Diablo III cannibalized WoW admits Blizzard

Mike Morhaime admits players "took break" from WoW to play Diablo III

One of the standout data points from Activision's earnings announcement today was that the company's subscription numbers for World of Warcraft have fallen by more than a million in just the last three months. WoW now stands at just 9.1 million subs, but that isn't making Blizzard boss Mike Morhaime nervous.

Morhaime said on the investors call that it's actually quite normal with each WoW expansion pack for players to drop off. Moreover, this time around, before Blizzard launches the Mists of Pandaria expansion, Blizzard fans were pre-occupied with Diablo III, which Morhaime acknowledged had an impact on WoW as well.

"Historically we have seen usage decline towards the end of an expansion cycle. We saw a similar drop in subscribers in the months before Cataclysm, followed by a substantial return of players around the Cataclysm launch. We're also seeing that a number of players took a break from WoW to play Diablo III," he said.

As for Diablo III, while the game did put up record numbers, it also encountered a number of problems, which are well documented. Morhaime took the opportunity on the investors call to once again address concerns about the state of Diablo III.

"While Diablo III was our 14th #1 seller, we did experience some challenges. Due to the unprecedented influx of players a number of service issues arose that we needed to work around the clock to address. The vast majority of these issues were ironed out within a couple weeks of launch. As I mentioned in a letter to players recently, we're not satisfied with just breaking launch records. We want people to play and enjoy Diablo III for a long time," he said.

"We've already made a number of fixes and updates, including activation of the auction house... and the Diablo team has also been working on improvements to in-game rewards and having a player vs. player mode which we hope will enhance the value and longevity of the game."

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Latest comments (2)

Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany9 years ago
Well... makes sense.
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Yiannis Koumoutzelis Founder & Creative Director, Neriad Games8 years ago
Funny that this story was suggested considering it is so old. But for the history, many Diablo3 players had already pointed that out, and have accused Blizzard of "holding back" the Diablo3 experience in order to prevent that. PvP was not really properly introduced, however a great update was offered recently with patch 2.x.x. and the auction house is being removed. What appears to be a nice, but still controversial expansion according to Diablo3 forum comments is on the way this month! Some even suggest that in their opinion, Blizzard shot Diablo3 in the foot, by greatly delaying expansions and fixes in order to drive these people back to WoW and monthly revenue!

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Yiannis Koumoutzelis on 7th March 2014 7:28am

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