scissors

Blizzard / World of Warcraft lose 1.1 million subscribers

Posted by on December 2, 2011 at 12:30 pm


If you look back at our history, you’ll see that World of Warcraft has gotten a little bit of hate from us here at FleshEatingZipper, both in written articles and in our podcast. this isn’t because it is a bad game or because Blizzard’s a bad company or anything like that.

No, we aren’t so picky as all that.

It all boils down to direction…Read on for more.

Yes, it is all about direction – the direction the game has gone in the last couple of years and the direction the devs seem obsessed in forcing the player to go.

I’ve ranted before about Blizzard forcing gear score down people’s throats and how they’ve dumbed the game down to the point where the back tire of my motorcycle is just as capable of playing an end-game raider as any person is, and how sad it is that they have ditched the entire concept of community, the need for guilds and communication and cooperation and teamwork and how they’ve turned the whole thing in to one long grind, accentuated by the voices of young teens calling you a n00bfaggot because your ever-precious gear score is 1 point below theirs and you can’t crank out 1.21 jiggadamage per second like their 8 year old sister can.

Well, my friends, it now seems that Blizzard – and ultimately Activision – is feeling the sting from their lack of foresight.

Reports have indicated that World of Warcraft had lost as many as 1.1 million subscribers in the six months after the release of Cataclysm – that’s 10 percent of their total player-base – and that they continue to hemorrhage players at a frightful rate, despite a limited “free to play” model, free trials, and new content being pushed out to players on a regular basis.

Did Blizzard’s own arrogance get the better of them? It is certainly possible. It has never been a secret that many promises made by Blizzard have been fulfilled, just as it is no secret that they favor certain play-styles and character classes. Rather than allow players to play the way they want, Blizzard has spent an inordinate amount of time forcing players to play the way someone there envisioned it at some point.

I can’t help but wonder if some internal memo was sent out by a big-wig at Blizzard, a few years ago – “I’m sick and tired of seeing these players working together and devising strategies to get ahead in raids while my button-mashing, anti-social nephew can’t get the best gear in the game! From now on, every fight is a DPS race and every boss drops epic gear and if you even dream about incorporating strategy into a raid, you’d better wake up and hand in your resignation! Also, we are doing away with the need for guilds because little Stevie can’t go 5 minutes without calling someone a pole-smoking douchebag and he keeps getting gkicked. Make it so they can raid by just clicking a button or you’re all fired!”.

That’s probably not what actually happened but it sure felt like it. When Blizzard decided to strip all of the individuality out of the game, making it so both factions had access to the same classes and there was no need for strategy or teamwork or leadership or communication, the whole thing started to fall apart. They got some players back with talk of Nefarian, in Cataclysm but that was a bust and pissed a lot of people off and now they seek to placate users with yet another expansion, “Mists of Pandaria” which will feature kung fu pandas and a couple more raid bosses.

yay…

Meanwhile, Bobby Kotick yammers on about how he isn’t even slightly concerned about losing players to EA/BioWare and their very soon to be released MMO Star Wars : The Old Republic but that’s already seen nearly a million pre-orders and the hype train hasn’t even started rolling yet. You see, Bobby is too busy focusing on how to double the price of games to think about anything as pedestrian as his golden goose losing all its eggs.

oops…

One has to wonder when these people are going to learn…one also has to hope that other companies won’t repeat Blizzard’s mistakes and end us all up with nothing to do but watch television. Blah, television.

Don't Keep This a
Secret, Share It





  • Maybe you should learn more about Warcraft before writing an untrue article about things that are non-existent, or rumors that are not true. 

    • Which part is untrue, Glen? The subscriber numbers? Those are well documented. The changes that have been made which have cheapened the game? Those issues are also well documented and the outrage can be witnessed with a single visit to the wow forums. The broken promises and class favoritism? Again, take a peek at their forums.

      If you want to be a WoW fanboy, that’s fine, that’s your right. I played WC, WC2, WC3 and when WoW hit, I played that game from beta, through the release day inventory database woes, through MC and BWL, and right on through cataclysm and am part of that 1.1 million. I’ve been there and back again.

