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World of Warcraft subs on the rise ahead of Warlords of Draenor expansion

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In a press release sent earlier today to promote the new Iron Tide patch, Blizzard casually dropped its most recent subscriber count for World of Warcraft. Coming in at 7.4 million subscribers, it's a sharp increase compared to the 6.8 million subscribers recorded back in August.

While Blizzard didn't address the increase directly, it's likely a combination of the forthcoming Warlords of Draenor expansion (and its beta), as well as the aforementioned Iron Tide patch, which is one of the largest updates the ten year old MMO has received yet.

While the subscriber base may continue to increase in the lead up to the release of Warlords of Draenor, that doesn't mean the MMO's downward trajectory has come to an end. In fact, Mists of Pandaria also attracted a subscriber surge past 10 million, before sliding backwards again.

Which isn't to say that World of Warcraft is in trouble, because it's not: it's still the biggest MMO by a long shot and one of the industry's biggest success stories, but all good things come to an end. Just don't expect that end to come any time soon.

Cheers, VG247.

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.