Executives point finger at China; Promise more content to lure customers back.
During an investor conference call, Blizzard boss Michael Morhaime revealed that numbers have been steadily dropping in the three month period leading up to March, with the majority of the decline coming from “the East”, which he later confirmed to be chiefly China.
This represents a continued decline from the MMO's peak figures of over 11 million users, and its previously released figure of 10 million subscribers following the release of the latest expansion Mists of Pandaria last October.
Morhaime candidly explained that further declines were expected to continue as the latest expansion continues to ripen, but Blizzard has plans to counteract this downward trend.
“Looking forward, our objective is to deliver new game content at a quicker pace to improve engagement. Our next content update will release later this month and we will continue to invest in additional updates and improvements to continue to evolve the game,” he told listeners (transcribed by Seeking Alpha).
“What we're seeing over time is an evolution of player behaviour, both to consume content quickly, as well as to come and go as we release new content.”
Additionally, Blizzard will attempt to make the transition back to the game easier for those who have been away for weeks, months or years.
However, it remains to be seen if the patchwork of new content and redesigns can breathe new life into its ageing and creaking MMO.