Popular World of Warcraft add-on WeakAuras is behind the new data, which claims that the new subscriber numbers are courtesy of a new API launched by Blizzard at develop.battle.net that “was leaking player subscription end dates”.
On its Twitter account, WeakAuras revealed that active subscribers jumped to 3.2 million after the launch of the seventh major expansion, World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, back in August. But since then, the number has fallen to 1.7 million. These numbers are worldwide excluding China, it claims.
In later tweets, WeakAuras said that “the original post with those findings has since been deleted, not sure if because Blizzard threatened to sue or because it was false data”. That means you should take the new findings with a heavy pinch of salt.
Blizzard hasn’t shared exact subscriber numbers since 2015 and prefers to talk in terms of revenue instead. In the latest quarterly earnings report from August, Activision Blizzard noted $1.177 billion as net revenue for Q2 2018 from World of Warcraft subscriptions, licensing royalties from products and franchises, downloadable content, micro-transactions, and other miscellaneous revenues.
In an announcement after the release of Battle of Azeroth, Blizzard claimed that it was the fastest-selling World of Warcraft expansion of all-time, with over 3.4 million units sold on the first day.
Originally released in 2004, World of Warcraft has grossed over $9 billion in revenue, making it one of the top 10 highest-grossing video game franchises of all-time.
If you're a fan of video games, check out Transition, Gadgets 360's gaming podcast. You can listen to it via Apple Podcasts or RSS, or just listen to this week's episode by hitting the play button below.