Do sub numbers matter?

General Discussion
I've read all the threads, seen all the consipracy theories, but I've also read business reports for not just Blizz but other popular MMO's. I don't get how subscription numbers are directly related to the overall quality of the game and gaming experience.

There are approximately as many players now as when I stopped playing seriously back in early BC. Back then, 6 million subs was considered huge and totally unheard of and a really great thing. Now people act like the second WoW hits 6 million, the servers are gonna shut down.

The game is fun, and there are still a heck lot of poeple logging on every month to play it, and still content being generated for it. Isn't that all that matters? How will the game suddenly be 'better' if there are 10 million players rather than 6? How is a game still with more subs than the next five+ MMOs put together "dying"? (although Ive been seeing folks bemoan WoWs death throes since 2006)
Yes, if only because they prompt Blizzard to make knee-jerk reactions.

*cough cough* CATACLYSM HEROICS *cough cough*
It doesn't matter.

Before sub numbers went down, they'd simply say "LOOK AT ALL THESE THREADS ABOUT THIS THING I DONT LIKE, PLUS SOME GUY MADE A YOUTUBE VIDEO UR GAME IS DYING BLIZZ U SUX" Its been going on since people lost their panties over not wanting to kill Illidan and even before.

Sub numbers are just the easy goat because we live in an age where trolling on the internet is an acceptable way to be social.
If anything, the community improves as the bandwagon-jumpers get bored and wander away. I agree - WoW isn't in any trouble. It has the critical mass of players needed to sustain itself without even trying.
Sub numbers really only matter in that they're showing how well a game is or isn't doing. The problem is that World of Warcraft is in a league all it's own in that regard. No other MMO has numbers close to it, and the ones with numbers close to it are generally free to play and a completely different genre.

In terms of a quality game though, Subs may determine how much room development teams have to work with since more subs means more money. So in a sense yes they do, but often times people worry far too much about a small dip and immediately scream end of the world.
In terms of a quality game though, Subs may determine how much room development teams have to work with since more subs means more money. So in a sense yes they do, but often times people worry far too much about a small dip and immediately scream end of the world.


Lowering subs could be the drive for better quality gaming too though. Like if we were still sitting at 11 mil subs then Blizzard might go with the status quo. "lost this many subs?!?" Need to take a risk here soon and redesign.
Sub numbers matter at some level, since you need people to play with. However, that takes a lot fewer subs than one would imagine, and doesn't even require 7 figure sub numbers.

Going from 12m to 10m or 10m to 7m or whatever doesn't really matter. In reality, people stop playing for a great number of reasons, and it is not usually as a direct result of blizzard decisions.

I stopped playing in Mop T1 because it just stopped being fun and felt more like work to me. I came back last week to maybe give the final tier a shot and see what it's like. Some people leave for different reasons, and might never come back. The thing is, people leaving is a domino effect due to how social a game it is (it's a double edged sword, since that's the same thing that keeps people playing for so long as well).
I don't think loss of subs reflect on the quality of a game. There are many factors for why people quit playing. Burnout is probably the biggest one being that its a 10 year running game. Others are probably people just getting mad because they didn't get what they wanted.
From a business standpoint? Yes, yes they do. More subs = more revenue which is mostly what business is all about.

From our standpoint? So-so.Meaning, 12 million is more than 7 million but even at 12 million there were dead/dying realms. 7 million is still a metric buttload (real math term here). So as long as your realm is fine and especially your guild/friends are around then your experience wouldn't change even if WoW had 500K subs.

The CEO's and execs on the other hand would be flipping out and throwing chairs.
Sub numbers do matter it forced Subway to increase the size of theirs
. I don't get how subscription numbers are directly related to the overall quality of the game and gaming experience.


I believe an increase or decrease in numbers indicates that the community at large is either pleased or displeased with the current state of the game.

This has absolutely no effect on how you personally feel about the quality of the game or gaming experience.

Ppl subbing = good indicator
ppl quitting = bad indicator

Nothing more.
As long as WoW has 1 million subs or more this game will keep going. Even if they go a little under than 1 million subs this game will keep going. I really see WoW lasting until 2020 easily.

When it does end in the year 2020 people will cry and WoW will go down as the best and longest running MMO of all time. If WoW 2 comes out it will do good but not as good as WoW. I see WoW maxing out at like 10 million subs.
09/03/2013 08:11 AMPosted by Elhaa
Burnout is probably the biggest one being that its a 10 year running game.


