World of Warcraft subscriber losses calm

World of Warcraft subscriber losses calm

By Rob Crossley

February 13th 2012 at 11:35AM

Industry leading MMO lost 100,000 active users in most recent quarter - 700,000 less than previous period

Activation Blizzard reported a net loss of 100,000 World of Warcraft subscribers for the three months ending December 31st, according to financial documents filed by the company.

An aggressive marketing campaign featuring Chuck Norris during the quarterly period may have acquired enough new subscribers to negate further losses to its established user base.

Three months prior to the fourth calendar quarter, Activision Blizzard revealed that the longstanding MMO had lost 800,000 subscribers – seven per cent of its total user base at the time. That followed another exodus of about 300,000 customers in the first six months of 2011.

But Blizzard appears to have decelerated the reduction, ending the quarter with 10.2 million subscribers after seven years of business.

Activision announced the figures during its most recent quarterly earnings report, where the company elsewhere declared $1.4 billion in profit for the quarter. Shares climbed on the results, which landed ahead of City expectations.

Analysts and investors are closely watching the performance of Electronic Arts’ new MMO The Old Republic – the latest game billed as a rival to Blizzard’s market leader.

The Old Republic currently attracts 1.7 million subscribers, though there is no direct evidence to suggest it is chipping away the Warcraft user base directly.