Big News of the Week
World of Warcraft Subscriptions Dropping. “World of Warcraft’s subscriber base seems to be slowly dropping off, as revealed in today’s Activision Blizzard investor call. The number of current World of Warcraft subscribers as reported by Blizzard President Mike Morhaime stands at 11.4 million, notably less than the 12 million subscriber milestone achieved by the game last October.
Morehaime says that Blizzard Entertainment’s focus is on speeding up the development of new content for existing players, assumedly in an effort to retain them for longer. Blizzard has famously taken their time with development, often waiting until only a month or two before launch to announce a release date. “ Some good bits on this over at Curse. “During today’s Activision Blizzard earnings call, World of Warcraft and its expansion Cataclysm were two very hot topics. Listeners asked a number of questions related to the game, more than any other title or franchise in the publisher’s stable.
Of note, World of Warcraft’s subscriber base has reached pre-Cataclysm levels, according to Mike Morhaime, CEO of Blizzard Entertainment. He then later stated an actual number, with subscriptions at the end of March clocking in at right around 11.4 million.
That’s down by about 5% from the announced 12 million mark late last year. Interestingly enough, that was right before Cataclysm released. In fact, it’s actually lower than the milestone reached in 2008 with the release of Wrath of the Lich King.
But one important thing to point out, and Mr. Morhaime touched on this as well, is that World of Warcraft’s subscriber base does not change linearly. It fluctuates based on content consumption, which players seem to be doing a whole lot of — at a more rapid pace — with Cataclysm. “”Subscriber levels have decreased faster than previous expansions,”" he said.
Surprising? Not really. We have to remember that when these numbers were pulled, Cataclysm was in a bit of a lull. The expansion had been out for close to four months, and most of its content had been consumed by a large percentage of the player base — aside from heroic raids.”
Rumors & Scuttlebut
Black Temple Raid Instance Map. Diablo III beta coming soon, game possible for end of 2011
While not entirely wow related, this is good news for any long time Blizzard games fan. This 3rd installment of the Diablo series can’t get on my hard drive fast enough.
Drop of the Week
Are video games a form of art? “Whatever your views are, the Smithsonian American Art Museum has released a list of titles to be showcased in its exhibition “”The Art of Video Games”"–and the choices are bound to fuel debate.
The retrospective show is set to run from March 16 through September 30, 2012, and will feature blockbuster games such as Donkey Kong, Super Mario Brothers, SimCity, The Legend of Zelda, Metal Gear Solid 2, and Halo 2, as well as lesser-known titles.”