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World of Warcraft Loses 1.3 Million Players in First Quarter of 2013 523

hypnosec writes "World of Warcarft, the gaming industry's most popular franchise and one of Blizzard's cash cows, is bleeding subscribers with 1.3 million defecting from the game in the first quarter of 2013 alone. Blizzard revealed a subscriber decline of over 14%, the total now standing at 8.3 million in their earnings call press release (PDF)."
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World of Warcraft Loses 1.3 Million Players in First Quarter of 2013

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  • by noh8rz10 ( 2716597 ) on Friday May 10, 2013 @12:03AM (#43682019)
    the real question is, where are people going? bioshock infinite? chains & dragons? It remains to be seen...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      well we know its not diablo 3 or the sims
      • by Skarecrow77 ( 1714214 ) on Friday May 10, 2013 @12:44AM (#43682163)

        Actually I did stop playing wow to play d3. for like 3 or 4 weeks.

        really though, it's just... it's just time. the game is a fantastic game, one of the best ever made, but it's been the same thing with new coats of paint for almost a decade now. you can only do this same dance so many times before you sit up, ask yourself "what else is there", and wander off.

        I was in a world top 80 guild in vanilla. I personally was the highest DPS on the server for a good while. It was a 7-day-a-week job, but I was young and my GF (now wife) raided with me so it was doable. we both burnt out about the same time the rest of the guild did, it colapsed in on itself about the time we realized that the imminent expansion would completely negate everything we'd done. and it did. complete burnout. left the game for 6 months at least.

        raided with a semi-serious raiding guild in TBC. I fought my way back up into a server-best guild again by the end of the next expansion (wrath is still the best thing they ever made imo), just in time for it to all repeat again.

        didn't bother raiding cata. same song and dance again.

        haven't even SEEN most of mop, i mostly just level alts now. dungeon finder circa level 15 to 55, and questing in northrend and cataclysm for nostalgic purposes, that's all the game is to me anymore, a time sink for nostalgic purposes. like putting weekend at bernies on the tv while you're cleaning the house.

        • Pretty much sounds like me. I raided in one of the top guilds on Illidan back in Classic. Played casual in TBC. I started raiding a bit in Icecrown in WOTLK and then never played since. So i've never experienced or seen Cata or MOP.

          • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

            Pretty much sounds like me. I raided in one of the top guilds on Illidan back in Classic. Played casual in TBC. I started raiding a bit in Icecrown in WOTLK and then never played since. So i've never experienced or seen Cata or MOP.

            Yeah sounds familiar. I was in a top 25 guild back in the vanilla days, and kept playing through to Illidan in TBC and Sunwell. I enjoyed unique class things, like mage tanking on Illidan and Gruul's lair. Played heavily and switched guilds to a more casual guild in Wrath, still did well guild was in the top 100 for quite awhile. Cata was...okay, MOP is better, I've occasionally played but not nearly as much as I used to. But being realistic the game is 10 years old and it does get repetitive.

            What reall

          • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 10, 2013 @08:07AM (#43683545)

            This is exactly the ecosystem of a game like WoW, though: There is only so much you can do, and then it repeats. The best they can do is move the bar periodically and 'reset' those who've finished. The old-timers are supposed to get bored and move on. The game depends on replacing those burned out players with new people, so the real question is: why has the new generation of game-players not chosen WoW?

            WoW is old. It requires a lot of grinding. Today's gamers are playing for 5 minutes at a time on their phone while they're in line at the supermarket, and there's a huge wealth of highly addictive games that take only 5 minutes of continuous attention.

        • Raising the level limit was probably the stupidest thing Blizzard could do for anyone who was into hardcore raiding. On the bright side I've enjoyed several other games since then.

          • Raising the lvl limit every 1-2 years wasn't such a big problem. What killed the game for me was that they basically reset progression with every major patch.

            Each time they released a new raid, they 'gave' everyone access to items of superior level as those you could previously only get by doing hardcore raids.

            • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Friday May 10, 2013 @07:51AM (#43683475)

              That is a necessity if you want your MMO to survive.

              MMOs, all of them, have a certain fluctuation. Some people may start to play it, like it a bit, eventually decide to move on. These people have to be replaced by new blood. Else you have a bleeding that doesn't stop, for people leave, the servers feel empty, more people leave, the game dies.

