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    Blizzard Reveals Subscriber Trends at GDC

    During a Games Developer Conference lecture reflecting on 30 years of Warcraft, Senior Vice President and Warcraft Franchise General Manager John Hight shared World of Warcraft subscriber trends from Legion through Dragonflight, noting the successes, failures, and changes made to course correct dwindling numbers following Shadowlands.

    As reported by Korean webzine Inven, Hight's talk began with history of the franchise, how it captured players with a revolutionary RTS and evolved into both an MMO and several other game types. While the talk itself is interesting enough, the focal point of the discussion reflects specifically on the successes and failures of World of Warcraft, how it built decades worth of fans, why some fans had turned away, and what changes were made to bring them back, with slides depicting subscriber trends from Legion through Dragonflight. All slide images courtesy of Inven.



    Unsurprisingly, subscription numbers routinely spike with new expansions and gradually fall as stories and content are consumed. Throughout Legion, Battle for Azeroth, and even the launch of Shadowlands, WoW retained a relatively predictable subscriber curve, supplemented with the release of WoW Classic. Following Shadowlands, however, numbers failed to recover. The release of Dragonflight showed signs of of recovery, but failed to reach expectations of previous curves, indicating a major problem - the players who left weren't coming back.



    These new trends continue with the World Soul Trilogy announced at BlizzCon, and thanks to these efforts, it's expressed that both the decline in subscribers is slowing down and there's been a higher rate of subscriber recovery with content updates. As per Inven, Hight concluded the lecture by saying that looking back on the 30 years of Warcraft has taught an important lesson: players are evolving, but they don't want to leave the games they love behind. Blizzard is striving to evolve with them, giving them a reason to stay and continue to enjoy those games they love.


    Blizzard Reveals Subscriber Trends at GDC
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