World of Warcraft has dipped to its lowest number of subscribers in the past few years, leaving Azeroth with just 9.1 million players. This represents a drop of another million in the past quarter alone, though Blizzard isn't too worried.
Why? Because its recently released Diablo III has now seen its 10 millionth registered player. Sure those players aren't bringing in a subscriber fee each month, but that does mean 10 million people spent $50 or so on a new copy and if you do the math, that really adds up to a lot of money.
Head honcho at Blizzard, Mike Morhaime has been speaking about the shifting player numbers, saying he believes that some of those that recently left the World of Warcraft, were probably playing Diablo III now anyway and that ultimately, when the next expansion for the MMO - Mists of Pandaria - is released in September, that they'll come back.
Despite the hype behind Diablo III before launch, its impressive that the player numbers have continued to grow so much, considering the problems that have plagued it since it hit the shelves. Whether it was the always on DRM, invincible players or bugs in the Real Money Auction House, Blizzard has had to deal with all of it, but still sees a strong future for the game.
"We've already made a number fixes and updates including the activation of the Auction House, which provides a convenient way for players to trade items with each other," said Morhaime in an investor call. "The Diablo team has also been working on improvements to end-game rewards and having a player-versus-player mode, which we hope will enhance the value and longevity of the game."