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Activision Blizzard to stop reporting Warcraft subscribers

Company will use unspecified engagement metrics as "better indicators" of business performance

This morning, Activision Blizzard reported that the World of Warcraft subscriber base has fallen to 5.5 million people. That may be the last solid number the company gives out for the venerable MMORPG, as Activision Blizzard also said it would no longer be providing quarterly updates to that figure.

As GameSpot reported, company representatives confirmed the news in a post-earnings call, saying, "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."

Instead of subscriber numbers, Activision Blizzard intends to use unspecified engagement metrics.

As the company has pushed toward a "year-round engagement model" with its franchises, it has similarly de-emphasized traditional performance metrics like sales figures. It has never reported sales figures for Destiny, instead relying on "registered users" numbers, sometimes even pairing that with the number of registered users for the free-to-play Hearthstone and reporting a combined number. In its quarterly earnings, Activision Blizzard pointed to "key engagement metrics" for Hearthstone being up 77 percent, but neglected to detail what those metrics were.

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Latest comments (6)

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.2 years ago
Funny. Microsoft just announced they will no longer provide console sales and will instead report subscription data. Activision announces it will no longer provide subscription data and will instead report engagement data.
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Translation: the numbers are constantly dropping therefore we will provide new statistics out of the blue so it will no longer look as dramatic.
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Curt Sampson Sofware Developer 2 years ago
The ghost of Mark Twain is clearly returning. "Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself."
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Casey Anderson Game Data Analyst, Big Fish Games2 years ago
With this and the King purchase, it is enough to make me wonder if they are planning to move WoW to a F2P model. There is a massive secondary market for WoW items and services, so perhaps the waning subscription base is finally causing ActiBliz to feel the pressure to capitalize on that market.
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Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany2 years ago
Sorry if I repeat myself, but I just love the sentence (and has a lot of applications, as you can see...)
Once again: "If I close my eyes, the dragon will go away..."
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Shane Sweeney Academic 2 years ago
The Warcraft movie might cause WoW subscription to go back up, you can bet ActBlizz will start reporting the leap in users quick smart.
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