Activision shares drop in response to Warcraft subs

6.5 per cent the largest drop in 8 months for the Modern Warfare publisher

Publisher Activision Blizzard saw stock drop to $13.02, a fall of 6.5 per cent, after recent financial results revealed falling subscription numbers for the MMO World Of Warcraft.

The drop was the largest since February 10, said Bloomberg, despite Activision's record Q3 financial results.

Subscriptions to World Of Warcraft have fallen from 11.1 million to 10.3 million in just three months, athough a new expansion pack, Mists Of Pandaria, is expected to attract more users on release next year.

"Based on our third-quarter performance, stronger than expected consumer response to our new entertainment property, Skylanders: Spyro's Adventures, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, we are raising our full-year financial outlook and expect once again to deliver record operating margins and the highest earnings per share in our company's history," said CEO Bobby Kotick.

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Latest comments (7)

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 6 years ago
Is anyone surprised that a game that's gone on for as long as WoW is seeing a drop in subs? I'd say it's also the crappy economy worldwide, which analysts seem to overlook in their scribblings. Not everyone who wants to keep playing a pay to play game disguised in a ftp shell will keep playing. Others are WoW'ed out and others are waiting for the next big MMO to move on to.
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John Donnelly Quality Assurance 6 years ago
Greg, for years wow has been a total cash cow.
Even after the Vivendi Activision merger the numbers kept going up and this made people happy.

With the loss of so many subscribers people think the golden goose is about to shot and that worries people.
Investors are fickle they dont really care about anything but the next quater out performing the last.

Hell the share price went up when they cut a ton of jobs which you would think would cause it to drop.
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Mihai Cozma Indie Games Developer 6 years ago
10.3 subscribers is the official number, I think the number of active accounts at a time is a bit less than that. Anyway, that is still a lot of income, paired with starcraft which also keeps selling quite well.
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Graham Simpson Tea boy, Collins Stewart6 years ago
You need to put things into perspective. ATVI has outperformed its index (NASDAQ) by 6.2% year to date. Goldmans upgraded their buy target today to $16 and the post results consensus recommendation is also $16 (18 brokers contributing). It's also the week Italy nearlly went under and the Dow Jones crashed 400 points. Think of it as taking a breather...
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Micheal Nelson writer/editor 6 years ago
SW:TOR will likely take a big bite out of WoW subs, if it isn't already behind the recent drop in numbers, lol.
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An Nguyen Business Development Executive - GET Leader, VNG Corp6 years ago
The title should be "WOW" not "WarCraft", totally different between the two genres: one is RTS and one is MMORPG!
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Jeff Wayne Technical Architect 6 years ago
I don't understand the "sky is falling" view some people (e.g. shareholders) take to drop in subs news for WoW. There's alot of things happening at the moment that are most likely the cumulative cause.

As Greg said, the economy for a start is probably not helping. There's a huge release just around the corner in the form of SWTOR that has alot of people excited. DCU Online went free to play and there are other extremely popular free to play games like League of Legends being played alot at the moment. WoW is probably going to drop a few more subs - the next patch coming is unlikely to be a big draw for anyone that's not currently playing. The new expansion due next year (I think) will probably bring a big spike back to the subscriber numbers though as it did with the release of all the previous expansions.

I don't think the game is in dire straits by any measure and it often intrigues me as to how it's maintained it's popularity for such a very long time in what is a pretty fikkle market. Let's see how their subscriber numbers look next year with a few million pandas running around! :-)
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