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World of Warcraft Loses Nearly 3 Million Subscribers in Three Months

But World of Warcraft remains the top subscription-based MMO in the business.


Blizzard Entertainment's PC MMO World of Warcraft lost nearly three million subscribers in three months, publisher Activision Blizzard announced on Wednesday as part of its latest earnings report.

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For the quarter ended March 31, World of Warcraft had 7.1 million subscribers, down 2.9 million from the 10 million subscribers it had at the end of 2014.

Although subscriber numbers are falling, Activision Blizzard notes that World of Warcraft remains the top subscription-based MMO in the world.

What's more, the publisher explained that things like price increases in select regions and "strong uptake of value added service" partially offset subscriber declines in terms of total revenue derived from the game.

Activision Blizzard is currently holding an earnings call to discuss its earnings and answer analyst questions. If the company provides more insight into World of Warcraft's subscriber downturn, we'll add that information here.

Some other highlights from Activision Blizzard's earnings report today:

  • Destiny and Hearthstone have combined for 50 million registered players. We already knew Hearthstone had 30 million players, leaving 20 million for Destiny. The publisher also says the games have together driven nearly $1 billion in revenue to date.
  • Call of Duty franchise sales rose by a double-digit percentage due to strong sales of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (a unit sales number was not announced) along with "growing online revenues per user across the franchise."
  • Call of Duty microtransactions were a bright spot, helping "drive increased engagement and monetization," Activision said.
  • Heroes of the Storm has now reached 11 million beta sign-ups.
  • Destiny active players are spending about three hours in the game every day.

Financial highlights for the quarter ended March 31:

  • Net revenue: $703 million, down from $772 million this quarter last year.
  • Net income: $116 million, down from $141 million during the same quarter last year.
  • Net revenue from digital channels: $538 million (a record), making up 76 percent (another record) of total Activision Blizzard revenue.

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