So a decrease in the number of subs would indicate that fewer new players are replacing old players who burn out, meaning that the non-wow gaming community is less interested in the current content than they were during say, wotlk.
1/8th of wow's playerbase is still higher then any other MMO.
09/03/2013 07:45 AMPosted by Cthoushen
I've read all the threads, seen all the consipracy theories, but I've also read business reports for not just Blizz but other popular MMO's. I don't get how subscription numbers are directly related to the overall quality of the game and gaming experience.

We live in a world where myths such as religions, nations, cultures, and governments are forced upon the youth. It has a way of diminishing people's ability to think to the point where it's hard for most people to trace the source of anything really. Thankfully, with the internet, we have more of a chance to break this cycle than ever before.

WOW is such a multi-faceted game that to imagine that any one aspect could be wholly responsible for a decline in subscriptions is illogical on its face. To not even consider factors external to the game is an equally narrow-minded approach to the conversation. Or to put it in a way that can be applied to any topic, when you arrive at the table with conclusions instead of an open mind to think about it and discuss it, you're likely to be wrong or will become wrong the moment your conclusion ceases to be accurate.

The average life span of a fiat currency is historically about 40 years. The US empire has been debasing the currency for even longer than that and other fiat currencies around the world have been tinkered with based on the US dollar's value. To suggest that economical decisions people make is based solely on the item itself is dismissive to say the least.
The subscription numbers matter, but they're not the whole story as far as the bottom line is concerned for the shareholders - their question is whether the World Of Warcraft 'brand' (ghastly though that word is) is still generating revenue.

At the moment, the answer to that question has to be a resounding 'yes'; within the game, one mount purchase is approximately equivalent to two months subscription, plus paid character changing fees.

Outside the game, the IP rights have been franchised into books, toys, music and the forthcoming World Of Warcraft film

Even if WoW ceased to become truly profitable in its own right, Activision Blizzard is probably big enough to carry it as a 'loss leader' for some time, as a way of getting players into other Blizzard games. As a PR move, it's also good for Blizzard to maintain a commitment to the game, even within dwindling subscription numbers, as it shows that they don't just quit and move on to the next big thing.

I think there's a lot of ideas they still have for WoW that will keep it healthy for a while yet, but the next expansion could be the acid test of whether the player base still believes it.
Subscription numbers are very important! If there's something you don't like about the game, you can start a thread complaining about that thing. Call your thread something like "SUB NUMBERS DOWN AGAIN THANKS TO ANGLERS DAILIES!!!!" and make sure to include the most recent subscription numbers. This proves that what you're saying is true!
09/03/2013 07:45 AMPosted by Cthoushen
There are approximately as many players now as when I stopped playing seriously back in early BC. Back then, 6 million subs was considered huge and totally unheard of and a really great thing. Now people act like the second WoW hits 6 million, the servers are gonna shut down.


The problem isn't the sub count, it's how alarmingly fast it's been dropping. If you just see that WoW has eight million subscribers, you'd say that sounds pretty alright, and you'd normally be right.

However, though the game has eight million players now, it had twelve million just a short few years ago. Hundreds of thousands gone on a quarterly basis with no signs of stopping. Anyone who makes the "WoW's not dead, it still has eight million subscribers" argument is entirely missing the point. No one is saying the game is dead. What we are saying is that its dying. "Dead" and "dying" are two words that people on these forums can't seem to differentiate. This game is losing subscribers fast. Yes, Blizzard has managed to keep income up via increased micro-transaction sales, but you can't keep replacing subscriptions with pets and mounts forever. Eventually it just won't be enough anymore.

This game is on its way out. This is an indisputable fact.

09/03/2013 08:30 AMPosted by Holywarz
Burnout is probably the biggest one being that its a 10 year running game.


So a decrease in the number of subs would indicate that fewer new players are replacing old players who burn out, meaning that the non-wow gaming community is less interested in the current content than they were during say, wotlk.


Yes. This game has been around a long time. Anyone who is even remotely interested in WoW has already tried it and is either playing it still to this day, or quit long ago and has no plans of returning. This game gets very, very few new players.
It is the perception of capitalism that you are only succeeding if your subscription numbers/profit margins/market share, etc. are increasing.

Staying the same or decreasing = failure.

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