The infamous MMO continues to see revenue declines amidst lost subscribers, micro-transactions hoping to remedy.
Blizzard has reportedly lost 700k more subscribers and has dropped more than 50% in total revenue from September 2012 to April 2013, according to Superdataresearch’s findings yesterday. Confirmed back in July, Blizzard plans to restore balance to the once prominent MMO through the implementation of micro-transactions; which are currently being tested in Asian regions.
Superdataresearch believes in April of this year, the company made $93 million in total revenues, which is less than half of the $204 million it made back in September of 2012. That’s a 54% drop in total revenues within just seven months.
Contrary to this decline, revenues in micro-transactions have fared better, according to figures gathered by SDR. So far, players are spending, with conversion rates increasing. As long as Blizzard keeps dialing up the right in-game store products, we can expect this trend to continue.
Initially, the public test server offered special power-ups and items that could be purchased with real cash and nothing more. However, while these purchasable boosts don’t necessarily affect gameplay or give any one player a significant advantage over another, other projected components believed to be coming to the store, such as the Lesser Charms of Good Fortune, have received a less than favorable reception - for fear of pay-to-win implications, as reported by Penny Arcade Report’s Andrew Groen.
To Blizzard's credit, gripes and fears have dialed down since the program was introduced, however, the WoW creators are still treading with caution, and rightfully so. Anyone familiar with the free-to-play model knows that converting from subscription to F2P must be as well thought out as the game itself. Especially since we're talking about consumer buying options.
On the other hand, Blizzard is a smart company and good at heeding to the feedback of its gaming community. After all, they’re trying to maintain WoW and reignite its user base, not taint it. Time will ultimately tell if F2P is in cards for World of Warcaft.