              So you MUST be accessible to new players. This, though, is not the case if the new player would first of all have to raid through 5 years of content before he can play with the "big boys". Imagine people would have to start raiding in Molten Core today. Even if we ignored the impossibility to assemble 40 people to do it since everyone who is raiding with the "elite" doesn't give half a poop (unlike when it was new), how exciting do you think it is to start at the bottom? Even if you COULD find people to play, would you WANT to? Would you want to play an 8 year old game and dig your path up for the next 8 years just to be where everyone is today? And then you're 8 years behind AGAIN. Provided the game lasts that long...

              Or would you go find a game where you're starting on even ground with everyone else, i.e. find a game that is just being released?

              An MMO must give you the feeling that you're 6 months, tops, behind the top dogs when you start anew. You have to think that you can reach the top in some acceptable time and that you won't be everyone's "little brother" who is lagging behind forever.

              Other MMOs made the mistake of ignoring this. The most famous example, IMO, being DAoC. In DAoC, with the Trials of Atlantis expansion, some incredibly powerful items were introduced. These required a lot of work to access and then needed a lot of time to "level" them to be useful, easily keeping the playerbase busy for half a year or even year. But after that, you had people with insanely powerful items that no new player could dream of getting (since they could neither find enough people to go hunt for them, nor have access to the "leveling grounds" for them anymore), essentially meaning that new players are kept out of the loop with no way to access those items and no chance to ever play with the "big boys" in some acceptable time.

              And of course the drain of people leaving was not compensated by new people coming in.

              MMOs must be accessible to new players. Blizzard analyzed that correctly and what you see there is their reaction to it. If that is a problem for you, I guess you won't be happy with any MMOs that have a chance to survive for long, since they all have to do that.

              • This, though, is not the case if the new player would first of all have to raid through 5 years of content before he can play with the "big boys". Imagine people would have to start raiding in Molten Core today. Even if we ignored the impossibility to assemble 40 people to do it since everyone who is raiding with the "elite" doesn't give half a poop (unlike when it was new), how exciting do you think it is to start at the bottom?

                I understand your point, but that might actually be better than what they've been doing. What happens right now is that every 1-2 years the game resets, most of the guilds fall apart because different people level at different speeds and the old content is completely useless. New players never see much of it because they never have to do a dungeon until they hit the level cap, and if they actually do a dungeon it's usually a speed run with a level-capped player destroying the dungeon for them. Maybe they

        • by Eskarel ( 565631 ) on Friday May 10, 2013 @01:57AM (#43682389)

          It's just not fun anymore. I've played for years, but I just can't motivate myself to log in anymore, as soon as the year I signed up for for free D3 is done, I'm unsubbing.

          I want to want to play it, it's given me years of fun and they've even put some neat things in, but between having to spend all my play time repeating the same damned set of dailies and the fact that they've essentially ditched dungeons in favor of scenarios(I get that wait times for non tanks/healers were out of control and that scenarios are cheaper to build, but scenarios are simply not fun), there's just nothing to motivate me.

          To make the game accessible they've essentially ruined it for everyone, the gated content and reputations make the time investment too high for casuals and the content is too simple and repetitive for hardcore players.

          • I'm the same. The excitement is gone, just more shiney and bling. I changed to Eve Online. At least there's the excitement of losing a ship to some random PvPer.
        • Getting bored with my 90's. Rush to 90 to do end game content, then grind the same dailies over and over and over to get the Rep and Valor Points to get gear, and que up for the LFR to do some raids, Been having more fun leveling alts and exploring other classes.

          Plus, my characters have all been Alliance for the original 5+ years I played, and most of the time since I came back to Wow after a three year break a month before MoP came out, so I have the whole Horde experience to mess with , but when my curr

    • by mhh91 ( 1784516 ) on Friday May 10, 2013 @12:06AM (#43682031)

      League of Legends.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 10, 2013 @12:06AM (#43682035)

      the real question is, where are people going? bioshock infinite? chains & dragons? It remains to be seen...

      They are going... OUTSIDE.

    • by morcego ( 260031 ) on Friday May 10, 2013 @12:09AM (#43682047)

      the real question is, where are people going? bioshock infinite? chains & dragons? It remains to be seen...

      Most of the people I know simply quit and didn't go anywhere else. Mostly, they play some single player games now and again.
      We were all hardcore raiders getting some top 10 US marks, in some top 100 US guilds.

      It comes a point where you are just tired of playing, and every other game is enough alike to keep us away.

