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BBC - World of Warcraft subscribers are leaving, Activision warns

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  • ThaneThane berlinPosts: 2,230Member Uncommon

    i think the best part of the report is where they talk about concurence  from disney....

     

    stopped reading right after that. thx 4 the laugh

    "I'll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up! Not me!"

  • PurutzilPurutzil East Stroudsburg, PAPosts: 2,923Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Datastar
    I feel thier problem isnt the f2p/b2p games out there, its the dumbing down/lack of innovation across the board on all of blizzards games over the past few years.  Thats just my personal opinion.

    Well to point out, blizzard has NEVER been an innovator, particularly when it came to the MMO genre. I don't think there is a single feature WoW added that wasn't already done in another game in some form or another. That is not of course to say it was bad, I enjoyed it a lot at the time. The issue comes I feel that theres just so many options out there and WoW is just aging. They keep making bad design choice after bad design choice and its dragging the game down and their other games, attempting to appeal to 'casuals' which I feel does nothing for that and just makes more hardcore players disliking. Add in that technology has changed a lot, its a lot harder for them to take those features from other MMos and push them into WoW. Its not build to handle things like dynamic events very well among other things.

  • cappytoicappytoi AnkaraPosts: 41Member

    I agree to the above comments as game getting dumbed down every expansion. But I think another reason is they killed semi-hardcore guilds with promoting 10 man raiding to make raiding more accessible. They could have just add LFR and stop there but they had to kill those middle guilds and they succeeded.

    Let me give you an example of a realm which is quite like many other middle range population realms. There is 1 leading guild that wants realm firsts also races for top 100 in world, and then there are 4-5 following semi-hardcore 25-man raiding guilds, and then 20-30 casual raiding (10-25 man) guilds following them. You can scale this up and down but for general case this is the case. In those semi-hardcore guilds there are generally 35-45 raiders depending on their attendance requirement. Those semi-hardcore guilds feeds the realm and generally hosts around 100-150 active players. When they started promoting 10 man raiding and made rewards equivalent to 25 man, those mid-range guilds started to shatter. Some raiders thought "Why carry 5-10 more idiots let's go 10 man". And they did and most of them get disbanded leaving remaining raiding squad quit the game over time because they see the same s.it everywhere. And then leading guild thought similar, screw 112th place, let's go 10 man and get in the first 10 of world since the difficulty is equivalent, prestige is same anyway. But they forget that, if that happens, promising raiders will stop coming to the realm. And exactly that happened, leading guild is dead over several months taking down the other semi hardcore guilds with it. Formed 10 man hardcore guilds or semi-hardcore guilds are also dead, because they couldn't find proper raiders to recruit due to influx of players is inadequate. Last time I see, the high population realm became a "new player" suggested realm.

    I heard that above scenario happened in many realms. I know many of the people want to return and play the game but they can't anymore. I for one, one of them. I lost my guild, my friends that have the money transferred of, others quitted. I can start of elsewhere you say but I have like 6 characters in around max level, I do not want to pay that much to start elsewhere.

    WoW shooted its own leg with killing social aspects of the game and by killing those semi-hardcore guilds. At least this is what my opinion is. Peace.

  • gervaise1gervaise1 .Posts: 2,064Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Purutzil
    Originally posted by Datastar
    I feel thier problem isnt the f2p/b2p games out there, its the dumbing down/lack of innovation across the board on all of blizzards games over the past few years.  Thats just my personal opinion.

    Well to point out, blizzard has NEVER been an innovator, particularly when it came to the MMO genre. I don't think there is a single feature WoW added that wasn't already done in another game in some form or another. That is not of course to say it was bad, I enjoyed it a lot at the time. The issue comes I feel that theres just so many options out there and WoW is just aging. They keep making bad design choice after bad design choice and its dragging the game down and their other games, attempting to appeal to 'casuals' which I feel does nothing for that and just makes more hardcore players disliking. Add in that technology has changed a lot, its a lot harder for them to take those features from other MMos and push them into WoW. Its not build to handle things like dynamic events very well among other things.

    Rest experience was new on day 1; their approach to graphics was also new with "big pixels"; their approach to marketing - running a (basically) unlimited beta for c. 9 months was also new. There is other stuff as well but, for sure, what they also did was to look at what had been done and - through a series of design choices - come up with something that means they still have 8.5M subscribers in their 9th year. You can't call that bad.

