Blizzard Hopes More and Quicker Released Content Will Keep Players in World of Warcraft; 1.3 Million Left In The Last 3 Months

By Luke Caulfield , Updated May 09, 2013 10:33 AM EDT
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1.3 million is a scary figure, particularly when you talk about losses. We learned last night that's the amount of players who've disappeared from World of Warcraft's realm of Azeroth in the last three months. Now, depending on what kind of plan players purchase, there go about $18 million roughly in subscription fees. So how does Activision Blizzard expect to recover that many Benjamins?

The 'ol carrot on a stick. During a recent conference call, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick revealed his plan to investors: "To address this, 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. We believe in the long-term value of this franchise and will continue to commit substantial resources to World of Warcraft."

So no more years of waiting for expansions like The Burning Crusade or Mists of Pandaria? That's the idea at least. "We're examining ways we can ease the transition back into the game for returning players," added Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime. "We've always seen players come and go from World of Warcraft. Smoothing out that transitional period is something we're studying, as we adjust our approach to player behavior and preferences."

The game currently has about 8 million subscribers, down from its high in October of last year at over 10 million. But as Kotick notes, it's still one of the most popular online games to date, despite competition from games like League of Legends"While we do believe further declines are likely and we expect to have fewer subscribers at year end than we do today, World of Warcraft remains one of the most successful franchises in the history of entertainment," he said.

Neither Kotick nor Morhaime revealed details about when or what sort of content they'll be introducing in the future, with Morhaime saying only, "There's still more in the pipeline with our teams continuing to work on Blizzard All-Stars and our unannounced MMO."

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