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I predict a rapid exodus of players from WoW in early 2009

For those who might remember me, I predicted the rapid demise of Age of Conan back in June 2008, looking purely at the game mechanics and the nature of the game itself. This was at the same time review magazines were throwing around scores of 9/10 for AOC, but it was obvious the game would die from playing the game, which is how I make my predictions :)

I am a long time MMO player starting off in Ultima Online days, through L2, AO, EVE, EQ1 (but not 2) WoW, WAR and LOTRO.

 

Looking at the incentive structure of the current top MMOs by subscription numbers, these are my predictions for January-April 2009:

 

1. WoW: currently has the largest number of subs although this has already dropped down to around 9 million from a high of 11.x million. Around 6 million of the remaining 9 million subs is from the China/East Asia region, and these are likely to drop off the fastest as EU and US subs drop off. The reason for the drop will be a lack of elite PVE content and the migration of top-end guilds to one of the competitors, which the masses will then follow. The nature of the mmo market is such that a game can very rapidly drop in popularity as gamers are a fickle bunch. The demise of WoW is here, and it will be surprisingly swift (2-3 months with 500k subs lost in EU/US each month, much faster in china)

 

2. WAR: currently the 2nd largest mmo in subs, although a very high quality mmo its fortress endgame is currently broken (although its city sieges are not) making the #1 priority for Mythic to fix endgame fortress sieges. The success of this game depends on how fast and how well they can fix this part of the RVR endgame. although the PVE instances and the rest of the RVR experience are all top notch. WAR is the likely destination of all the current top mmo guilds and players from WoW and other games

 

3. EVE: not often mentioned but this mmo has carved out its niche and is holding steady, doing what it does in a large sandbox space environment that appeals to the hardcore sandbox PVP crowd (in space)

 

4. LOTRO: another niche PVE game, this one has been ticking along nicely with its new xpac but one can't help but feel it should have done better given the franchise

 

Other predictions:

 

a) Darkfall will be a disappointment, the budget is low and the game is very far from finished, and is nowhere near the level of polish of WoW/WAR/LOTRO

b) Aion will appeal to some of the old L2ers, but will likely not touch the mainstream (but will be a good mmo game for those who love the asian-styled grind mmos)

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Comments

  • mrnutz1065mrnutz1065 Member Posts: 228

    I dunno if there will be a "rapid exodus" but i certainly believe that WoW has reached its peak. I said that to myself a year ago so I may be wrong though :P

    Me and WoW have come to an end, and I know many people are getting a little tired. Maybe wrath will be WoW's swan song, more than likely WoW will go for another couple of expansions though.

  • GameloadingGameloading Member UncommonPosts: 14,182
    Originally posted by Arthousesig


     
    1. WoW: currently has the largest number of subs although this has already dropped down to around 9 million from a high of 11.x million. Around 6 million of the remaining 9 million subs is from the China/East Asia region, and these are likely to drop off the fastest as EU and US subs drop off. The reason for the drop will be a lack of elite PVE content and the migration of top-end guilds to one of the competitors, which the masses will then follow. The nature of the mmo market is such that a game can very rapidly drop in popularity as gamers are a fickle bunch. The demise of WoW is here, and it will be surprisingly swift (2-3 months with 500k subs lost in EU/US each month, much faster in china)
    There is nothing indicating that World of Warcraft currently has 9 million subscribers, I'd like to see some evidence for your claim that World of Warcraft's subscriber base has dropped at all. The latest report is that WoW's subscriber base is at 11,5 million subscribers and if we look over WoW's history, we see that the subscriber base has never dropped once and WoW's subscriber base has been steadily INCREASING ever since it was released. To think that the game's subs would drop this early after the release of Wrath of the Lich King is downright foolish. The top end guild moving to one of its competitors, sorry, What competitors? If people were planning to leave to another game, they would have done so by now.
    I also put serious doubt behind your claim that such a huge percentage is located in Asia. According to WoW's 10 million subscribers press release, 2 million are in Europe, 2.5 million are in North America, and 5.5 million is located in Asia.



    You make a whole load of claims about WoW's subscriber base dropping but honnestly, there have been people who have been saying this for years since the game was released and I see absolutely nothing that says you're any different from all the people who were wrong.
     
    2. WAR: currently the 2nd largest mmo in subs, although a very high quality mmo its fortress endgame is currently broken (although its city sieges are not) making the #1 priority for Mythic to fix endgame fortress sieges. The success of this game depends on how fast and how well they can fix this part of the RVR endgame. although the PVE instances and the rest of the RVR experience are all top notch. WAR is the likely destination of all the current top mmo guilds and players from WoW and other games
    I seriously doubt that WAR is currently the 2nd largest MMORPG's in subs. NCsoft's  Lineage and Lineage 2 both had around 1 million subscribers last time I checked, and NCsoft's recently released Aion currently has around 28 servers in Korea from what I have heard, subscriber base is still not revealed. Then there is the Legend of Mir 2 game, which is incredibly popular. It's also very unlikely that WAR is the destination as WoW's endgame guilds are based on PVE, where WAR is build on PVP.
     
