Update October 5, 2016: Whoops. Blizzard have clarified to multiple outlets that Tom Chilton's statement to Polish magazine PIXEL about WoW subscriber counts was a misquote or mistranslation.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, after saying they would not be giving out subscriber numbers again in a conference call in 2015, Blizzard have denied that Lead Game Designer Tom Chilton revealed exactly that in an interview. They describe it as either a "misquote" or "misunderstanding on the part of the journalist."
I wonder how the rest of our list of the best MMORPGs stack up.
In a statement to GamesBeat, a company spokesperson said "After speaking with Tom on this end, we can confirm that this was a misquote or some kind of misunderstanding on the part of the journalist. Our policy for almost a year now is that we do not talk about subscriber numbers and Tom did not do that with this publication."
So, where did it come from? We've contacted PIXEL in the hope they can shed more light on the situation. Anything can happen when there are language barriers to cross. It's possible Chilton said Legion was doing better than Draenor (which had 10 million subs) or that he mentioned a number of active accounts, or sales figures.
Were Blizzard to reverse their decision on announcing subscriber numbers, we'd be most likely to hear about it at the next quarterly conference call for the Activision Blizzard mega-corp. This is expected to happen at the end of this month or the very start of November, slightly before BlizzCon.
Original story October 4, 2016: Wow. It looks like World of Warcraft's Legion expansion and the release of the movie have really helped boost subscriber numbers. A Polish magazine claims to have spoken to Blizzard, with the company revealing that there are now 10.1 million subs.
The last time Blizzard reported on subscriber numbers was in 2015, when they were sitting at 5.5 million, so it's a significant boost, if true.
Polish magazine Pixel ran an interview with Blizzard lead game designer Tom Chilton, where they asked for up-to-date numbers.
"As we speak, there is around 10.1 million," Chilton reportedly said, as translated by Reddit. "You know, it's hard to tell what the future is going to bring. We have our inner rivalry with Overwatch, but it's still possible that we'll jump over 12 million again."
Chilton then goes on to say that there are over 100 million WoW accounts.
Revealing numbers so candidly feels very out of character for Blizzard, but we've reached out for confirmation. We'll update when we hear back.