thumbmail

Heroes of the Storm

Why Heroes of the Storm is the MOBA Blizzard always wanted to play

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor alpha invites in the mail (for some) thumnnail

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor alpha invites in the mail (for some)

Ben Foster to play prophet Medivh in Warcraft movie thumnnail

Ben Foster to play prophet Medivh in Warcraft movie

Horde or Alliance: Azeroth Choppers wants you to choose your ride  thumnnail

Horde or Alliance: Azeroth Choppers wants you to choose your ride

Warcraft the movie has wrapped - but won't be out until 2016 thumnnail

Warcraft the movie has wrapped - but won't be out until 2016

Hearthstone World Championship prize pool will be enough to buy all the decks and then some thumnnail

Hearthstone World Championship prize pool will be enough to buy all the decks and then some

Hearthstone review thumbmail

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Hearthstone review

Level 90 crash course videos teach DPS specialisation basics for Warlords of Draenor thumnnail

Level 90 crash course videos teach DPS specialisation basics for Warlords of Draenor

Law and Order: Garrosh Hellscream faces trial in new World of Warcraft novel thumnnail

Law and Order: Garrosh Hellscream faces trial in new World of Warcraft novel

Don't cry for the old ways: Blizzard talk three tier system for Warlords of Draenor PvP gear thumnnail

Don't cry for the old ways: Blizzard talk three tier system for Warlords of Draenor PvP gear

Why Blizzard created Flexible Raiding mode in World of Warcraft thumnnail

Why Blizzard created Flexible Raiding mode in World of Warcraft

Let's investigate the first picture from the Warcraft movie thumnnail

Let's investigate the first picture from the Warcraft movie