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'World of Warcraft' subscriber base drops by 1.3 million in three months

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World of Warcraft may still be the world's leading subscription-based MMORPG, but the allure seems to be fading: 1.3 million players logged off between January and March, Activision Blizzard revealed today. The game's subscriber base now stands at 8.3 million — down from the 9.6 million figure reported in February. "Though the majority of our subscriber decline occurred mainly in the East, where we have more subscribers and lower revenue per subscriber, we saw declines in the West as well," said CEO Bobby Kotick during Activision Blizzard's quarterly earnings call. Kotick said that his company expected the downward trend, admitting it's likely to continue through the end of the year.

Activision Blizzard remains proud of the enormously successful title, however. "World of Warcraft remains one of the most successful franchises in the history of entertainment," he said, adding, "We believe in the long-term value of this franchise and will continue to commit substantial resources to World of Warcraft." The subscriber drop was cited alongside the Wii U's "disappointing launch" and other factors as concerns affecting the company's financial outlook. That's not to say there wasn't good news among the gloom. Kotick reminded investors that StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm sold 1.1 million copies during its first 48 hours of availability.