Blizzard see “positive signs” that they can “win back” subscribers with Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor

Shareholders, bless them, can be a panicky bunch. They see the graceful decline on World of Warcraft’s graphs and – forgetting that it remains the biggest subscription MMO in the world – ask Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime if there’s any chance of a free-to-play reprieve.

“I don’t foresee any dramatic changes to our business model,” Morhaime told investors last night – and added that Blizzard are confident in the steps they’ve taken to ensure players want to “stick around” after Warlords of Draenor.

“We don’t provide specific numbers or forecasts, as you know,” disclaimed Morhaime. “But what I can tell you is that typically we do get a boost in players and engagement when we launch a new expansion.

“This time around, we have taken steps to make it easier for players to return to the game and quickly get up to speed with changes that we’ve made since they may have left.”

Morhaime cited the new WoW player models that have “really freshened the game’s look and feel”, and the Garrisons in Warlords of Draenor that’ll allow players to create a permanent home in-game.

“I think that will help us with win backs,” he said. “We’re already seeing positive signs that it’s working. And we’re hoping that these improvements will help players feel more ownership and attachment to the game and will make it more fun for them to stick around following the expansion.”

As it stands, the first 20 levels of World of Warcraft are available as a free trial – and subsequent levels will set you back $15 a month in the West. Will you let Warlords of Draenor win you back when it launches next Thursday?