The news is out. My prediction from the beginning of the year actually came to pass. Amazing, right?
There was apparently enough excitement/interest generated by the Warlords of Draenor announcement at BlizzCon that Blizzard saw a small uptick in Word of Warcraft subscriptions in Q4 of 2013.
As part of general good news from Activision-Blizzard, subscription numbers were reported up, going from 7.6 million subscribers to 7.8 million; a small percentage for them, but enough players to float any number of other MMOs into profitability.
Now my prediction went on to say that subscribers would then drain off slowly until the expansion actually shipped. That assumed that Blizzard wouldn’t offer up anything special, being engaged in the Diablo III revamp and expansion plus Hearthstone plus whatever else.
But then Blizzard announced that you would be able to use your insta-90 character boost as soon as you pre-ordered the expansion, and that the pre-orders would be available “soon.” That got people talking about what class to boost. But it also opened up another possibility.
My gut says that if they could get the pre-orders in place by March 1, they have a chance to get another modest increase in subscribers as people come back to see what life is like at level cap. And with those people invested in the expansion, they might be able to hold those increases until the actual ship date… which I still think is further out that many hope.
What do you think? Will Blizzard be able to keep the number steady, or even grow them slightly, between now and whenever Warlords of Draenor ships?