World of Warcraft developer Blizzard has pinned the blame of a recent drop in subscribers on the MMO’s most recent expansion, Cataclysm.
“I think in some cases, when you get to the end game you can definitely make the argument that the game didn’t evolve enough to kind of keep them on,” game director Tom Chilton told VideoGamer. “Some people had raided for years and they came back to see how the world changed but at the end game it’s still, oh okay, I’ve raided for a long time and it’s still kind of the same.”
Chilton doesn’t believe, however, that the recent fall in figures is anything to worry about. “It is to some degree cyclical, in that we have always experienced as a new expansion comes out, we get a spike in subscribers and then it steadily trails down until the next expansion comes out. And so far with each expansion the spike up has been a little bit higher than the previous spikes up, so,” he said.
“And with Cataclysm, one of the things that made Cataclysm a little bit more dramatic is that I think that the idea of a rejuvenated WoW with all the kind of old-school re-doing got more re-activations than we normally would get when we release an expansion. But at the same time those are players that are the most likely to re-activate, check it out for a little bit, see what was different, and then turn again. So you see a bigger spike and a bigger drop afterwards.”
Blizzard recently stated that they aren’t working on a Starcraft MMO counterpart to WoW.