Speaking to Eurogamer, Blizzard has admitted that the recent dip in World of Warcraft subscriber figures is “at least attributable to [Star Wars] The Old Republic”.
As of November 2011, there were 10.3 million World of Warcraft subscribers. Exactly one year earlier the subscriber count peaked at 12 million.
Star Wars: The Old Republic launched in December 2011, and while Blizzard has not released subscriber figures since then, it did shed 600 staff members and launch an aggressive campaign to re-enlist ex WoW subscribers.
“We certainly do look at [where WOW players go], and we have a very smart bunch of guys who do our analytics for us,” said senior World of Warcraft producer John Lagrave.
“Of course people are trying Star Wars – our development team are trying Star Wars! I’m one of the few people who’s still playing it actually, but yeah we’ve seen a dip in subs. It certainly has to at least be attributable to The Old Republic, but it’s also attributable to people who want to wait and get Mists of Pandaria, so it’s not surprising.
“Are they going elsewhere? Yes they are. We don’t have a lock on all the best games in the world – Skyrim was an amazing game.”
Lagrave did mention that Skyrim did not have any clear impact on WoW subscriptions, “but people definitely did that as well as WOW”, he said.