      So, in answer to your 'where to' question, I guess the answer would be: back to real life.

      • by Macgrrl ( 762836 ) on Friday May 10, 2013 @12:15AM (#43682083)

        Or in some cases, 'quality' TV. In recent years there has been a rash of new shows with great writing and excellent production quality. I'm finding it harder and harder to keep to my raiding schedule around all the TV I want to keep up with weekly.

        • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

          Uh what quality TV shows? All I see is reality TV, and more reality TV, and yet even more reality TV.

      • by betterprimate ( 2679747 ) on Friday May 10, 2013 @01:02AM (#43682219)
        Or they all died from rickets and cheese puff poisoning.
      • That's pretty much exactly my situtation. I was a WOW player myself for about 3 years there. Not "hardcore" by most definitions, but I played about 15-20 hours per week. Prior to that I wasn't into much multiplayer. I'd play maybe 3 or 4 single player games per year to completion and be done with them.

        When I finally got bored of WoW I actively didn't want to start playing any other MMORPG. After seeing the time investment such games took I really wanted to avoid them altogether. Now I'm back to playin

        • by morcego ( 260031 ) on Friday May 10, 2013 @01:23AM (#43682301)

          After seeing the time investment such games took I really wanted to avoid them altogether.

          And there is it, my friends. The time investment is just too huge. Ok, I was playing way past 20 hours/week. 40 minimum, sometimes going past that when new content was released.

          Now, instead of playing WoW, this is how I'm using that time:
          - Went back to school. Law school.
          - I'm reading 5-8 books/month

          and I still got time to spare.

          I am still in touch with the people I've met while playing, and even consider some of them good friends. I don't regret at all having played, or even playing as much as I did. But I'm happy I moved on.

      • by RivenAleem ( 1590553 ) on Friday May 10, 2013 @06:20AM (#43683133)

        Steam Sales took me away from WoW bigtime. There are just so many single and co-op games out there to keep me busy, and they cost much less in the sales than a monthly sub to WoW does.

    • Most of their lost subscribers are in the Asian area, probably China. And with China its anyone's guess what is happening. Also they pay a lot less for wow than the American/European regions.

    • by Bremic ( 2703997 ) on Friday May 10, 2013 @12:14AM (#43682077)

      I stopped playing because Blizzard have gone too far with the "enough content to keep everyone happy" element. Warcraft was always a time sink, but it was manageable. With the speedy rollout of new content (new major patches are on the PTR often before the previous patch is fully open), the change of focus from normal raiding to LFR with it's long queue times, and the extreme amount of work that needs to be done to complete anything now, it's just too much.

      I still love the game, and I still want to be able to log on a few hours a week and play my character, but it really is now a fact that unless you can dedicate 8-12 hours a week, you aren't going to come close to being able to complete content before it's replaced.

      There is also a personal effect for me that as I am playing a cloth wearer and not living in the US, the game constantly tells me to stop playing. MoP introduced way too many battles that require frequent use of abilities I don't have. Watching a DK or Paladin in blue gear able to easily defeat mobs that are nearly impossible on my higher latency cloth wearer in much better gear, is such a downer it destroys the fun in an instant. More and more World of Warcraft is requiring a US ping time, I used to work with five people who raided weekly, all of them pushing normal and often heroic raiding content. Since MoP came out all of them, without exception, have either stopped playing, or stopped raiding.

      I remember wishing Blizzard would hurry up and release content faster, but they have gone way overboard.

      • by MachineShedFred ( 621896 ) on Friday May 10, 2013 @08:30AM (#43683699) Journal

        WoW has changed from being an entertaining game that you could play for a few hours a week and still be able to experience content, into daily / weekly chores that have to be done or else you can't do stuff.

        It ceased to be something I wanted to do, and instead turned into a hamster wheel. Or, if you prefer, stopped being a covert hamster wheel with a sense of reward and turned into an overt hamster wheel with no reward whatsoever.

        Just like previous MMOs I've played, that's when I hit the cancel button.

    • I may not fit with the current crowd, but I went from world of warcraft about 4 years go to playing minecraft for about a year and lately been playing DayZmod.

    • by flayzernax ( 1060680 ) on Friday May 10, 2013 @01:04AM (#43682227)

      Unemployment + getting kicked out of basement. Or competition in a market full of other free games which are either ad supported or get revenue from microtransactions.

