Friday, January 24

Is World of Warcraft still in decline?

For over five years, reports have continued to claim World of Warcraft (WoW) is in decline. Some have even claimed the game will die sooner rather than later due to the falling number of subscriptions players have with the Blizzard Entertainment game. According to Statista, there were 5.67 million WoW active subscribers in 2016. Three years later, the number of active subscribers had dropped to 5.03 million. Despite the number of subscribers dropping, WoW is still one of the biggest esports games in the genre. Gamers can visit the top to get bonuses and tips for betting on a variety of games.

By 2023, Statista predicts there will be fewer than 4.5 million active subscribers to WoW. It has been claimed that players have left WoW after each new expansion to play other games finding these new expansions less than exciting.

In August 2019, Blizzard Entertainment launched the WoW Classic servers. It was predicted the game would die very quickly with gamers uninterested in playing it. However, WoW Classic has done better than many gaming experts expected. By the end of 2019, there were incredibly long queues of players waiting to enter the game.

So, why have players flocked to the WoW Classic compared to newer expansions such as Battle for Azeroth? The simple answer to that question is the nostalgia factor. Players who discovered WoW in 2004 when it was released, are now older and theoretically, better off financially. The nostalgia factor has led these players to rediscover the classic version of the game.

Nostalgia gaming isn’t the only reason gamers are playing WoW Classic. As WoW became more popular and players from all walks of life began to play it, Blizzard Entertainment made the game simpler for casual players. The classic game is far more complex than the expansions. The early version of it was a unique game that drew true gamers. The more modern versions are made for everyone.

It is unlikely WoW and Blizzard Entertainment will ever return to the incredible gaming subscription numbers it had in the late 2000s. The company reported 12 million subscribers in 2008 during the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. It was a time that Blizzard Entertainment was printing money and the following expansions allowed them to keep a strong monthly fanbase. The release of the classic servers has led to a rediscovered interest in the game. Even new players who have never experienced WoW previously have chosen the classic version.

WoW has been holding steady at more than 5 million subscribers. By the end of 2020, that number is expected to drop below 5 million for the first time. WoW has been an incredible cash cow for Blizzard Entertainment and Activision over the last 15-plus years. If the company can continue on and reach the two decade-mark, it would be a phenomenal feat in a world with so many newer videogames released every year. WoW is holding its own in the esports realm as well despite other games being played in tournaments and competitions.

WoW will release a new expansion in the summer of 2020. With the combination of a new expansion and the classic servers, WoW could buck the trend and increase in subscribers for the first time since 2016.

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