World of Warcraft loses 1.3m players

The popular MMO has dropped 14 per cent of its subscribers in three months, but still boasts 8.3 million players.

Nic Healey Senior Editor / Australia
Nic Healey is a Senior Editor with CNET, based in the Australia office. His passions include bourbon, video games and boring strangers with photos of his cat.
Nic Healey

In its earnings report for Q1 2013 (PDF), Activision Blizzard has admitted that World of Warcraft (WoW) has seen a downturn in subscribers over the past quarter, with 1.3 million users leaving the game.

Mists of Pandaria was the most recent extension for World of Warcraft. (Credit: Activision Blizzard)

To put this into some perspective, the new total of 8.3 million players still makes WoW the number one massively multiplayer online (MMO) game in the world.

CEO Bobby Kotick noted that its players are "mainly from the East, but in the West, as well".

The drop has led Activision to revise its broad financial forecasts for the year, despite posting a Q1 result that was better than expected:

While we have had a solid start to the year, we now believe that the risks and uncertainties in the back half of 2013 are more challenging than our earlier view, especially in the holiday quarter.

In addition to the subscriber loss, Kotick called out both "the disappointing launch of the Wii U [and] uncertainties regarding next-generation hardware" as contributing to the financial results.