    Dynamic events - they were around pre-WoW. Manpower intensive. Bliz opted to avoid them - saving money by doing so because they are and always have been expensive to run. They have the tech they need..

    Certainly the landscape has and still is changing. Consoles came - and seem to be on their way out (why buy a PS4 or an Xbox 1 if all they become underpowered PCs with no monitor!) Can it survive tablets and phones which are bringing new ways to wile away the time. I say bringing because I don't believe their day is only just beginning.

    MoP brought people back. Now some of those have left. Others as well I suspect. The challenge they face is to keep the servers active. If not they could implode big time. If they manage to do so - then maybe another debate can rage about WoW subs being down to 5M in their 10th year and how it is all due to them dumbing the game down from what it was today (its an old topic!).

  • HokieHokie Vancouver Wa.Posts: 1,063Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Datastar
    I feel thier problem isnt the f2p/b2p games out there, its the dumbing down/lack of innovation across the board on all of blizzards games over the past few years.  Thats just my personal opinion.

    I'll jumping in on this and agree.

     

    I decided to resub about a month or so ago, didnt bother getting pandavision. It had been about a year plus since I played last.

    And oh my fucking god, this wasnt the game I played and loved 5 years ago, and like 2 years ago. It was like Datastar said, dumbed down to the point of a game like Wizard101.

    Blizzard took away almost all of the choices that the player used to make and made them for you. I mean my god the talent trees are designed so a 12 year old cant make a mistake. I remember custom building my arcane mage, you cant do that anymore, its all laid out for you. It literally was revolting.

    Same with my Disc priest, I had a great solo leveling/dungeon build. Its gone, it cant be made. And the new options blows, ie it sucks dick. (Sorry mod if you have to edit, I do feel strongly about it.)

     

    I mean we've seen the choices in that game kinda get simplified over the years. But this was so bad I found the game un-fun. I honestly cant see how the 4,6, 8 plus year veterans can still enjoy playing this game after Blizzard has taken so much choice away from them.

     

    Sad really. It was a game I enjoyed coming back to even it it was for only 6-8 months at a time. I seriously considered asking for my $15 back, thats how disappointed I was.

    "I understand that if I hear any more words come pouring out of your **** mouth, Ill have to eat every fucking chicken in this room."

  • TheHavokTheHavok San Jose, CAPosts: 2,398Member Uncommon

    I was one of those people that left in the last 6 months.  The game is still great but i've been playing on and off since 2004.  I'm just not really interested in it anymore.

    And to the people that are saying Blizzard isn't innovating enough or should add more content - that's nonsense.  The game is just getting old.  People are doing other things in their lives now.

  • AzrileAzrile Houston, MDPosts: 2,582Member
    Originally posted by Volkon

    Math - according to their numbers, users dropped from about 9.2M to 7.9M.

    Users - not specifically $15/mo subs, could be a big chunk of time-card types overseas, we don't know.

    We do know because revenues and earnings beat expectations.  That could never happen unless most of the stubscribers that were lost were very low-paying ones.. ie china cyber cafe.

    Also it is pretty obvious they are from China because of um.. a major f2p game that launched there, made in china, promoted in cyber cafes.. and already boasting 20M players.

    For a long time, many people said Blizzard was ´cheating´ by including those low paying internet cafe players.  Well, now you are seeing what happens when they leave en masse.... subscribers drop like a rock, while revenues and earnings are fine.

  • ManestreamManestream PrestonPosts: 630Member Uncommon
    Just 1 thing here, wasn't blizzard saying they had 11-12 million subscribers BEFORE they started in china. I do know that servers had dropped significantly with playerbase and many who are on low populated realms are transferring off to ones that are full. Eventually the empty servers with players left on will have nothing and will start to leave (like me) I still have a subscription but this may be the last one for a while, I will not pay £15 to move a character (and I have 10), I will not time sink levelling new chars on a different server (some things cannot be regained, like titles/mounts/pets and crafting schematics that have been removed). Some are server based only and some are account based, server based will be lost and the achievement system is all screwed up now, meaning you will have to sift through completed achievements to see if that actual character has the bloody thing or not.
  • gervaise1gervaise1 .Posts: 2,064Member Uncommon

    12M was a worldwide number so will have included China.

    I concur that they need to act to keep servers active and that paid transfers should not be required.

  • SomeOldBlokeSomeOldBloke Lancaster, UKPosts: 2,141Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by MadDemon64

    I smell a potential f2p conversion coming on.

