Will Mists of Pandaria Save World of Warcraft?

mists of pandaria

Is Mists of Pandaria the answer to Activison Blizzard’s subscription problems? The long-standing titan known as World of Warcraft has been shedding subscribers over the past several quarters after peaking during Burning Crusade times (~2008), but the subscription numbers still amount to far more than the next largest subscription-based MMO. While this means that the game is still quite profitable for Activision Blizzard, it’s still very possible that the current trends suggest a rapid decline in subscription numbers until it hits the proverbial rock bottom.

Unless Mists of Pandaria can come to the rescue.

Just three short days ago on August 2nd, Blizzard announced in a shareholder meeting that the game was down another 1.1 million subs from the former amount of 10.2 million announced earlier this year. Now sitting at 9.1 million subscribers, players are eager for some content after having no new content patches in just about 7 months. Add in the fact that Diablo 3 met shattering sales records (now estimated at 10 million copies) and drew away from the fanbase, and you have a potential answer to the decrease.

So logically Mists of Pandaria will likely raise the total, but by how much? Hitting stores and online distributors September 25th for $29.99, the expansion will be contending with August releases like Guild Wars 2 — a highly anticipated non-subscription based MMO. As for its features, Mists will allow players to level to a new cap of 90, and boasts the largest content addition of any expansion to date. With the added incentive to retain and increase player base, it seems very probable that Mists could be the most entertainment-loaded expansion in the series. Even Activisn Blizzard investors agree that Mists of Pandaria’s launch will be extremely telling in whether or not the former subscribers intend to return or are really gone for good.

CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Mike Morhaime explains:

“Mists of Pandaria contains the biggest variety of new content we’ve ever created for a World of Warcraft expansion, with features that will appeal to new players, veterans, and everyone in between.”

For now, only time will tell.


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3 Comments on "Will Mists of Pandaria Save World of Warcraft?"

  1. Ben Lehar August 6, 2012 at 2:05 am - Reply

    WoW will not hit the proverbial “rock bottom” for years and years. They have millions of subscribers and if they drop to one million they will still keep servers open. Diablo 3 has had people leaving en masse because it was just not that good and there was no end game. WoW doesn’t end. People who were left WoW for D3 will return and other new and old subscribers alike will come to Mists. That will just increase the amount of time till WoW ends. But look how long Everquest lasted. WoW has staying power and people will constantly return to the expansions IF they aren’t bad like some of their recent titles…

  2. Richard August 7, 2012 at 4:28 pm - Reply

    Regardless of how long the game lasts or the content they release Blizzard won’t capture the same experience that it did in 2005. The game itself is just to familiar to the vast majority of players.

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