Very few people in the world can claim to not love pandas, but folks evidently don't love them enough to stick with World of Warcraft. In the last three months, WoW subscribers have dropped by 1.3 million, putting a minor dent in the former 9.6 million.
Not that this heralds the end of Warcraft or anything. Despite that 13.5 percent decrease in its subscriber-base, WoW remains the #1 MMO in the world. Its latest expansion, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, was released in September 2012.
Activision Blizzard is also reporting an increase in GAAP net revenues this year, at $1.32 billion, which shows a year-on-year gain compared to $1.17 billion in 2012. Skylanders Giants came out on top as the #1 best-selling game (in dollars) during the first quarter of 2013. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 comes in second, while digital revenues for Call of Duty have shown an over 100% increase year over year.
Still, CEO Bobby Kotick isn't content with things as they are. He warns of the World of Warcraft decline, and notes the Wii U's "disappointing" launch as factors that raise business concerns. He says:
"While we have had a solid start to the year, we now believe that the risks and uncertainties in the back half of 2013 are more challenging than our earlier view, especially in the holiday quarter. The shift in release dates of competing products, the disappointing launch of the Wii U, uncertainties regarding next-generation hardware, and subscriber declines in our World of Warcraft business all raise concerns, as do continued challenges in the global economy. For these reasons, we remain cautious. However, our focused and disciplined approach to our business has served us well in the past, and through continued investment and careful management of our costs, we expect to continue delivering shareholder value over the long term as we have for the last 20 years."