      Facebook is the intelligence level of most WoW new players (not old ones), and there's gobs of addictive mind numbing brainwashing games on there to detract from wow. I blame this on their lowering the barrier to entry and learning curve of the game significantly (it still remained somewhat deeper in the latest expansion levels).

      And people who would have been in to WoW back in classic when it was moderately challenging and fun have been so thoroughly alienated Blizzard will never sell another game to them again.

      • Someone hand that guy an insightful?

        That's basically it. I don't know anyone who was with WoW since the beginning and is still there. Of course, my sample size is not in the area of a few million, but I think we're hardly the odd people out.

        The game was dumbed down again and again. To the point where it just isn't worth my time anymore. Yes, of course I like winning a battle and I like to succeed in a raid, but I don't want handouts and freebies, and WoW sure feels like handing out those. Insert time, get i

        • by xclr8r ( 658786 )
          I stopped playing when they introduced "dailies". I don't like the idea of a treadmill. I play EvE online - there's a treadmill but I don't have to witness it for attribute increase (skill points accumulate by passage of time and implant/attribute selection). isk/gold comes from me from either playing the PvE element or using my business acumen and setting up a few sell/buy orders, doing planet interaction (set up once, and a couple of clicks every week), or more interesting methods like monitoring high
    • I'd say it's death by a thousand bee stings. There are so many mmogs out there that are close clones of WoW, some which favor some variant of the game a segment of the WoW customer base wants (i.e. more pvp focus, more pve focus, some rule change, etc.). Lots are f2p...

    • by pbjones ( 315127 )

      behind the pillows on the sofa, with the car keys and small change.

    • the real question is, where are people going?

      Free-2-Play games.

    • by mwvdlee ( 775178 )

      The question is; what will Blizzard do when enough people leave?
      Will they shut down the servers or will they retool the game and try to reach a different audience?
      And do they have another MMORPG lined up to take WoW's place?

      MMORPG's are grind-fests and time-sinks from the start. That's fine for people who have plenty of time to burn, but it's also why I've never gone past the first few levels in WoW. It kept asking me to walk for ever increasing periods of time just to kill yet another pack of critters in o

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nhat11 ( 1608159 )

      There's tons of F2P MMOs out there where the quality and production is just as good as WoW like Aion and Tera Online. WoW's competition against the F2P games is only going to get worse as time goes on as people realize they can get the same quality of MMO from a F2P and just switch over and not pay a monthly fee

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 10, 2013 @12:05AM (#43682027)

    The nude patch for GW2 was finally released.

  • well (Score:5, Insightful)

    by slashmydots ( 2189826 ) on Friday May 10, 2013 @12:13AM (#43682071)
    Time for World of Starcraft. I'd play it :-P
  • by CuteSteveJobs ( 1343851 ) on Friday May 10, 2013 @12:14AM (#43682075)
    Nothing lasts forever. Blizzard have had a good run that other companies can only dream of. I'd love to spend months in it, but real life beckons and by that I don't mean Facebook.
  • .. at what point does the critical mass of players get below a certain threshold that only the die-hards will remain?

    That's the problem with MMO's. You're really there to play with others. When there's no new players coming in and the world is only getting bigger, there's less and less people to play with so it's less and less fun so there's less and less people playing .. eventually, it must die. The only realistic way to keep an MMO running is to cater to the new players. The game can't be easy, but it
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 10, 2013 @12:27AM (#43682113)

    What is this World of Warcarft you speak of?

  • by sandytaru ( 1158959 ) on Friday May 10, 2013 @12:31AM (#43682123) Journal
    Graphics, especially, are just beginning to look old. Not that WoW was ever a paragon of robust graphic design (although mad props to their art directors), but for what is approaching a decade players were able to overlook the graphics because so many other aspects of the game were fun and appealing. Now, with over a dozen major MMOs due out this year, with every single one of them having better graphics than WoW by leaps and bound, people feel no obligation to stick around. (Also, many of my WoW-quitting friends found that Mists of Pandoria was the game jumping the shark, even if it was a fairly solid expansion.)

    As I'm fond of saying, WoW is the King of MMOs in the same way that Budweiser is the King of Beers. It's popular and profitable. Personally, I prefer craft brews and niche MMORPGs.
    • by AuMatar ( 183847 ) on Friday May 10, 2013 @12:59AM (#43682209)

      I don't think graphics really caused anyone to quit. I know a lot of people who used to play Wow, thats never in the top 10 reasons. Really, graphics were good enough a decade ago, improving them farther doesn't improve fun. The main reasons I hear, in no particular order are:

      1)World PvP is dead
      2)Too much grind
      3)Too much catering to casuals
      4)Not enough time
      5)Just bored of it
      6)Expansion X sucked
      7)Class X sucks now
      8)Too little focus on PvP
      9)Too much focus on raiding
      10)Too slow content
      11)Too fast content

      Nothing there has to do with the game, its more the gameplay.

