Yesterday Activision Blizzard bought its independence from majority stock holder Vivendi in a multi-billion dollar deal. As a part of that announcement, Activision Blizzard revealed the current number of subscribers for World of Warcraft. It should come as no surprise that subscription rates continue to drop, down 600,000 in only three months. Total subscribers now rests at 7.7 million worldwide, the lowest base the game's had since pre-Burning Crusade in 2006.
While World of Warcraft has always been the behemoth, record breaking MMO that it still is since its launch, it's funny to think that it took almost five years for it to reach its peak. A year after launch World of Warcraft had a mere five million subscribers. Two years put it around eight million. Here we are in 2013 revisiting those subscriber numbers from 2006. It's impossible not to be impressed with World of Warcraft's reign -- a reign that will continue for the foreseeable future.
Odds are World of Warcraft's subscriber base will continue to fall at least for another 6-12 months. "Mists of Pandaria," the MMO's latest expansion, was released in late 2012 and considering the two year release schedule for expansions we've got another year before another could be released. By then, hopefully Blizzard will have found a new way to retain subscribers. Otherwise, well, maybe the idea of a WoW-killer isn't so farfetched anymore.