World of Warcraft loses 1.1m players in 3 months

Richard Cobbett

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That's not quite as bad as it may sound - there are still 9.1 million people left in Azeroth, and things are understandably in a bit of a slump until Mists of Pandaria. Still, ouch. Somewhat amusing though is Blizzard's definition of 'alternative gaming experience to World of Warcraft' - Diablo 3. Just Diablo 3. Because why would anyone even look elsewhere for a game? Pfft! That's crazy talk!

These numbers come from Actiblizz's latest earnings call, though aren't all bad news - in the time it took WoW to lose its million players, Battle.net itself gained 6.9 million. 10 million copies of Diablo 3 have been sold. And while the subscription numbers are down, apparently that's largely a regional thing with most losses coming from the East. Numbers are of course expected to rise with the upcoming expansion, saving Azeroth's finest from having to try table dancing their way to equipment repairs.

Still, it's an unsurprising downward slide for not simply the king of Western fantasy MMOs, but one of the last hold-outs for subscription-only games in an increasingly free-to-play genre. With even The Old Republic making the jump in its first year , how much longer can it make sense to hold out?

Check out the full earnings report in handy slideshow form here .

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