      None of this is news to anyone who reads the news…It’s just my opinion.

      • If we had to judge games by their forums, then I would quit making games right away.

        I’ve personally talked to the Warcraft development team, not many player can say that. I know some of the issues, and have seen some of the insides to where they want to take World of Warcraft.

        • The insights you may or may not have received as to where they want to take the game (which, by the way, would breech their internal NDA so badly that Bobby Kotick would die and then roll over in his grave if he got wind of it) are irrelevant.

          We’re not talking about where they want to take the game (which is going to be decommissioned eventually, anyway) we’re talking about where the game has been and where it is NOW.  

          I know the game backward and forward.  I used to be a HUGE fan.  Now I’m just part of that 1.1 million who got tired of the empty promises and useless expansions.  It is what it is.

    • LordShad0w

      Me thinks the lady doth protest too much. lol
      Just because you don’t share the same opinion does not invalidate the writers(opinion).
      Besides, some of us care about more than *rollseyes gasp* WOW.
      Now, go lead your epicpwnxxorzcrusade against some imaginary hellbeast and tell your eleven-teener guild friends how much this article sucks.
      (and why life in moms basement rules yo!)

      Ktnx

      • It is the green-ey’d monster, which doth mock

        The meat it feeds on. That cuckold lives in bliss,

        • LordShad0w

          yes my comment was over the top. However, it still stands that you have a very firm stance on what YOU think the article should have covered. Rather than criticize in your initial post (which was what I responded to) you could have shared some of the points that you did later in the discourse. You instead chose to just belittle the writers efforts. Which is just rude.
          Just because you have insider knowledge and are obviously a fan of the series it does not disprove the writers opinions. Which are simply that. The writers opinion.
          So agree or disagree, you should be a bit more polite if you want to make a point and retain any credibility.

          Also, neener neener.
          ;)

  • Yes, it is all about direction – the direction the game has gone in
    the last couple of years and the direction the devs seem obsessed in
    forcing the player to go.

    I’ve ranted before about Blizzard forcing gear score down people’s
    throats and how they’ve dumbed the game down to the point where the back
    tire of my motorcycle is just as capable of playing an end-game raider
    as any person is, and how sad it is that they have ditched the entire
    concept of community,the need for guilds and communication and
    cooperation and teamwork and how they’ve turned the whole thing in to
    one long grind,

    The made the game a little easier for the largest target consumer, the casual gamer.  The game should be open to everyone not just the people that play eight hours a day.  It is all about community, the more perks you get if you group up with your friends and guildmates.  The group finder for the most part works, and there are several levels.  I remember in the days before the the finder that I could only run 1 or 2 dungeons after hours of asking in a day if I was lucky enough to find a group, now I can run a dungeon whenever within minutes. 

    accentuated by the voices of young teens calling you a
    n00bfaggot because your ever-precious gear score is 1 point below theirs
    and you can’t crank out 1.21 jiggadamage per second like their 8 year
    old sister can.

    If this happens it is very rare and unfortunate, but not even close to being the truth for normal every day activities.

    Well, my friends, it now seems that Blizzard – and ultimately Activision – is feeling the sting from their lack of foresight.

    Reports have indicated that World of Warcraft had lost as many as 1.1
    million subscribers in the six months after the release of Cataclysm –
    that’s 10 percent of their total player-base – and that they continue to
    hemorrhage players at a frightful rate, despite a limited “free to
    play” model, free trials, and new content being pushed out to players on
    a regular basis.

    With the new playpass(Get a Mount, Diablo 3 for free, and access to Mist of Pandaria Beta) and Patch 4.3 is being used to offset this, I think that they may have even risen in population since announcing the loss of customers which was frankly over 3 months ago. 

    Did Blizzard’s own arrogance get the better of them? It is certainly
    possible. It has never been a secret that many promises made by Blizzard
    have been fulfilled, just as it is no secret that they favor certain
    play-styles and character classes. Rather than allow players to play the
    way they want, Blizzard has spent an inordinate amount of time forcing
    players to play the way someone there envisioned it at some point.