      • by Macgrrl ( 762836 ) on Friday May 10, 2013 @03:00AM (#43682533)

        As someone who prefers PVE to PVP and was a hardcore raider back in the day, I've found that cross-realm LFD and LFR has simply encouraged people to behave like twats, as per John Gabriel's Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory []. I still enjoy a smooth LFR and I get really pumped when my guild drops a new boss for the first time. But the epeening (which really started to get out of hand in WotLK) is making things more and more unpleasant.

        I recall running the latest raid dungeon segment on the day it was released to LFR and people were being dicks about people who didn't know the fights already. /facepalm

        • by IndustrialComplex ( 975015 ) on Friday May 10, 2013 @09:59AM (#43684471)

          I've found that cross-realm LFD and LFR has simply encouraged people to behave like twats,

          You've hit close to what killed WoW for me. Back in the early days I remember playing with a small group of 3 RL friends and about 10 other people we met while doing instances. Deadmines, Gnomergan, Scarlet Monestary, and then they released (can't remember the name, but it had the ogres)

          It was tremendous fun to PLAY the game, you could discover hidden secrets, tough your way through a dungeon, and learn with your friends how to beat it. We took screenshots of cool places, beating simple bosses, or just have fun 'claiming' a zone in PvP (before there were even HKs) and trying to fight off the ever growing tide of similarly geared/leveled opponents.

          Then, eventually things changed so that the instant you stepped into an instance, you were told exactly how a fight would proceed, which path to walk on in the exact manner to avoid pulling even 1 extra mob, and so on. The 'mystery' was removed and cataloged on some online datamining site. (Thottbot?) That wasn't too bad, you still got your group together from time to time and had fun, but then something happened, and you have identified it:

          The meeting stones. No longer did people even care about the story of the zones a dungeon was in, and no longer did they really care who showed up when summoned. There was still some discussion, but you didn't have that, admittedly frustrating, but surprisingly community building task of pulling together a dungeon group.

          Then you added in cross-realm groups and communication ceased. You didn't care about the person who got summoned into your group, in fact, you actively hated them because you had no connection to them, and they became a 20% surcharge on your group.

          In one quick move, the community was mortally wounded, it didn't bleed out as fast as I expected, but it was certainly septic, and would slowly degrade and die while people wondered, 'why isn't this as fun as it was?'

          (of course, there is a whole lot of other mistakes they made which compounded the min/max issues and forced players to play in scripted manners, but the biggest killer of WoW wasn't some instant Wow-killer game, but the poisoning of the community)

          • I quit before some of those features were implemented and certainly before they were very popular. What always suprised me was how horrible the LFG tools were. In EQ we had a simple gui that showed you who was LFG and they could put in a little comment that was usually used to specify if you had a preference for what you wanted to do. When putting together a group it was good because people weren't autojoined, both the group and the individual could pick and choose who they grouped up with. In WoW you had t

  • You don't like Pandas?

  • by seebs ( 15766 ) on Friday May 10, 2013 @12:45AM (#43682169) Homepage

    I used to know basically no gamers who didn't play WoW. Now I don't know that I still know any. I was one of the loud defenders of Blizzard's choice to enter into a business merger with Activision, and I have been forced to admit that I was wrong. Blizzard's handling of events since then has been spectacularly bad -- I left over the Real ID stuff, myself. (Yes, I know, lots of people say they "backed down". Only temporarily and from the most ridiculously stupid parts; many other aspects are still horrible now, and some of the bad ideas they postponed may come back.)

    Thing is, in MMOs, network effects are king. If you want to play a game with your friends, the game your friends play wins. But once you start losing that "everyone I know plays X" spot, there's not really any particularly great technical advantages of WoW over a lot of other MMOs, and quite a few are in many ways better. Even apart from my personal grudge against Blizzard, I found other games to do a better job of things that mattered to me, and I really got sick of Blizzard's active hostility to various parts of their user base. It was a real eye-opener when, after Blizzard spent several years explaining that it could never be possible to tweak the rulesets between PvE and PvP servers, Trion turned around and did it in a week during the Rift beta.