    Lets face facts.  Games like TERA, SW:TOR, Aion, and LOTRO were only kinda popular when they were s2p games, but once they converted to f2p, they experienced HUGE population booms.  The same will happen if/when WoW converts to f2p, and right now, I think it's less of a matter of "if" than it is of "when".  In fact, even if they made it b2p where players had to buy the expansion packs but not need to pay a subscription, that would create a similarly huge population boom (and might be enough to bring me back).

    It will only go f2p when they feel they have milked the cash cow as much as they can and it is dry. They are far from that... an Accountant somewhere will be doing the numbers to calculate what point the subs need to drop before switch to f2p. 8 mil subs still brings in quite a bit per month.

  • SukiyakiSukiyaki GreenwichPosts: 1,398Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Azrile
    Originally posted by Volkon

    Math - according to their numbers, users dropped from about 9.2M to 7.9M.

    Users - not specifically $15/mo subs, could be a big chunk of time-card types overseas, we don't know.

    We do know because revenues and earnings beat expectations.  That could never happen unless most of the stubscribers that were lost were very low-paying ones.. ie china cyber cafe.

    Also it is pretty obvious they are from China because of um.. a major f2p game that launched there, made in china, promoted in cyber cafes.. and already boasting 20M players.

    For a long time, many people said Blizzard was ´cheating´ by including those low paying internet cafe players.  Well, now you are seeing what happens when they leave en masse.... subscribers drop like a rock, while revenues and earnings are fine.

    I give you the doubt of just being ignorant and clueless, instead of a straight out liar.

    Maybe get your facts straight? Its like everything of your claim in whiteknighting crusade is untrue or almost completely falsified. You don't seem to know anything.

     

    I give you a hint to educate yourself until next time:

    Snail Games never even announced player numbers, nor ever mentioned a number of 20M.

    Tencents Chinese P2P MMO earnings all grew, except for WoW.

    ActivisionBlizzard reported the second lowest earnings for WoW in their entire history..

  • wowcloneswowclones Los Angeles, CAPosts: 127Member
    NO game last forever. I don't think anyone is losing sleep because they cant go play pacman, dig dug , q-bert and donkey kong. Those games are so old no one plays them anymore. WOW is getting old, people have been there and done that and moved on.
  • vaultbrainvaultbrain New York, NYPosts: 122Member
    Originally posted by wowclones
    NO game last forever. I don't think anyone is losing sleep because they cant go play pacman, dig dug , q-bert and donkey kong. Those games are so old no one plays them anymore. WOW is getting old, people have been there and done that and moved on.

     

    Speak for yourself. I have dig dug, q-bert and donkey kong on my Iphone and I play them a lot when I'm waiting for my plane at the airport or when Im in a taxi or just when Im bored.

  • vaultbrainvaultbrain New York, NYPosts: 122Member

    Damn, it seems like everyone here is chomping at the bit for WoW to go F2P. Well, sorry to disappoint, but that will never happen. Why? Because the game is still generating some serious revenue. Though they may have seen lower than their usual earnings, Blizzard/Activision is still making big bucks off of WoW. I mean, come on, Blizzard can still afford to have customer service you can call. Most other MMOs don't even have that. Actual people to call and SPEAK TO, not some faceless "leave an email with your problem and we'll get back to you eventually" BS customer service.

    And even if WoW went F2P, players would see a massive decline in content and maintenance. The majority of the staff would be laid off due to lack of funding. Customer service, GM support even basic server maintenance would go. The game would be operated by a skeleton crew of the bare essential developers needed to just keep the game running.

    F2P is the last ditch effort of dying games in an attempt to lure players in with the promise of free content only to charge them out the ass for the littlest, stupidest of things like extra bank space, extra bag slots, skins for their armor, faster mount speed, faster leveling and other basic things that come with the subscription to a P2P game. F2P games are basically Pay to Win games. The more you pay, the less you have to actually do. It's just like saying "Here's a 100 bucks, max out my character, give me the best gear and a ton of ingame money".

    The only way those remaining 8 million subs will leave is if the game either A.) Completely kills itself or B.) Someone develops a theme park MMO that can compete. Considering that WoW's 10 year anniversary mark is fast approaching, the game as evolved very well over the past 9 years, so the odds of it failing due to bad development doesn't seem likely.

