With all of the excitement over, World of Warcraft fans are looking forward to Legion. Blizzard though have the issue of the number of subscribers, and the fact it is decreasing.
Now down to 5.5 million, this is obviously an issue that Blizzard have to face. When talking to Polygon about it, World of Warcraft Executive producer J Alan Brackman he called it “a difficult problem”. He also pointed out that the number of subscribers shouldn’t be used to represent the health of the community around the game, and the service itself:
“One of the problems that we have as a team and that I think the community has as well is this perception that there’s a direct relationship between the number that we announce and the health of that community, and the health of that business,” Brack said. “That’s not really true. I wouldn’t say that World of Warcraft is necessarily half as successful now as in previous times.”
He also revealed that the developers focus on not letting these numbers affect their work, they concentrate on the game issues instead:
“For us, the team can’t focus on how to make a quest that adds 100,000 more subscribers,” Brack said. “How does this raid boss retain people for five months longer? You’re going to drive yourself crazy as a developer doing that. The only thing we can do is focus on good experiences, focus on learning everything that we can and trying to put it into what we’re working on and make World of Warcraft the best thing that it can be.”
On keeping the game more accessible to everybody and not just the hardcore players who have worked hard to raise their levels, he revealed that level boosts work well:
“Level boosts have worked out really well,” Brack said. “We want to make it easier to play with your friends. We have a huge component of people who have been playing World of Warcraft for 10 years or some obscene number, and they have friends that either played a long time ago or maybe they’ve never played. It’s easy now to just buy the box, and you’re all caught up.”
While level boosts do make it easier for newer players to keep invested in World of Warcraft without making it more inaccessible, with subscription games the number of people paying to play will always be important no matter what the companies say. It appears that World of Warcraft is safe for now in the company’s eyes.
Do you think that Legion will bring the subscribers back to game? Let us know your thoughts below.