    So now I play whatever I happen to know other people who play. And none of the individual games have the population density WoW did, but I am not totally unhappy about that, because it means more choice and more selection.

    Stuff that's still going:
    DDO: Very different philosophy and design, pretty cool. Overall I'm pretty happy with how Turbine runs things. The microtransaction stuff isn't as intrusive as I thought it would be, and the game design has some really nice appeal.
    Rift: As a game, this is basically what I always wished Blizzard would do, and then some. Developers have been pretty responsive to user feedback, and there's a lot less of a focus on tedious time sinks. Big weakness, from my point of view, is that there's been basically no visible community maintenance in ages, so not only are there people who engage in massive, long-term harassment and abuse, but now there are lots more people who are abusive because they're convinced they can get away with it. Still, if you just wanna play with a few friends and ignore public channels, the game itself is amazing. (Slashdotters may care more than others: The addon API is beautiful. One of the nicest development APIs I've used.)
    TSW: Not hugely happy with Funcom, but the game is fascinating, and does a lot of things which are radically different from other MMOs, some in very interesting ways. Also pretty responsive to user feedback in a lot of ways.

    • I played WoW and EVE Online for a while, but ended up returning to multiplayer FPSs for the first time since Doom 2 because I was looking for a more competitive sports-like experience, as shallow as that may be compared to what you can achieve with EVE. I play Call of Duty Black Ops and Battlefield. The network effect will keep me playing and will lead me to buy the next round of gaming consoles. I don't want to suggest that WoW should in any way aspire to be more COD-like; I'm just saying that I stay with

  • Too easy (Score:4, Informative)

    by Andreas Mayer ( 1486091 ) on Friday May 10, 2013 @12:52AM (#43682183) Homepage

    In my opinion they made the game too easy. I remember when I started, every battle was an actual challenge.
    Now you just rush through everything. It's almost impossible to die unless you run headlong into a bunch of enemies.
    In the past, quest mobs at the end of a quest chain usually were elite mobs, and really tough. Now you don't even notice they are anything special.
    Dungeons are especially bad. I'm leveling my monk at the moment, playing a healer, and it's downright boring most of the time. The biggest challenge is to keep close to the tank while he is churning through the mobs.
    Now, I like the actual new content. Even the boss fights are rather interesting - or would be if it wasn't for the fact, that you can do it all in LFR where it is possible to ignore most of the mechanics. And when I've already killed the bosses countless times in LFR that makes the normal 10 man raid much less interesting. At least for me.
    They also dumbed down some classes so much that it gets annoying. I remember when they banned the first heal bots. Now you can select a heal bot as a spec. Just play a disci priest. You don't even need to target who you want to heal; it's automatic.
    I'm also miffed about the changes to the fire mage. I chose that spec because I found it more interesting than the others. More choices to make in a fight. But they really did their best to dumb it down to a similar level as all the other specs with almost no choice what to do at any given moment. Something procs - you need to use it almost instantly.

    Still, I don't see anything that could replace WoW for me. So if I decided to stop playing, I'd probably not pick up anything else in it's stead.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 10, 2013 @12:53AM (#43682191)

    ... But still larger than Switzerland.

  • by BrendaEM ( 871664 ) on Friday May 10, 2013 @12:55AM (#43682195) Homepage

    I feel that WoW lost a lot of customers to Guild Wars 2. Over 2 million people bought GW2. It seems reasonable that some of them had to have quit WoW.

    Lately, Arenanet (Guildwars maker) has been tormenting its players at the endgame, reducing Tier 6 drops, implementing: if you can see it, you are already dead champions (adversaries), such as the Champion Raiths in Orr, so people will probably make an exodus for Guild Wars 2, someday, too.

  • Diablo 3 aftershock? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 10, 2013 @01:02AM (#43682223)

    Diablo 3 launched a year ago next week. In the months leading up to the launch, Blizzard offered the game (D3) for free to any WoW subscriber who made a year long commitment. So you're going to have a lot of people, who might have otherwise quit over the course of 2012, all leaving at once when their year long subscription ends.

    What did the number of canceled subs look like over the course of last year? Maybe they were all just backloaded in Q1 2013.

