10 Million World Of Warcrafteers And A Lawsuit Settlement

Add in another 9,999,999 for accuracy

It looks like something of a double celebration for Activision Blizzard as the company announces a sizeable uptick in World of Warcraft subscribers (they’re back above 10 million) and a settlement in that shareholder case. Party hats at dawn…

First up, the subscriber situation:

Subscriptions were always going to see a boost in the wake of the Warlords of Draenor launch as players whose interest had tailed off stuck their heads back through the portal to see what the expansion’s deal was – it was just a matter of how big that surge of interest would be.

Over the summer subscriber numbers were still on the decline and hovering somewhere around the 6.8 million mark. According to Blizz, as of the first 24 hours after release the subscriber base had swollen to over 10 million. The launch wasn’t without problem, though, as the influx of new and returning Azeroth inhabitants encountered gameplay issues and formidable server queues, forcing Blizzard’s tech team to work on hotfixes, increases to server capacity and so on.

I don’t have the exact number but, taking an account to symbolise one person, Azeroth now has roughly the same population size as somewhere like Portugal.

(Boring fun fact: subscribers don’t actually map one-to-one with paid accounts as Actiblizzard’s definition also includes people who bought the game and are within their free month and players accessing the game via game rooms.)

The other bit of Activision business news relates to their shareholder case. It started when Activision Blizzard was looking to separate from its parent company Vivendi last year. The bare bones of it was that several shareholders including Douglas Hayes and Anthony Pacchia took action against the corporation with Hayes’ suit claiming that a sale of shares as part of the deal would “unjustly enrich [Brian] Kelly, [Bobby] Kotick and other participants”.

The action didn’t ultimately stop Activision Blizzard leaving Vivendi (I’m imagining Vivendi doing an emotional rendition of I Will Survive. “Go on now go! Walk out the door. Don’t turn around now – just take your Warlords of Draenor…”) but the suit still needed dealing with. According to an announcement from the corporation they have now reached a settlement (subject to the relevant completion procedures).

As per the statement, “Multiple insurance companies, along with various defendants, will pay Activision Blizzard $275 million. The Company believes the settlement, which acknowledges no wrongdoing by any party, is in the interest of all stakeholders.”

So there you go. That’s all the news from Actizzard today. We picked through investor press releases so YOU didn’t have to!


  1. MrLoque says:

    Blizzard is the One.

  2. Rao Dao Zao says:

    At first I was afraid, I was petrified… by a mage god damn it.

  3. Freud says:

    I like WoW but like all things that are addictive is that they take over. I didn’t have enough free evenings or time to play other games when I played it. I’d never go MMO again, preferring to play other stuff when I feel like gaming.

  4. blastaz says:

    Back up to 10 mil. So they added 3.2 million people in one quarter. Is there another subscription mmo that even has 3.2 million in total?

    • Faxanadu says:

      Is there an MMO that has taken/tried to take significant leaps in the MMO formula?

      Yeah, no. It’s easy being on top when the best competition is a wow clone with advanced housing or whatever.

      What I wanna know, is how long they’ll keep the numbers. Wonder what it looks like after a couple of months, that’s gonna be interesting.

      • malkav11 says:

        It’s a boom-gradual decline pattern every expansion, for sure, but Warlords seems to be getting more traction already than the last couple of expansions did. And frankly, as much as I did enjoy those expansions as well, I can see why. It’s a great new collection of zones to explore, a rich mix of nostalgia and new fantasy epicry in the storyline (and, aside from the slightly implausible sequence of events that kicked the whole thing off, a lot less forced and dumb than some of the core narrative in, say, Pandaria), a renewed emphasis on exploration, a whole bunch of quality of life improvements, a take on crafting that skips the tedious grinding that’s been required to catch up to the state of the art for that expansion in the past (assuming you weren’t already capped, which I am not), an entire new class of collectibles outside your inventory in the form of “toys” (which already existed but weren’t tracked or practical to amass, previously), and of course the very cool new base building and follower dispatching of the garrison.

        • Hmm-Hmm. says:

          The real question, aside from the number of new subs, is how great the rate of retention will be. You can subscribe for one month, three months or six months (with automatic renewal unless canceled), so number fluctuation will also depend on when people subscribe, and for how long at the minimum. Regardless, can assume that the content for the expansion is sufficient to last people at least a couple of months and with new content on the way Blizzard could be able to hang on to most of these new/reactivated subs for quite some time.

  5. Smoof says:

    I resubbed a few weeks prior to the expansion and was playing and enjoying myself. The expansion hit and I’ve been playing here and there and really not been having much of a great time, for some reason. I’ve actually just canceled my account as of an hour ago and am wondering how many people intend to do the same.

    The expansion is a quality piece of work and I really want to love it and WoW again, but I just have so many other games to play that are offering me a new or more interesting experience.

    • Calaros says:

      Sounds like pretty normal MMO fatigue. I had that for a long time after WotLK, and Cataclysm was my “… why am i not enjoying this any more” moment. I’m back in the addiction for Draenor but mostly just from enjoying the levelling experience and the excellent dungeons, I dunno if I’ll stick around for long once I’m at the raiding level.

      Like you said, far too many excellent games out there right now to devote your entire life to an MMO.

  6. marano says:

    Great zones, nice quality of life improvements, etc… But so much time gated content.

    I cancelled my sub yesterday as well and not because the game has become worse, but simply because it hasn’t become what I dearly desired it to become. On the contrary, it completely turned the other direction. I enjoy challenging content and unfortunately, mythical raiding is the only content that provides such challenge.

    I know it was an unrealistic expectation, but I honestly hoped they would stray from the large groups of 10/25 man and make 6 man raids. Instead they went back to larger groups. The logistics of gathering such an amount of players for the mere purpose of playing a game, removes the fun factor (for me).

    While I understand there is ‘much more to do’, there isn’t for me. I don’t enjoy garrisons, I don’t enjoy gathering pets and mounts, I don’t enjoy PvP. I enjoy tough content but the thought of having to endure 15 strangers fighting over loot again makes my butthole hurt.

  7. Perjoss says:

    What I really like so far about Draenor is because the story is told in a far superior way to previous WoW content you actually have the option to play it like a single player game and just do an hour of questing and feel satisfied and put in down to go play something else. Anyone who has been into WoW in the past will know why this is a good thing as it can easily make an entire day/week/year just vanish when doing some of the other grindy stuff. They have managed to squeeze some really pretty visuals from a ten year old engine too, although I’m not a fan of some of the new character models and animations, many of the races seem to have lost their charm especially in regards to the animations. ‘If it aint broke’ certainly applies here.