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World of Warcraft Subscriber Numbers Continue To Plummet

Blizzard Activision released the investor’s report for the fourth quarter of 2012 today and according to the report, things aren’t looking so hot for World of Warcraft’s subscriber numbers.

According to the report, total subscriber numbers for World of Warcraft had sunk to 9.6 million by the end of December, 2012. While it isn’t the lowest point to which subscriber numbers have fallen (the number of subscribers during the tail end of Cataclysm was reported to be 9.1 million), it’s still quite a dip considering there were over 10 million during the launch of World of Warcraft’s newest expansion Mists of Pandaria.

Now, before people start shrieking about how World of Warcraft is dying, a few other things need to be considered. First, the fourth quarter report covers subscription numbers for September-December, 2012 but *does not* take into account the undoubtedly high amount of new subscribers the game received during the holiday period (imagine how many people bought World of Warcraft for their friends, kids, nephews, cousins, etc. for Christmas).

Second, despite the dip in active subscribers, Blizzard still has a commanding lead in overall PC game sales. At the time of this writing, Diablo III is the number one best-selling PC game at retail and Mists of Pandaria is sitting pretty at number three.

And lastly, World of Warcraft’s subscriber numbers will most likely be ascending over the next couple of weeks thanks not only to the impending release of its next major patch (patch 5.2), but also to the new sale Blizzard announced today in celebration of the upcoming patch. The sale is offering the base game (which includes the first expansion free) for 4 pounds ($5 USD), Cataclysm for 6 pounds ($10 USD), and Mists of Pandaria for 15 pounds ($20 USD).The full press release for the investor’s call can be read here.


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