Blizzard’s second quarter earnings were released today and it shows us that the population of World Of Warcraft has dropped nearly 1.5 million subscribers.
This has a trend that has been occurring since the release of Warlords of Draenor which at its peak had 10 million subscribers. In Blizzard’s first quarter report, the population of World Of Warcraft was around 7.1 million but this latest report shows that they now have around 5.6 million active subscribers.
That being said, Blizzard still posted larger than expected earnings due to its addition of Hearth Stone and Heroes of the Storm. There was a statement published regarding the population loss.
Blizzard Entertainment had the largest online player community in its history, with Q2 MAUsF up 50% year-over-year. Though World of Warcraft® ended the quarter at 5.6 million subscribers, Blizzard revenues are up year-over-year based on strong performance across the expanding Blizzard portfolio. On June 23, 2015, Blizzard Entertainment released, Fury of Hellfire, one of the largest non-expansion content updates to date for World of Warcraft. This new content helped stabilize the subscriber number towards the end of the quarter. World of Warcraft remains the No. 1 subscription‐based MMORPG in the world.
The statement does point out that World Of Warcraft is still the largest subscription-based MMORPG in the world, but that’s slowly becoming less of an achievement as the industry is shifting towards free to play games where there are larger profit margins.
However, Blizzard is still showing growing profits this quarter it pulled in $1.04 billion in net revenue while last year it only pulled in about $970 million. But much of this growth can be aimed at Hearthstone and Heroes of the storm both of which have taken off and gained huge increases in popularity.
I am expecting Blizzard to pull in more revenue the next two quarters and more consumer interest towards the end of the year when they formally announced StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void, and Overwatch’s beta in the fall.