It seems like there was some sort misunderstanding regarding the interview as the director never used 10.1 million figure. The actual subscription count still remains a mystery.
It’s always big news when World of Warcraft, one of the very first MMORPGs, reports a sudden, massive loss in subscriptions. However, that’s not the case this year, now that World of Warcraft subscriptions have jumped from the 5.5 million reported last year, to 10.1 million reported this year, according to a Blizzard interview.
The interview comes from the Polish magazine Pixel, which interviewed Tom Chilton, one of the game directors for World of Warcraft. Previously, after 2015 reported that World of Warcraft subscriptions had fallen substantially down to 5.5 million, Blizzard had stopped reporting numbers. The interviewers at Pixel asked Chilton what subscriber numbers now, and he gave the above number.
See Also: World of Warcraft: Legion Saw the Highest Number of Concurrent Players in Recent Memory, Says Blizzard
This is a massive jump up from 2015, which is likely due to the renewed interest in Blizzard’s products after Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void, Overwatch, and the new World of Warcraft expansion Legion have all come out.
Chilton did also say that World of Warcraft had its own internal rivalry with Overwatch, but that he doesn’t really know what the future will hold for the game.
Much of World of Warcraft’s success has become cyclical now that the game is so old: many lifelong players have run out of things to do, and so only jump back into the game long enough to do everything they can in the expansion before dropping off again. While this still leaves their subscriptions open, there are others that just get bored of the game and leave.
While it’s likely that World of Warcraft subscriptions will fall again once people get bored of Legion, the huge jump in subscribers just makes it clear that World of Warcraft will be around for a good while longer, even in a world where many companies think that a free-to-play model (which WOW has, up to level 20) is the only way to play these days.