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Expansion packs aren’t enough to stop World of Warcraft from dying

World of Warcraft always gains subscribers when a new expansion comes out and then loses them again once people get bored, but the latest expansion has the MMO bleeding subscribers much faster and in higher numbers than before. It looks like even the highly-anticipated Warlords of Draenor expansion wasn’t enough to keep people hooked on the more than a decade old game, as Blizzard has reported a nearly three million drop in subscribers in Q1 2015. 

Blizzard held a financial earnings call yesterday and detailed its World of Warcraft subscriber numbers. It turns out quite a few people left the game in Q1 of 2015, as the overall number of subscribers dropped from 10 to 7.1 million. The following graph, courtesy of MMO-Champion, highlights the drop with an easy-to-understand visual. The graph clearly shows a significant drop in 2015. In fact, it appears to be the biggest drop of subscribers in World of Warcraft’s history. Eventually the subscriber numbers have to dwindle, as World of Warcraft is a 10+ year-old game at this point. But the steep decline comes just months after the release of the latest expansion, World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor. Perhaps subscribers decided to try out Warlords of Draenor, had their fun, and then unsubscribed. It seems like a plausible scenario considering the large drop-off months later. Nevertheless, World of Warcraft continues to be the most popular MMORPG on the market with its 7.1 million subscribers. Only time will tell how long its popularity lasts.

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