    Warcraft is not a sandbox, there are other sandbox out there for players.  What Warcraft does, it does really well, otherwise it would not be as popular.  What do expect from the game?  How are they force player to do to something?  This statement confuses me. The biggest reason they had people leave the game was that it became stale.  In Cataclysm they went out to get people to reroll and new customers, it greatly improved the new player areas but majorly ignored the end-game users, which was rolling out the same stuff they did in Wrath of the Lich King.  They set out to fix this with 4.2 and 4.3.  Firelands has been a huge success and End of Time is being applauded as being the best dungeons Warcraft has ever done.

    I can’t help but wonder if some internal memo was sent out by a
    big-wig at Blizzard, a few years ago – “I’m sick and tired of seeing
    these players working together and devising strategies to get ahead in
    raids while my button-mashing, anti-social nephew can’t get the best
    gear in the game! From now on, every fight is a DPS race and every boss
    drops epic gear and if you even dream about incorporating strategy into a
    raid, you’d better wake up and hand in your resignation! Also, we are
    doing away with the need for guilds because little Stevie can’t go 5
    minutes without calling someone a pole-smoking douchebag and he keeps
    getting gkicked. Make it so they can raid by just clicking a button or
    you’re all fired!”.

    This is just plain uncalled for bashing.  I expect more from FEZ articles.

    That’s probably not what actually happened but it sure felt like it.
    When Blizzard decided to strip all of the individuality out of the game,
    making it so both factions had access to the same classes and there was
    no need for strategy or teamwork or leadership or communication, the
    whole thing started to fall apart.

    Again not true, for the most part there is no difference in races, they are just there for looks and always have been.  Also in 4.3 they added the option to change the look of your armor.


    They got some players back with talk
    of Nefarian, in Cataclysm but that was a bust and pissed a lot of people
    off and now they seek to placate users with yet another expansion,
    “Mists of Pandaria” which will feature kung fu pandas and a couple more
    raid bosses.

    yay…

    I never really cared for Deathwing’s story, until the new dungeons now.  It is cool to relive his story and now one of the best expansion ending raids.  Do not bash Mist of Pandaria, Pandaren have always been part of Warcraft lore.  This was written last year, a whole year before the expansion announcement:
    wow.joystiq.com/2010/10/03/know-your-lore-the-pandaren/
    This is was something as a warcraft fan I’ve always wanted to see.  They were suppose to be introduced during the Burning Crusade, but got pushed back, and never had a real way to properly introduce them into the game until now.
    FYI:  Pandaren have been part of Warcraft lore before the Kung Fu Panda movie.

    I can guarentee the expansion after that will be dealing with Sargaras once and for all, and that will be pretty much it for Warcraft, but they’ll also have the new MMO out by then too.

    • ok, Rather than go at this point by point, I’ll just say this:

      I wrote an opinion piece.  Mine is an opinion which was built and educated by years of playing this game.  I never played 8 hours a day but I was and am a “hardcore gamer”.  When WoW was in its pre BC life, it was intended for all audiences and the big end-game raids were for the hardcores.  The philosophy back then (Blizzard’s philosophy, per their own admin posts on their own forums) was simple.  If you want to play the end game raid, get serious.  If you don’t, don’t.  I can’t tell you how many times they told players “Less QQ, more pew-pew” and stood by it.

      As time went on, though, more and more parents succumbed to the whining of their children and started letting them play.  Blizzard got more and more money and they REALLY liked it.  Then those same kids started whining because they couldn’t do the end game content.  WHY couldn’t they?  Because it was too hard for them.  They couldn’t get into raids because they couldn’t go 5 minutes without flapping their suckholes about how the other people in the raid were noobs, etc…So then they complained and it was about “accessibility”.  Then it was people crying about not being able to get the good gear because they couldn’t be in a guild and earn DKP to get the stuff.  Then they were crying about not being able to assemble large scale raids because they didn’t have enough friends (mostly because the dicks ruined it for all the kids) so then Blizz decided to dumb the whole thing down and put the dungeon finder in.  

      NOW they’re introducing the RAID finder, which is a huge bag of fail.  They’re just making it easier and easier and easier so they can keep the kids around and keep raking in the money.

