World of Warcraft now has 9.1 million subscribers, which is a decline from the 10+ million the Blizzard-made MMO boasted some time ago. This decrease is due to Diablo 3, the studio’s recently launched RPG, at least according to the company’s co-founder, Mike Morhaime.
Blizzard confirmed yesterday some rather interesting figures for its World of Warcraft Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game, saying that its number of subscribers has decreased to “just” 9.1 million, while its Diablo 3 role-playing dungeon crawler has sold over 10 million copies
These figures are collated, according to Blizzard, as the studio assured investors that the decrease in popularity of the MMO is due to many players suspending their subscriptions in order to try out Diablo 3.
According to the studio’s Mike Morhaime, the number of subscribers in WoW generally decreases before a large add-on is launched, pointing out the upcoming Mists of Pandaria
expansion that’s out in September. He also highlighted Diablo 3, as it has no doubt attracted many WoW players.
"Historically we have seen usage decline towards the end of an expansion cycle. We saw a similar drop in subscribers in the months before Cataclysm, followed by a substantial return of players around the Cataclysm launch. We're also seeing that a number of players took a break from WoW to play Diablo III," he said.
Morhaime also took the chance to explain to investors that the studio isn’t satisfied just with the huge sales figures of Diablo 3, as it wants to continue updating the game in order to keep players hooked on the experience.
"While Diablo III was our 14th #1 seller, we did experience some challenges. Due to the unprecedented influx of players a number of service issues arose that we needed to work around the clock to address. The vast majority of these issues were ironed out within a couple weeks of launch. As I mentioned in a letter to players recently, we're not satisfied with just breaking launch records. We want people to play and enjoy Diablo III for a long time," he added.
Morhaime highlighted this strategy last month, promising that new patches, as well as features like the Player-versus-Player mode, are coming soon.