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World of Warcraft subscribers continue to slide, Activision goes indie?

by William Schwartz

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World of Warcraft players continue to decline in the most recent numbers revealed by Activision. Over the past three months, the long-running MMO has lost another 300,000 subscribers, bringing their tally down to around 7.7 million.

While this is still a massive number of paying subscribers for any subscription based game, it’s down significantly from Blizzard’s high of 12 million subscribers back in the days ahead of the launch of World of Warcraft’s Cataclysm Expansion. Since then, it’s been report after report of sliding numbers for the MMO. We’ve also seen changes in strategy from Blizzard since then. Large portions of World of Warcraft can now be played completely free of charge, updates have become more timely, but the company has not been able to stop the bleeding.

Despite these lower numbers in World of Warcraft subscribers, Activision and Blizzard are in pretty good shape. So much so, that they’ve recently announced that they would be buying themselves back from their parent company Vivendi. The deal makes Activision/Blizzard independent of the French media conglomerate, who has owned a majority control in the company for the last five years.

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