    3. EVE: not often mentioned but this mmo has carved out its niche and is holding steady, doing what it does in a large sandbox space environment that appeals to the hardcore sandbox PVP crowd (in space)
    Agree
     
    4. LOTRO: another niche PVE game, this one has been ticking along nicely with its new xpac but one can't help but feel it should have done better given the franchise
     Disagree, Lotro is one of the better PVE MMORPG's that have come out.
    Other predictions:
     
    a) Darkfall will be a disappointment, the budget is low and the game is very far from finished, and is nowhere near the level of polish of WoW/WAR/LOTRO
    Agree, 100%.
    b) Aion will appeal to some of the old L2ers, but will likely not touch the mainstream (but will be a good mmo game for those who love the asian-styled grind mmos)


    You clearly haven't done any research on Aion. It's yet to be seen how well the game is going to do worldwide but atm it has 28 servers in Korea. Also, Aion won't appeal to grind mmo's, Aion's design is completely opposed to the traditional korean mmorpg game design. progression is quick, the experience is very quest based and the game's target audience is the casual gamer.



     

  • BurnthebedBurnthebed Member Posts: 443

    Makes sense since there are 40 minute queues to get onto my server at peak times...

    The sleeper awakes...and rides his dirtbike to the mall.

  • AhilesAhiles Member Posts: 414

    Oh look another wow will die thread. Next yera it will be the same, and the following year, and the next. Can some of you see into the future. Well we all know your future predictions, wow was meant to die this year, and the previous year, with the wow killers War, and Aoc. Peace of advice keep your so called predictions to yourself, you kepe saying wow is dying, and it just gets stronger and stronger, maybe u should make prediction son what the future holds for so called wow killers, and over hyped games, rather than kepe starting "wow will di this year", "wow population will crumble because of X game".



    Get a bloody grip on reality.

  • XasapisXasapis Member RarePosts: 6,337

    Exodus of players from WoW to where?

    Looking past the funny claims that there is a population decline (queues at peak hours even now is a good indication of the opposite in my book), I still fail to see the logic in the whole post. If WoW is a tank and is supposedly leaking, the content will move to in a place with similar properties. I can only think of one alternatve at the moment, LOTRO, and it wasn't mentioned at all. Instead all that was mentioned were a number of PvP games.

    The problem for those of us that are searching for an alternative to WoW PvE gameplay and content is that the choices are limited and the grip needs to be strong enough to pull us out of an already established community. How are you supposed to convince your raiding friends to move to a PvP focused game with limited PvE coverage is beyond me.

    Aion that you so easily dismissed has bigger potential in the PvE front that WAR will ever have, mainly because the focus of the game is different. I'm also expecting good things from the new Star Wars game, I guess I value a good story in an interesting world more than anything.

  • PheacePheace Member Posts: 2,408

    If it didn't have 300+ posts already I'd have been sure but now it's in doubt this might be Greyhoof, considering he probably got another ban and half his threads from the last week were deleted.

     

    Same idea as his last post as well, "WoW people are running! and they're probably going to WAR which is a *top notch* game in every aspect! (only one slight hitch to fix). "

     

     Then again he probably *would* have used the opportunity to bash AoC as well (although it might be to prevent a ban here as well).

     

    That said, there's simply *no* basis at the moment for WAR being called the second largest MMO after WoW. It would have been if they had kept growing after their initial month but there's no signs of that. Dropped off the sales charts, half the servers effectively closed down/transferred which also means they're not expecting those to fill up any time soon(eg not growth). EU has it even worse.

     

     

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  • PepsipwnzgodPepsipwnzgod Member Posts: 203

    My server Illidan, has peaks of up to about 2,000 in que every night, if you arent on around 3 hours before peak time, dont plan on getting on, i dont really see any rediculous drop of subs like you say, where do you get the 500k subs dropping anyway? lol and everyone predicted aoc would fail, take your prophecy elsewhere.

    -----------------------------
    IVE PLAYED WOW AND LIKED IT SO IM A FANBOI PLZ FLAME MY THREADS CUZ I MIGHT MENTION WOW

  • ArthousesigArthousesig Member Posts: 305

    Many people doubted my predictions about Age of Conan as well when I put it on their forum back half a year ago, and yet I doubt anyone can disagree that I was right back then. AOC was a very hot ticket at that time and everyone expected it to be a success, only a few people realised that the underlying game in AOC was simply not very good. So if you disagree with me that's fine, but mark my words on this day and see how it turns out.

