Is World of Warcraft on the decline?

The new era of World of Warcraft! World of Warcraft Legion

Will World of Warcraft die?

For anyone with experience in playing World of Warcraft knows as well as I do that the game is slowly tumbling into a decline, but does that mean it will fade and wither away?

Blizzard Entertainment have recently released a new expansion into World of Warcraft, Legion in August 2016. It is an extension based on the first expansion brought out (The Burning crusade), it is hoped that the return to a very famous story line in the game will help bring back subscribers. Can they pull it off? It’s hard to know what the future holds, so we cannot 100% answer this question, but we can speak about the past.

World of Warcraft has been around for over a decade, the membership subscriptions have seen them rise to be one of the most popular MMORPG games ever created! There has been fierce competition over this time, new games threatening to knock WoW of it’s perch.

World of Warcraft, never say never!

Star Wars The Old Republic, a rival to World of Warcraft

WoW has been the most popular MMORPG for more than a decade now, it’s safe to say Blizzard Entertainment has done one heck of a job creating and maintaining this game for so long! And we all know over the years it has had rivals threatening to “destroy” the basis and foundation of WoW. But none have succeeded.

I remember back in 2011 when the release of Star Wars: The Old Republic was announced, and I heard so many people saying “Star Wars will be the death of WoW”, “The Old Republic will rise to be the next top MMO game”. But did this happen? No!

Star Wars The Old Republic was released at a time in WoW when nothing was really happening, everyone had pretty much finished and achieved what they needed from the current expansion at the time, Cataclysm (relseased 2010) and was waiting for the new expansion Mists of Pandaria (relseased in 2012).

Although a few members may had signed up to see what all the fuss was about, Star Wars never really took off the way they had hoped. All those players came back to WoW, and it still thrives to this day.

The Statistics to WoW

In August of 2015, they announced that the large MMORPG had lost 44% of their overall subscription bases in a 6 month window.

Since 2005, WoW had a ever rising membership subscription, that raised to 11-12 million subscribers in 2010. However, since this point (the era of the Lich King), membership numbers have slowly fallen over the last 5 to 6 years, with Blizzard announcing a figure of 5.5 million active subscribers in November 2015. 

Although this number has halved over a 5 year period, it is not a figure to be laughed at, most MMORPG are lucky to get over 1 million subscribers.

So although some may say WoW is dying, it is by no means dead.

Can the WoW Movie resurrect subscribers?

Blizzard and Legendary combine to create the Warcraft Movie! Watch the trailer now!

The Warcraft film, released in June 2016, was a pivotal time for the WoW game. Would the movie recruit new members, or bring back those who have stopped playing, or would it end up to be the start of the grave digging for the game? 

We know the likes of Hitman, Mortal Combat and Street Fighter have created movies based on the game, but it is safe to say, it has not had an affect to increase game play. Would this be the same for WoW?

In terms of the Box Office, it was a success, racking in $433.5 million, but this is not the figure we are interested in, we want to know if the movie has affected the game, and how.

The problem is we may never know how and if the movie affected the rate of game play, since the last membership subscription announcement in Nov 2015 was made, Blizzard stated that it would be the last announcement.

My overall view

With many years of experience playing this legendary game, I know the quality isn’t there anymore, nor the creativity, WoW is definitely a game beyond its prime. WoW is now the “old dog” in an era of new and fascinating MMO games.

I personally enjoyed the Warcraft movie and I know there are some mixed reviews, but the revenue speaks for itself. I can only hope that this positive outcome in the Box Office has had a positive outcome in the membership subscription of the game too.

The game may be over a decade old, and in terms of game play that is ancient, but it still feels far too early to write of World of Warcraft and say it is a dead game.

Visit the official WoW website to find out more details: World of Warcraft

You may also be interested in the following articles:

1 World of Warcraft 10 things we all love about this epic game  

2 10 ways Blizzard can make World of Warcraft awesome

3 Is World of Warcraft Still King of MMOrpgs?

4 11 Best WoW Addons for Legion You Should Be Using

5 WoW Hero Class: Demon Hunter vs Death Knight

6 World of Warcraft Senior Member Leaves Blizzard

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Gamer Since: 2003
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: League of Legends
Top 3 Favorite Games:World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor, FIFA 16, Star Wars: Battlefront
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