World of Warcraft is still a force to be reckoned with, but it's numbers slipped a bit before the game launched Cataclysm in China. Blizzard president Mike Morhaime acknowledged these difficulties, and said that emerging markets may be the key to continued success.
“On the World of Warcraft side, we experienced a slight decrease in subscribership during Q2, closing the quarter at 11.1 million subscribers worldwide,” said Morhaime during a conference call. “In terms of subscriber growth around the world, what I would say is what we have seen is that subscribership tends to be seasonal and driven by content updates and so as we are heading further away from an expansion launch, it’s normal to seasoned declines where the team is currently working on our largest content update since Cataclysm and that will hit later this year.”
“We’re also looking at new markets,” added Morhaime. “We had great success in Russia. We think that Brazil is really an emerging market that has a lot of potential in terms of the number of broadband users, they are a top-10 country, their economy has performed very well compared to the rest of the world during the recession and we already have some Brazilians playing in English but we think the market can be a lot bigger in Portuguese. I think that there are other countries we’re looking at beyond that as well but I don’t have anything that I can talk about.”