  • I have played for a long time, but as the years went by, Blizz broke the game to appease the QQing from the PVP crowd and the mechanics from PVP were incorporated into PVE and in the end, PVE became unrecognizable. PVE is some disgusting mutation, infected by PVP. MMOs are fun when you have other people to play with, but with all the expansions and revamping, WoW's flavor was homogenized to be a bland paste and it became just another kid on the block in a sea of WoW clones. WoW suffered the same fault as SW
  • by julesh ( 229690 ) on Friday May 10, 2013 @01:59AM (#43682399)

    ... the question is more why they stopped coming. WoW (like most MMOs) has always had a large number of players leaving every year. This hasn't changed; what has changed is that in the past they've always been able to attract new players at a pretty fast rate so they can continue to grow.

    So why are the new players not joining up any more? I blame the pandas. From an outside perspective, they make the game look silly.

  • by idbeholda ( 2405958 ) on Friday May 10, 2013 @02:06AM (#43682413) Journal
    I used to be an avid WoW player. WOTLK was the best expansion they made, hands down. The mechanics were solid (if easily exploitable, at best), the gameplay was reasonably thought out (to an extent), and the environment was pretty engaging (and at least 5% of the population weren't complete morons). When I saw the preview for Cataclysm, with its "challenge" of a +5 level cap, new "features" (YOU CAN NOW FLY IN AZEROTH!), "professions" (let's dig around in the dirt for hours on end!), I stopped playing.

    At that point, I realized that Blizzard was headed on a downward spiral pretty quickly, and nothing short of angrying up the blood of Ted Turner and sacrificing a chicken in a non-denominational ceremony would stop this quickly approaching trainwreck from happening. Several of my close friends asked me why I thought it was a bad idea. I told them that I knew it was a bad idea because it was *clearly* a BAD idea. I know them when I see them, and this was no exception. My current roommate convinced me to start playing again, and reluctantly I did. It turned out not to be as bad of a trainwreck as I thought it would be, but it was still pretty bad. Everything had been dumbed down, and repetitively grinding rep, dungeons and more dungeons became the focus of the game. We were also able to actually BUILD a character, and things looked promising enough that Blizzard might actually have the chance to redeem themselves.

    Man, was I in for a surprise when MoP came out, which I'm pretty sure a mop is what they used as a template for this particular expansion. This legendary, mythical mop wasn't made of anything fancy, like polished, pressure treated oak, a handle made of Corinthian leather, a titanium reinforced head with gold lief, and appropriate mopping fabric material made from the finest imported silk that one would be proud to caress their nether-regions with after a hard day's work. That one just happened to be the high priced, maximum quality mop that was shown on the Home Shopping Network for just 8 easy payments of $99.95. Clearly, this was too rich for their blood. After rustling up the town drunkard, they gave him a 12 pack of Blatz, a jug of cheap wine, and a 6 pack of Natty Light, and set him to the task of finding a mop of this quality. But really, quality didn't matter, they really just needed a mop, and there weren't any good sales going on that particular year.

    Several years later, the drunkard returned with a rake. "I couldn't *hic* remember what you were looking for, but didn't you say something about toilets? I think *hic* this is a plunger."

    Swing and a miss, Blizzard. 3 for a valiant effort, though. After obtaining this artifact of non-descript antiquity, the development team went to work. Behind closed doors, they agreed that it was most likely a rake picked up out of a dumpster or maybe someone's toolshed that lived down the street. They weren't sure, but there was no turning back now. Best not to let the public know, they also agreed, lest The Almighty Wrath of Tom Selleck's Moustache rear its head again. One of the leads suggested that since it wasn't a mop, perhaps they could make the offcast drippings of churning a poop vat into a mediocre product that would suffice in temporarily plugging the gaping hole in a quickly sinking ship. But it would need to be concentrated.

    What was released with Mists Of Pandaria was percolated fecal matter of the highest caliber. That wasn't even from the bowels of the unsuspecting public. This was from Blizzard's own septic tank, full of late night tacos, half-digested food from Grampy's Greasy Spoon Diner (home of the 1/2lb Grampyburger for 89 cents, cheese is 10 cents extra), and empty ketchup packets that had been chewed up by the family dog and evacuated onto a moderately expensive accent rug that had once decorated the lot of the local carwash for 15+ years.