    As for B.) someone making a theme park mmo that can compete, well, the evidence speaks for itself. 9 years and every mmo released has done nothing but try to copy WoW. Practically every MMO released in 9 years has been a WoW clone. Same UI, same basic set up, same leveling system, same skill tree concept, same gear rating system, same everything. The fact of the matter is, when it comes to theme park MMOs, WoW is king.

    So, to everyone who says WoW should go F2P, forget it. It will never happen. If the subscription base dropped to 100k or less, I could see the possibility. But they still have over 8 million subs, a number that probably fluctuates upwards more than downwards, and that equals to a lot of money. And considering they have enough lore and material for at least 4 more expansion packs, WoW wont be going anywhere anytime soon.

  • Squeak69Squeak69 Colorado Springs, COPosts: 956Member
    when they lose enough people to not be overwhelmingly the most populated MMO out there, we will talk about it dieing until then can we please stop having one of these the world (of warcraft) is ending threads every time some random online game site ( hundreds and hundreds of the things) says WoW has lost subs.

    F2P may be the way of the future, but ya know they dont make them like they used toimage
    Proper Grammer & spelling are extra, corrections will be LOL at.

  • Squeak69Squeak69 Colorado Springs, COPosts: 956Member
    Originally posted by Sukiyaki
    Originally posted by Azrile
    Originally posted by Volkon

    Math - according to their numbers, users dropped from about 9.2M to 7.9M.

    Users - not specifically $15/mo subs, could be a big chunk of time-card types overseas, we don't know.

    We do know because revenues and earnings beat expectations.  That could never happen unless most of the stubscribers that were lost were very low-paying ones.. ie china cyber cafe.

    Also it is pretty obvious they are from China because of um.. a major f2p game that launched there, made in china, promoted in cyber cafes.. and already boasting 20M players.

    For a long time, many people said Blizzard was ´cheating´ by including those low paying internet cafe players.  Well, now you are seeing what happens when they leave en masse.... subscribers drop like a rock, while revenues and earnings are fine.

    I give you the doubt of just being ignorant and clueless, instead of a straight out liar.

    Maybe get your facts straight? Its like everything of your claim in whiteknighting crusade is untrue or almost completely falsified. You don't seem to know anything.

     

    I give you a hint to educate yourself until next time:

    Snail Games never even announced player numbers, nor ever mentioned a number of 20M.

    Tencents Chinese P2P MMO earnings all grew, except for WoW.

    ActivisionBlizzard reported the second lowest earnings for WoW in their entire history..

    what game is he talking about cause i don't know of any NEW major MMO being launched over there that want already over there at least not recently.

    i could just be ignorant on this one i don't pay a ton of attention to oversea gameing, aside from JRPGs

    F2P may be the way of the future, but ya know they dont make them like they used toimage
    Proper Grammer & spelling are extra, corrections will be LOL at.

  • crasset15crasset15 TallinnPosts: 183Member
    Wow sounds like a good game to try, but something in me tells me I really shouldn't invest time into a 9 year old game, since I'm late to the party anyway. Losing 1,3 mil subs isn't exactly the best marketing campaign to attract new players, either. I was so invested into other MMOs and FPSes during the wow explosion that I didnt even know it existed until 2008 when a friend briefly mentioned it.
  • VassagoMaelVassagoMael Covington, LAPosts: 555Member
    A group of friends and myself (all WoW veterans) recently decided to resub and start playing again. Only one of us played Cataclysm. We are having fun, although we randomly picked a high pop server to play on, and we found out a couple days ago that apparently we are in the minority as alliance in a server with a huge horde presence (Area 52).

    Free to play = content updates for the cash shop. Buy to play = content updates for the cash shop.
    Subscription = Actual content updates!

  • VassagoMaelVassagoMael Covington, LAPosts: 555Member
    I think guild transfers would be amazing for WoW and would stabilize the faction imbalances. 

    Free to play = content updates for the cash shop. Buy to play = content updates for the cash shop.
    Subscription = Actual content updates!

  • Laughing-manLaughing-man Dublin, OHPosts: 3,415Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by crasset15
    Wow sounds like a good game to try, but something in me tells me I really shouldn't invest time into a 9 year old game, since I'm late to the party anyway. Losing 1,3 mil subs isn't exactly the best marketing campaign to attract new players, either. I was so invested into other MMOs and FPSes during the wow explosion that I didnt even know it existed until 2008 when a friend briefly mentioned it.