      I was one of those end-game raiders back in the day and there’s not a single person I used to play with who still plays WoW.  The most popular reason?  Because Blizzard ruined the game when they made it too easy…when they turned the whole thing into a face-rolling, dps-racing, dungeon finder clicking, ninja-fest.

      Also, I didn’t randomly pull those numbers out of my ass, bro.  I *DO* perform research before I write an opinion piece, to make sure I have my facts straight.  800,000 players walked in July, August and September, alone.  This is a published FACT and it is indisputable.  Blizzard doesn’t even dispute it.

      And, bashing?  It’s called “being snarky” and it’s our #1 claim to fame, bro.  It’s what FEZzers do best!

      • Your absolutely wrong.  I wasn’t complaining about the fact of WoW losing subscribers, that is a known fact.  I have a major your reasoning and characterization of the game that were flat out lies.

        • Well, that’s your very narrow opinion, then.  I know many, many people who would disagree with you.  Like I said, if you want to fanboy the game until they shut it down, you go for your life, man.

          As for me, I’m done with it.  I’ll never go back and my reasons, while you may not agree with them, are valid and truthful.  How a person’s individual reasoning and opinion can be a “lie” I have no idea.

          Unless I secretly love WoW and play it from wake to sleep, every day…

          • Narrow, look at the mirror, my friend.  I provided ample evidence of why you were wrong and what was untrue.  But instead of having a reasonable disagreement, you insult me and hide behind faulty logic.  I’m done with this topic.

          • Ok…bye…

          • Nami

            I know many, many more who would disagree with -YOU-.

      • Nami

        Right to the “opinion” defense. Done like a real pro.

        • It’s funny when people say that, trying to bait an argument. This is what’s called an op-ed. It is an opinion piece. How else is it supposed to be presented?

          As for defense, it is also funny that people think we have limitless time to debate our opinion vs. theirs. We have research to do, games to play, movies to watch, hardware to test, videos to compile, articles to write, advertisers to deal with, PR departments to talk to, broken code to clean up, graphics to create, emails to answer, a forum to administer, comments to moderate, a business to deal with and then, at some point, we have to sleep.

          Forgive me for not writing a 15,000 word manifesto detailing why my personal opinion and the opinions of dozens of former WoW players I know in the real world are divergent from those of someone who got offended when they read my opinion.

          You have yours, too. Everyone does. I’m sure you don’t have limitless time to defend yours to the internet, either.

          Remember that it’s an opinion and just because someone disagrees doesn’t mean it stops being just that.

          Gonna run along now…By all means keep reading, though. You may just find that you agree with some of my opinions.

          • This was not presented as a op-ed, it was presented as a traditional news article.

            The title is:
            Blizzard/World of Warcraft lose 1.1 million subscribers

            That is a news story.

            If you look back at our history, you’ll see that World of Warcraft has gotten a little bit of hate from us here at FleshEatingZipper, both in written articles and in our podcast.

            Statement

            this isn’t because it is a bad game or because Blizzard’s a bad company or anything like that.

            Declarative opinion


            No, we aren’t so picky as all that.

            It all boils down to direction…Read on for more.
            Yes, it is all about direction – the direction the game has gone in
            the last couple of years and the direction the devs seem obsessed in
            forcing the player to go.

            Statement

            I’ve ranted before about Blizzard forcing gear score down people’s
            throats and how they’ve dumbed the game down to the point where the back
            tire of my motorcycle is just as capable of playing an end-game raider
            as any person is, and how sad it is that they have ditched the entire
            concept of community, the need for guilds and communication and
            cooperation and teamwork and how they’ve turned the whole thing in to
            one long grind, accentuated by the voices of young teens calling you a
            n00bfaggot because your ever-precious gear score is 1 point below theirs
            and you can’t crank out 1.21 jiggadamage per second like their 8 year
            old sister can.

            Statement

            Well, my friends, it now seems that Blizzard – and ultimately Activision – is feeling the sting from their lack of foresight.

            Reports have indicated that World of Warcraft had lost as many as 1.1
            million subscribers in the six months after the release of Cataclysm –
            that’s 10 percent of their total player-base – and that they continue to
            hemorrhage players at a frightful rate, despite a limited “free to
            play” model, free trials, and new content being pushed out to players on
            a regular basis.

