For a game that has broken a number of Guinness World Records since its inception, the WoW franchise seems to be on a rocky descent going by recent statistics. World of Warcraft has for some time been the bar by which other online multiplayer games have been measured with; however, it seems like age is catching up with the game that first saw the online world in 2004. Its recent release of Legion in August 30th, which is still being tested by players all around the world, will be a great test as to whether the game can withstand another decade in the ever so changing online gaming world. Here are some reasons that paint a grim picture about WoW’s future;
Free-to-play or subscription
One of World of Warcraft’s greatest undoing is the fact they still hold on to a subscription based model rather than adopting freemium as a way of attracting players to their game. And their number of subscriptions is dropping fast as well.
In as much as Blizzard can’t completely drop their subscription based model, other games being developed are also incorporating freemium packages that are attracting more gamers to them. Furthermore, in business cycles it is quite easy to convert a free client into a paying client rather than look for paying clients straight away.
Stopped sub releases
Again, the apparent move by Blizzard to stop releasing subscription numbers after the release of Warlords of Draenor is a move that may show the cracks inherent in World of Warcraft. It is more likely that their subscriptions took a major hit, especially because of the lags in creation of new content. Even the introduction of the WoW token didn’t help much as their final report showed a decline in the subscription earnings. If this is anything to go by, then the future looks gloomy for Blizzard’s WoW enterprise.
Expansions and contractions
Blizzard has been making expansions after some time on WoW which seems to have been driving their subscription numbers up. However, in the long run, their numbers are taking a dip. For example, the Warlords of Draenor, is credited as to have pushed their subscription base from 7.4 million to 10 million when it was released in November 2014. After a period of time, around 3 million subscribers vanished which indicates the mere fact that expansions are not that merrier for Blizzard as they expect it to be. We are waiting to see whether Legion will be better off than its other expansions and whether people will indeed stay loyal to the game.
These reasons point to a declining WoW, however it is also worth noting that other multiplayer games are not doing that good either. World of Warcraft still remains the undisputed king of MMORPG and it will take some time before any other game bypasses its records. It will be quite interesting to see just how WoW pans out in the long run and whether it can survive for another ten years.