Since 2008, World of Warcraft has been constant at 11.5 million subscribers and many were under the impression that the subscriber base had peaked. Blizzard plans to achieve a new level of success this year with the Cataclysm expansion.
According to an interview on VG247, Blizzard product development executive vice president Frank Pearce discussed getting the subscriber base to a new plateau.
“I don’t think [it has peaked] at all,” Pearce said. “In China, for example, we haven’t even launched Wrath of the Lich King yet, and that expansion is already 18-plus months old. They’re still playing The Burning Crusade there, because we’re waiting for approval for Wrath from the appropriate agencies. And once we get that approval and launch Wrath in China then I think we will see growth.”
Blizzard believes that the expansions will win-back players who have set the game aside and break the 11.5 million subscribers mark. Cataclysm, due for release later this year, promises huge changes that may give gamers a reason to start their journey all over again with a new character… And to pay for many more months of gameplay.
11.5 million subscribers, assuming users are paying $12.99/month on 6-month subscriptions, translates to approximately $150 million dollars a month. That’s not that terrible of a plateau. Other MMOs would consider such a condition an outstanding accomplishment and can only dream of such a powerful and consistent revenue stream. Blizzard’s dedication to pleasing the World of Warcraft fanbase and determination to attract new gamers is to be admired.
Are you one of those who have strayed? Are you pumped about Cataclysm?