During Activision Blizzard Quarterly Results Conference Call for the first quarter of 2012, it was reported that World of Warcraft subscription rates have managed to maintain stability – with over 10.2 million active accounts for the valuable property.
This news will likely come as a sigh of relief for WoW fans after last week’s revelation that BioWare‘s critically and financially successful Star Wars: The Old Republic has already lost 25% of its subscribers since launch. Blizzard’s flagship MMO also seemed to be faltering last November when over 1 million players had left the game since May 2011. At the time, around 10.3 million gamers were still running around in Azeroth. Between the excitement for Mists of Pandaria and the implementation of free-to-play for the first 20 levels, Blizzard has managed to maintain almost 100% of its player base from the end of 2011.
The massively multiplayer online games market has gone through a reconstructive evolution over the past several years, coming to a head when Sony Online Entertainment and Turbine made the switch to the free-to-play model with their most popular titles.
Although World of Warcraft has managed to stay afloat for the first quarter of 2012, the competition has only just begun. TERA has only been out for about a week in North America and Europe, but has made massive waves in the MMO community. Although there is no real indication yet what kind of retention rate TERA will have, it is yet another big name on the market to snag players from WoW.
TERA is only one of several triple-A MMOs looking to steal a piece of Blizzard’s pie in the coming months. Guild Wars 2 had an enormously successful open beta weekend at the end of April (which we previewed), Funcom recently announced that The Secret World has accumulated over 1 million sign-ups for their upcoming beta weekend, and SOE is planning on reestablishing the MMOFPS space with PlanetSide 2.
Do you think that Mists of Pandaria will be enough to bring back subscribers to World of Warcraft? Will the MMO giant remain on top for the rest of 2012? Let us know in the comments below.
Source: Seeking Alpha