Citing the massive loss of 1.3 million subscribers in the last quarter, Blizzard is rushing to take "World of Warcraft" to a free-to-play model, in a last-ditch effort to save the game from closing. Players have been slowly leaving the game ever since shortly after the launch of its third expansion, "Cataclysm", but the loss of nearly 14% of the subscriber base in just three months was quite literally the straw that broke the camel's back.
"We cannot sustain operations when we are losing thousands of players every day," one Blizzard executive told me recently, on condition of anonymity. "Despite all of our efforts to court casual and hardcore players alike, nothing is working to stem the tide, so now we have to make drastic changes in our operations."
In their most recent Investors Update, Blizzard announced "World of Warcraft" lost 1.3 million subscribers in the last quarter, down to 8.3 million subscribers. This is the largest single-quarter loss of players the game has experienced in its over eight years of operation, and the number of players they lost is more than most MMORPGs can boast for their entire playerbase, but Blizzard does not seem upset at the news at all.
Let's face it: The amount of revenue they lost in that quarter is spare change to Blizzard!
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