Quote of the Day – The First Rule of Subscription Club…

Note that this is the last quarter that we plan to provide subscriber numbers. There are other metrics that are better indicators of the overall Blizzard business performance.

-From the Q3, 2015 investor call, quoted by GameSpot

Well, that is it.  In the end, even World of Warcraft in reality cannot compete with World of Warcraft of legend.

Past its peak of 12 million subscribers, having to report numbers less than half that amount is a burden, a sign of failure, even when nobody else is anywhere close to having those numbers and the revenue is still very strong.  I will be surprised if institutional investors don’t raise a stink over this.  Deciding to cease reporting on an easily understood metric seems against their interest.

And so Blizzard will join the bullshit metrics club and will talk about MAUs (monthly average users), or some other value that sounds good but bears not real relationship to the financial performance of a game.  Registered users!  Applications for beta!  Total downloads!  Combined revenue for three completely different games!

What else will they come up with?

5.5 million subscribers.  That is the last solid number we’re likely to see for Blizzard’s cash cow, their billion dollar (annual revenue) baby.  On to BlizzCon!

Hat Tip to Shintar of Going Commando who mentioned this in the comments of the previous post.


4 thoughts on “Quote of the Day – The First Rule of Subscription Club…

  1. kiantremayne

    Since subscriber numbers can be multiplied by the subscription fee to give the subscription revenue of the game, then as long as subs are the main source of income I struggle to think which “other metrics” could be “better indicators of business performance”, as long as you equate ‘business performance’ with ‘making money’.

    Of course, if subs are NOT your main source of revenue then by all means move to a better indicator. I would suggest “we raked in THIS many dollars last quarter” as a pretty good metric, but that’s probably too simple :)


  2. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Bhagpuss – Prelude to a F2P announcement at BlizzCon? Wouldn’t that be a bombshell? And with that, subscription numbers wouldn’t make as much sense… though they would still give a good sense of revenue.


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