    People are eating through content and unsubbing and resubbing when new content comes out, they're doing it quicker and faster than normal because a lot of them have caught on that is the best way to get all the content and then be done with the game at a more casual level.

    They lose a lot of casual players due to this, that is why they are investing in developing 'flex raids' and more content for every level of game play.  A lot of other games are doing this as well.

  • p4ttythep3rf3ctp4ttythep3rf3ct Austin, TXPosts: 120Member

    All good things must come to an end.  WoW is already 30+% below it's peak subs and falling.  Nonetheless, it's still probably a decade from being shut down.

     

    Which is all fine and dandy if you ask me.  They had a good run, stealing their formula from EQ and all.

    That's just, like, my opinion, man.

  • SukiyakiSukiyaki GreenwichPosts: 1,398Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Squeak69

    what game is he talking about cause i don't know of any NEW major MMO being launched over there that want already over there at least not recently.

    i could just be ignorant on this one i don't pay a ton of attention to oversea gameing, aside from JRPGs

    The game here is usually referred to as Age of Wushu or Age of Wulin. Yes, it's not actually the "newest" one. That is too part of the problem with the excuse. Snail games once claimed 10M registered accounts created worldwide. But first its a F2P game where you can create as many accounts as you want, second that was over half a year since registration was possible, with many of them already long inactive, third it's a F2P MMO in China, where its normal to have at least several million of registered accounts for and big title right after launch, even for P2P games, more so for F2P.

    Hyperbole, mixed with some individual dishonesty of Western AoW fans, some irrational "F2P game" fans and the big language barrier here have created a myth that AoW had flushed over the Chinese MMO market, reaching peaks of over 20 M actual player. But it was only a big game release. Nothing much more than that.

    Blizzard lately vaguely pointed at this game blaming Chinese F2P MMO releases as reason for WoWs losses in the East. This is why we see WoW player lately starting to point at Chinese F2P games. They devoured the misleading hints exactly like Blizzard wanted them to.

    Tencent however, the Chinese publisher of WoW, unintentionally handed Blizzards PR on damage control mode, a big but generally unnoticed slap to the face, when they released their own earnings report, revealing that the two most played P2P MMOs in China actually saw a rise in popularity and earnings, despite all the AoW hype over here, while only WoW recoded losses as a P2P title. Completely contradicting the notion that P2P games in general where loosing customer because of the "new Chinese free games".

  • sportsfansportsfan BlankenbergePosts: 431Member

    WOW is the last man standing in fantasy based MMO's. Take EVE and that one is the last man standing in SF based MMO's.

    Last man standing as ... having active SUBSCRIPTIONS.

     

    The rest went free to play and seriously free to play in an AAA developped MMORPG is the last road to nowhere.

    Because these MMORPG's (at least those with a real open world behind them - not like World of Tanks) are simply too costly to produce for the free to play model.

    F2P works perfectly for small program groups on small games with little development costs and very casual game play.

    Blizzard knows this and so they changed to games like HS, BAS and of course Diablo 3 (on consoles)

    Much easier to program, hardly content updates needed and money makers from the start.

     

    I bet HS will bring in more money in its first 6 months than any new MMORPG from Blizzard could gather. Because the sub model is simply finished for mmo's and so a "new" mmorpg will never have a return of investment.

    Not for the next 5 years anyway. People are fed up by them.

  • tedgartedgar yucaipa, CAPosts: 52Member
    think we just need a change in all systems. from house to  the collection of crafting mats.
  • AzartenAzarten MelbournePosts: 33Member

    Having played WoW from the vanilla to Wrath for me it has nothing to do with it not being F2P, but simply because Blizzard made the game so easy it no longer presented any challenge.   I remember when pulling more than one mob in even the lower level dungeons meant death or just barely scraping through, now it's pull the whole room or even two plus rooms worth of mobs and just AoE them down and Blizzard think that's supposed to be fun.  They completely destroyed any tactical elements from the game so that even a two fingered chimpanzee could breeze to end game content all whilst eating a banana and hanging from a tree.

     

    Blizzard have backed themselves into a corner where they are now stuck with the simplified gameplay that they have created.  The crazy thing is even now I see people complaining that it's to hard or takes to long to do something, I'd like to think these people are just kidding, but sadly they aren't.   I often wonder why some people play MMORPG's because they really only want to play them like a single player game.

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