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Blizzard Admits Mass Exodus from Azeroth to Sanctuary

Posted on August 9, 2012 AT 11:27pm

Last week, Activision Blizzard’s earning announcement pointed out an interesting little bit of data: Active subscriptions to World of Warcraft have dropped by over one million users in the past three months. The big boss at Blizzard, Mike Morhaime, isn’t worried, though.

During the investor’s call, he stated that it’s common for there to be a subscription dropoff between expansions packs, but he readily admitted that many of those who have gone away from WoW have been playing Diablo III:

“”Historically we have seen usage decline towards the end of an expansion cycle. We saw a similar drop in subscribers in the months before Cataclysm, followed by a substantial return of players around the Cataclysm launch. We’re also seeing that a number of players took a break from WoW to play Diablo III,” he said.

They expect the numbers to rise once again after the release of Mists of Pandaria, which is due for release on September 25th. If they hadn’t gotten all the kinks out as quickly as they did, I think they might’ve been singing a totally different tune.

“While Diablo III was our 14th #1 seller, we did experience some challenges. Due to the unprecedented influx of players a number of service issues arose that we needed to work around the clock to address. The vast majority of these issues were ironed out within a couple weeks of launch. As I mentioned in a letter to players recently, we’re not satisfied with just breaking launch records. We want people to play and enjoy Diablo III for a long time.”

Though there are still a few issues nagging at players, such as the always online requirement, people are obviously enjoying it enough to stop their WoW subscriptions, even if temporarily. We’ll watch the numbers and see what happens once the mists clear.

Bryan Todd [aka DieselBT] -- This is where I'm supposed to say something clever about myself. Let's pretend I did, and it conveniently mentions all of my top interests, such as anime, video games, crazy gadgets, electronic music, voice acting, sound editing, and countless other ridiculously fascinating topics. I also like to write stuff about things, which is why I'm here.

...That, and I like your shirt.

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