  • just1opinionjust1opinion Member UncommonPosts: 4,641
    Originally posted by Xasapis


    Exodus of players from WoW to where?
    Looking past the funny claims that there is a population decline (queues at peak hours even now is a good indication of the opposite in my book), I still fail to see the logic in the whole post. If WoW is a tank and is supposedly leaking, the content will move to in a place with similar properties. I can only think of one alternatve at the moment, LOTRO, and it wasn't mentioned at all. Instead all that was mentioned were a number of PvP games.
    The problem for those of us that are searching for an alternative to WoW PvE gameplay and content is that the choices are limited and the grip needs to be strong enough to pull us out of an already established community. How are you supposed to convince your raiding friends to move to a PvP focused game with limited PvE coverage is beyond me.
    Aion that you so easily dismissed has bigger potential in the PvE front that WAR will ever have, mainly because the focus of the game is different. I'm also expecting good things from the new Star Wars game, I guess I value a good story in an interesting world more than anything.

     

    I agree with ALL of that.

    I played WAR.....and there is no way in hell that most of WoW's population will EVER migrate to that over-hyped p.o.s.   Most WoW players....most....enjoy raiding and PVE.  PVE, not PvP.  The WoW PvP'ers that were going to leave, have mostly already left and gone to WAR, and some....have come back.  Wintergrasp is FAR more fun, imho, than running scenarios and keep sieges (with static weapons) in WAR.  On top of THAT....WAR has the most abysmal PVE that I have seen in a LONG while.

    IF (BIG IF) WoW players are going to "leak" anywhere....the only PVE that is even remotely similar in mass, is probably, as you said, LoTRO, or possibly EQ2 or Vanguard (maybe), and definitely the new Star Wars game IF it delivers, and then...it's only going to attract SW fans and people who like the space environment in a game, which isn't everyone, to be sure.  AION, as well....could possibly get some of the WoW people, but you're looking at over 11 MILLION.  You're going to have to take a LOT of people to make even a remote DENT.

    Also, as stated somewhere in this thread.....every single freaking year since WoW's release, there have been games (or really FANS of games) claiming that "their" game is going to be the WoW Killer.  I'm sure SOME day that could be a POSSIBILITY, but it won't be happening this year.  Reason being.....most of the people that have lvl 80s in WoW also have many alts that they want to work in to the new content, professions to level, gold to make, achievements to gain, etc. etc. etc. ad infinitum.  I play with MANY, MANY people who have been playing WoW since the original release.  They have built friendships over the years with guildmates and will not be so easily pulled in to another community.

    I think there is a widely believed MYTH that all of WoW is made up of 10-18 year olds.  This just simply does NOT prove out to be fact.  A LOT of adults play, a lot of entire FAMILIES play....and all of those for YEARS. 

    You know what will kill WoW?  Blizzard will "kill it" when Blizzard sees fit.  They will make another MMO and probably try to ease people over in to it.  WoW will "die" when Blizz pulls the plug and quits feeding massive amounts of cash into it.

     

     

     

    President of The Marvelously Meowhead Fan Club

  • WallanoWallano Member Posts: 104

    hahaha what a stupid post. Where have you got the information WoW has dropped to 9 million subs? It has only increased to 11.5 million subs not decreased. lol like WoW would drop with 2,5 million subs on a few weeks. The queques on my server are up to 900 and 1000 so there is defenitly no drop in players only an increase.

  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 33,884
    Originally posted by Arthousesig


    Many people doubted my predictions about Age of Conan as well when I put it on their forum back half a year ago, and yet I doubt anyone can disagree that I was right back then. AOC was a very hot ticket at that time and everyone expected it to be a success, only a few people realised that the underlying game in AOC was simply not very good. So if you disagree with me that's fine, but mark my words on this day and see how it turns out.

     

    You've mentioned this twice, as if this gives some sort of credibility to your predictions.  If you were the only person saying this back then, maybe I'd agree, but fact is, just about everyone who had tried the game before launch including the beta community was predicting fail, you were just one of the mulititude of naysayers who were proven correct.  Nothing special.

    Sure, WOW will slack a bit someday, but saying they will move to WAR makes no sense. The bulk of WOW's community enjoys PVE raiding and instances, something WAR is a bit weak at, and even those who enjoy WOW's PVP will hardly be lured in by WAR's ORVR/scenario model.

    You seem obsessed that the "best" players will move to WOW.  No point in that, the best players are already playing EVE. 

    (smiley's added to let people know I'm kidding)

     

     

    "See normal people, I'm not one of them" | G-Easy & Big Sean

    "I need to finish" - Christian Wolff: The Accountant

    Just trying to live long enough to play a new, released MMORPG, playing POE at the moment.

    Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

    Don't just play games, inhabit virtual worlds™

    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon






  • metalhead980metalhead980 Member Posts: 2,658

    Dude can I borrow you're crystal ball? I wanna know how mortal online and Earthrise will fair later on in the year if they release.

    PLaying: EvE, Ryzom

    Waiting For: Earthrise, Perpetuum

  • KryzizKryziz Member UncommonPosts: 127

    This is how I see it. A good chunk of people that played  in 2004 might have left, but they have been replaced by those that started playing the game in 2005-2008.  Some people are also addicts dude they won't leave even if the game bites.

    What will break WOW are games with better graphics but equal performance. Story arcs that are cool and worth reading and in conjuction with past novels, balanced classes all over the board,  end game dungeons that are jaw dropping. A very big world, with multiple worlds that are pure eye candy but again have no technical issues or increased lag. I'm hoping SWTOR is that.

     

    PS a sick crafting system, that is skill based over time....

  • RavenRaven Member UncommonPosts: 2,004

    Dont people get tired of these predictions according to some people WoW has been dying the last 4 years yet the population keeps on growing, with every expansion there is always a small group that starts preaching doom.

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  • dwillpowerdwillpower Member Posts: 97

    Yea like everyone else said my server Queues are crazy. I don't even think during wrath release queues have been this high. Just yesterday Devs are talking about opening ANOTHER transfer server because of the huge population boom.  What was the last MMO to do that post release?

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  • SonofSethSonofSeth Member UncommonPosts: 1,884

     I like this one, sounds serious. I'll bookmark it so I can necro it when I'm bored in the summer, or maybe next winter.

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  • demolishIXdemolishIX Member Posts: 632
    Originally posted by metalhead980


    Dude can I borrow you're crystal ball? I wanna know how mortal online and Earthrise will fair later on in the year if they release.

     

  • BarakIIIBarakIII Member Posts: 800

    I don't look for another game to kill WoW, I don't think that's likely anytime soon. What's far more likely...this isn't a prediction, just a possibility...is that the world economy will go into the tank so bad that luxuries like computer gaming are no longer possible.

    So if your predictions happen to come true, it won't be for the reasons you've given. Even if the world economy tanks, the fall off of WoW subscriptions won't happen as quickly as you predicted.

  • metalhead980metalhead980 Member Posts: 2,658
    Originally posted by demolishIX

    Originally posted by metalhead980


    Dude can I borrow you're crystal ball? I wanna know how mortal online and Earthrise will fair later on in the year if they release.

     

     

    HAHA! that was epic!!! lol

    PLaying: EvE, Ryzom

    Waiting For: Earthrise, Perpetuum

  • AzrileAzrile Member Posts: 2,582

    WOW released like 30 servers in the past two months, and every night has about 25% of it's servers in queue.  Why in the world would you think WOW has declined in subscribers since it just announced 11.5M a month ago (a new all time high).

    Look at the sales chart.   WOW battlechest (vanilla wow) is still in the top 20 on most charts.   That means a huge influx of new players.

    When Wrath launches in China, expect 13M to be announced.

    i smell a greywolf

  • daylight01daylight01 Member Posts: 2,250

    "For those who might remember me, I predicted the rapid demise of Age of Conan back in June 2008"

     

    Epic statement,so you were the guy that said it,there was I thinking that around half the people that played it had given up before June .

     

    image

    If someone had came up to me in 1980 when I was on my Atari 2600 and said we will be playing games with thousands of people at the same time.I guess my response would have been,"but I only have 2 joysticks"

    http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/235780/page/8

  • SinaaSinaa Member Posts: 5

    yes...and? what happens if you are right?

    you ll get promoted? a star or an unknown game-superbug will be named after you?

    who the heck cares about these endless speculations whether wow will die or not?

    is it simple epicaricacy or the deeply hidden wish, this game (blizzard) shoud be struck by the black death just because ...hmm..because...[insert reason pls].....?

    and ..as far as i know...they announced a couple of days ago that the subs reached the number of 11.500.000.... not bad for being nearly dead...

  • HorusraHorusra Member EpicPosts: 4,101

    People in WoW are not going to leave for WAR.  WAR has horrible PvE...just horrible.  The AI there is the worst in any modern game I have seen.  It gets boring after the first few levels.  WAR needs a lot of work on its PvE aspect before it would pull a lot of WoW players.

  • hidden1hidden1 Member UncommonPosts: 1,244
    Originally posted by Horusra


    People in WoW are not going to leave for WAR.  WAR has horrible PvE...just horrible.  The AI there is the worst in any modern game I have seen.  It gets boring after the first few levels.  WAR needs a lot of work on its PvE aspect before it would pull a lot of WoW players.



     

    But they might leave for Darkfall

  • HorusraHorusra Member EpicPosts: 4,101

    Highly doubt that much will leave for hardcore pvp with no good pve

     

This discussion has been closed.