Blizzard on World of Warcraft's subscriber count: "we really don't know if it will grow again"
While there's no shortage of interest in World of Warcraft's remaining subscriber count, it's important to remember that the game still has a lot of players. Put it this way: if you once had 12 million slices of cake and you now have only 6.8 million, the result is still you in the corner of the room, shivering in a growing pile of vomit. Despite this, Blizzard say they don't necessarily expect their
cake player count to grow.
"We really don’t know if it will grow again,” said lead game designer Tom Chilton in an interview with MCV. "It is possible, but I wouldn’t say it’s something that we expect. Our goal is to make the most compelling content we can."
"By building expansions, you are effectively building up barriers to people coming back. But by including the level 90 character with this expansion, it gives people the opportunity to jump right into the new content."
It's an interesting point, and one that I'm sure holds some truth. However, part of Warlords of Draenor's aim seems to be recapturing the attention of former subscribers—both in setting, story and design. As Chris Metzen said during the Gamescom release date reveal, "the age of the whimsical panda is over. Warcraft of old is back."