            Statement

            Did Blizzard’s own arrogance get the better of them? It is certainly
            possible. 

            Declarative opinion


            It has never been a secret that many promises made by Blizzard
            have been fulfilled, just as it is no secret that they favor certain
            play-styles and character classes. Rather than allow players to play the
            way they want, Blizzard has spent an inordinate amount of time forcing
            players to play the way someone there envisioned it at some point.
            I can’t help but wonder if some internal memo was sent out by a
            big-wig at Blizzard, a few years ago – “I’m sick and tired of seeing
            these players working together and devising strategies to get ahead in
            raids while my button-mashing, anti-social nephew can’t get the best
            gear in the game! From now on, every fight is a DPS race and every boss
            drops epic gear and if you even dream about incorporating strategy into a
            raid, you’d better wake up and hand in your resignation! Also, we are
            doing away with the need for guilds because little Stevie can’t go 5
            minutes without calling someone a pole-smoking douchebag and he keeps
            getting gkicked. Make it so they can raid by just clicking a button or
            you’re all fired!”.

            Statement

            That’s probably not what actually happened but it sure felt like it.

            Declarative


            When Blizzard decided to strip all of the individuality out of the game,
            making it so both factions had access to the same classes and there was
            no need for strategy or teamwork or leadership or communication, the
            whole thing started to fall apart. They got some players back with talk
            of Nefarian, in Cataclysm but that was a bust and pissed a lot of people
            off and now they seek to placate users with yet another expansion,
            “Mists of Pandaria” which will feature kung fu pandas and a couple more
            raid bosses.

            Statement

            yay…

            Declarative

            Meanwhile, Bobby Kotick yammers on about how he isn’t even slightly concerned about losing players to EA/BioWare
            and their very soon to be released MMO Star Wars : The Old Republic but
            that’s already seen nearly a million pre-orders and the hype train
            hasn’t even started rolling yet.You see, Bobby is too busy focusing on
            how to double the price of games to think about anything as pedestrian as his golden goose losing all its eggs.

            oops…

            Declarative

            One has to wonder when these people are going to learn…

            Question

            one also has
            to hope that other companies won’t repeat Blizzard’s mistakes and end us
            all up with nothing to do but watch television. Blah, television.

            Declarative Opinion

            There a difference when presenting a statement and an opinion.  For example:

            The president is bad at his job.
            or
            I think, the president is bad at his job.

            By adding the qualifier, I think  It turned the statement into my opinion.  I know FEZ is a little opinionated but this is a news story, not a review or critique.  You break traditional journalistic reporting by opinionating the story.  That why it is so much more important to add those qualifiers that it is your opinion, and not statements of facts.

  • Anubisval

    Excellent article and very true. This latest upcoming expansion is evidence of the downward Spiral. The Pandas, The Theme (yeah…please…take up to goldseller haven please), and THE DAMN POKEMON crap are too much. Activision’s taint is now killing Blizzard. They were fine before they sold themselves to the devil. Funny how the sub numbers are important when they were gaining subs, not that they are losing subs, players act like it’s not a big deal. The Acti CEO is going to kill this game with his arrogance the same way CCP’s CEO killed EvE as it slowly continues to die.

    • No it is not true.

      • Says the ONLY dissenter.

        • Nami

          Not quite. Angry much? You have a flimsy argument and when you have it torn to pieces, you either use “opinion” as a defense or hide behind numbers. Which, you know, are maybe… three, four people, total?

  • 1234fifth

    Go back to wow forums G W mop sucks and many agree with me on that no mater what you think.

  • Andreas

    I must say I agree with everything in this acticle, and I played since beta too. I have a few things I want like to add. But this is almost 100% why I left wow. And for those who say wow losing players because it getting old don’t have a clu about the game. For me it was my life, it felt even better then irl call me crazy but it did, I met some of my best friends there and I’d had my time of my live there untill blizzard started to change everything…. now it’s not the same game anymore and that is why I left, not because it was old because it was a “new” game that I do not like!