World of Warcraft subscriptions on the rise, ended 2013 at 7.8 million

Blizzard's MMO adds 200,000 subscribers in three months to end 2013 with 7.8 million members.

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Blizzard Entertainment's MMORPG World of Warcraft ended 2013 with 7.8 million paying members, which is up from the 7.6 million figure announced in November. That's right, more than 9 years after release, the game is actually continuing to grow.

Of course, 7.8 million is down from a milestone of more than 12 million subscribers achieved in 2010 following the release of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. All the same, it's impressive that the game has been able to not only stem subscriber attrition, but actually grow this late in a product lifecycle.

World of Warcraft's fifth expansion, Warlords of Draenor, was announced during BlizzCon in November and is expected to launch later this year. The subscriber numbers were announced as part of Activision Blizzard's latest earnings report today detailing fourth-quarter and full-year sales.

Other highlights from the earnings announcement today included Activision Blizzard revealing that Call of Duty: Ghosts was the best-selling title in terms of units and dollars during the quarter ended December 31. It was also the best-selling game on both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in terms of units and dollars, Activision Blizzard said.

As of December 31, the Skylanders franchise has generated more than $2 billion in worldwide sales, Activision Blizzard said. The company has sold around 175 million Skylanders toys worldwide, according to internal estimates.

For the year ended December 31, Activision Blizzard posted revenue of $4.34 billion, down from $4.99 billion in 2012. Digital net revenue was $1.57 billion for year and made up 36 percent of total. For the quarter also ended December 31, revenue was $2.27 billion, compared to $2.60 billion last year.

Looking ahead to 2014, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said it is looking forward to launching titles like Bungie's Destiny and new entries in the Call of Duty and Skylanders franchises, as well as Diablo III expansion Reaper of Souls on March 25. Also in 2014, Activision Blizzard will release three free-to-play games: Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm, and Call of Duty Online. Kotick said these games have "great global potential."

"Free-to-play as a business model has now achieved scale, both in the West and in China. Hearthstone, which released in open beta on PC last month and which Blizzard Entertainment plans to expand this year to tablets and smartphones, is already attracting millions of players with strong engagement and monetization in the West and China, putting it on track to join World of Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft as their fourth mega franchise."

Activision is currently holding a call to discuss these results and answer questions. Check back soon for more.

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GSyyvickyvk86yyGS

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several games trying to beat world of warcraft, bit it holds the same top position for 10 yrs..

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Gagomkd

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I wouldn't say it is rising but whatever.I think that Warlords will decide about WoW future.

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naryanrobinson

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To be fair, I think that was just people logging back in to see the graphical improvements.

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ganondorf77

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<< LINK REMOVED >> There are no graphical improvements since Cata. Next expansion will feature just new character models, not even new environment models, witch are in all vanilla regions, a very big issue still to be dealt.

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Giarccpsn

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@naryanrobinson The graphics upgrade isn't happening until the next expansion is released.

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jjleshko90

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Typical Eddie article.

Wrath of the Lich King was released in 2008, not 2010. Therefore, "more than 12 million subscribers achieved in 2010 following the release of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion" is rather asinine. Better would be "in anticipation for Cataclysm," or "two years after the successful Wrath expansion was released."

The "growth" that Eddie raves about is also baffling. A video game with that many people playing, there is going to be some fluctuation. It's just natural. Not to mention the fact that it was the end of the year, otherwise known as the holiday season, also known as a time when students can play the addictive WoW without much fear of losing at life.


Also awesome how it's supposedly "continuing to grow" even though it's down 5 million subscribers from 2010. That's oxymoronic.

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Jr_Hal

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<< LINK REMOVED >> damn did someone pee in your cereal or something

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zura_janai

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I've tried almost every mmorpg on the market and io think WoW is sill the number1 followed by GW2

the game isn't dead yet but it has to improve a lot of things to keep this place

15$ a month it's too expansive

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wallacom

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8 mil * $15/month = WOW... No pun intended

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jjleshko90

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<< LINK REMOVED >> for nine years, no less. :) (You'd think they'd finally have the server figured out by now, though.)

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Davhut

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If they bring back the difficulty level from the early days, then I would return to the game. I still support it with a sub, but stopped regular play as it is too easy now, and filled with infantile players. Toughen up the gameplay, improve the story writing, provide more thought provoking questlines, and improve the pvp and raiding packages, then you will see people return in droves. For now happy to play other mmorpgs, and with ESO and Destiny coming, I fear that my days with WOW are coming to an end. May be it is inevitable, like a right of passage. Probably best not to look back but to look forward instead.

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Sprock26

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<< LINK REMOVED >> You are spot on with this one. I stopped playing WoW in 2009 i think it was. But loved it back then, and then in late 2012/13 i decided to give it a try again. And damn it got easy and there were so many infantile players it ruined the game completly.

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texasgoldrush

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<< LINK REMOVED >>

If you really want a forward looking MMO, look no further than The Secret World.


Excellent quest writing and design that requires more than just combat, but puzzle solving, in a real world Lovecraftian setting.


And its buy 2 play.

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Davhut

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Yep,mate got this from day 1, loving it, love the costumes, love the questlines. Super underestimated game :D

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MateykoSlam

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over 10 billion dolars in revenue. the highest grossing / most successful game ever still reigns over all other wannabes

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