    This was progress. This was the trainwreck that everyone said would never happen. Sweet glory of Jesus this was specta
    • OK, so it's a rake, and it's made of game-dev poo. That tells me exactly fuck-all about why you think it sucks. I fear you've just started picking at your analogy-hole and wound up crawling inside and finding another universe that you refuse to tell any of us outsiders about, except that it's crappy and you've lost a mythic mop up there. What do you see, man!? Is the rake shaped like doubt or complacency? Is the mop to absorb your tears? How did you manage to fit a hardware store in your hole?

      As a

      • The mechanics were solid (if easily exploitable, at best), the gameplay was reasonably thought out (to an extent), and the environment was pretty engaging (and at least 5% of the population weren't complete morons). When I saw the preview for Cataclysm, with its "challenge" of a +5 level cap, new "features" (YOU CAN NOW FLY IN AZEROTH!), "professions" (let's dig around in the dirt for hours on end!), I stopped playing.

        Instead of actually being able to build a hybrid character, you could only choose to im
  • I think the combination of a lot of those numbers comes from several servers that has basically died, and people simply giving up instead of transferring. Fix your broken servers Blizzard, you have too many.
  • MMORPG (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ledow ( 319597 ) on Friday May 10, 2013 @05:16AM (#43682975) Homepage

    Never really "got" MMORPG's. My brother was mad on MUD's back in his university days and I kind of got that. You would literally stumble into the person who was building all the rooms, quests, objects, etc. and it was usually a small team who created things INSIDE the game, so they were having fun as well (I don't doubt there was a lot of coding involved, but a lot of actions performed actually worked in-game as some in-game "magic" or similar). They were playing Minecraft, basically, and everyone else was inside their dungeons. And they were free, and run by people who lovingly created them.

    The next fad was the Diablo's etc. Basically an MMORPG set in a formulaic plot. Nothing bad about that the first few times through, and they are still quite fun to play even with the poor-equivalents today(e.g. Torchlight etc.). But no real huge amounts of replayability without someone else there to play with. And they were pay-for, but professional and well-polished, but limited and repeating.

    But MMORPG's, they kind of take the worst of everything. Let's have lots of random idiots. Let's have restrictions on what you can do. Let's have a financial incentive to make you spend as long as possible getting to the things you want to do. Let's have no "creators", no change to the set-down mechanics of the world, except in some far-off office where they come up with insane ideas without much player feedback.

    Let's instead have the story evolve very, very slowly and in huge pay-for leaps and people get little choice about whether it was good or not, or whether they pay or not. There's no feedback. No people with interest in the state of the world, only the economy (which, as we all know, can be a disaster even in real-life). You're paying to play a Diablo with a bunch of random people whose co-operation you require, who are all also paying. And every time there's a significant change in the world, you have to pay again or be stuck in the timewarp of "old".

    I couldn't really see the attraction, and the people I know who do spend a fortune on WoW tend not to have been exposed to the games of old (like MUDs etc.), hell some of them I'd barely class as gamers - they are mainly just socialising while button-bashing and the gaming is second. Nothing wrong with that, but Facebook-in-Second-Life is not what I want.

    The "serious" gamers I know are infinitely more likely to spend their money on non-subscription games and equipment. They might well buy a pack of games for their LAN party, and upgrade to the next version as a one-off payment if it's good enough (or even just to play it together as friends), but an ongoing subscription model just isn't their thing.

    And the people I do know who did play WoW etc. have all given it up, and their only real "catch" to doing so is losing their accounts/characters/whatever. Without exception, though, they do give it up and just abandon what they had in there after a while, whether through financial problems, or time problems, or the breakup of their favourite group, or just sheer exhaustion at the virtual world (especially prevalent at "pay-for-the-next-expansion" time).

    The free-to-play ones aren't really popular with the gamers I know either. I think the whole free-to-play concept is great - as a teenager, I would have been hooked and no doubt WOULD have ended up spending money (hell, even as it is, I've made money just playing free-to-play games to play the game and then selling the random junk I was awarded). But it attracts even more idiots, and profiteering. And with free-to-play, you are willing to suffer slight bugginess or changes or restrictions that you wouldn't accept elsewhere.

    Like anything else, I don't get "subscription" payments. Of course I don't mind paying but an automatic payment on a schedule? I don't see the incentive for the creators to keep creating after a while. They earn just as much between updates as they do immediately after them.

    The same reason people keep gym memberships going and why most gym

  • by De Lemming ( 227104 ) on Friday May 10, 2013 @05:54AM (#43683059) Homepage

    This is also the subject of today's Ctrl+Alt+Del comic [].

"You must have an IQ of at least half a million." -- Popeye