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How Many People Are Playing World Of Warcraft
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World of Warcraft, first released in 2004, was made in the beginning of the MMO era and boasted the highest subscriber count for an MMORPG. Even though World of Warcraft launched so long ago, the game still boasts millions of players. There are many World of Warcraft veterans that have been playing for years, and regular content updates (such as the Shadowlands expansion last year) constantly bring new players into the virtual world. Some people may be wondering, just how many people are still playing World of Warcraft and what is the current WoW subscriber count?
There’s no definite answer readily available because Blizzard is the only one with access to the official WoW sub count. The last time the company released information about its player base was in 2015. Back then, World of Warcraft had an outstanding 5.6 million subscribers across the globe. However, now that five years have passed, it is difficult to guess the WoW subscriber count now. A lot has happened since then – including new World of Warcraft expansions, the release of WoW Classic, and a string of Activision-Blizzard controversies.
Related: Who World Of Warcraft: Shadowlands’ Main Characters Are
Because Blizzard does not release World of Warcraft‘s subscriber count to the public, people will have to rely on third-party statistics that may not be entirely accurate. Statista suggests that World of Warcraft‘s player count was around 4.88 million in 2020 (when Shadowlands was released). The latest WoW subscriber count for 2021 shows a bit of dip with 4.74 players total. This may be due to no new major content in the game or because of Activision-Blizzard’s ongoing lawsuits. However, the data suggests that it is going down at a rate of roughly 140,000 players per year since about 2016, so this may just be part of the trend.
Since it’s known that World of Warcraft‘s player count was 5.6 million in 2015, it would make sense that it’s gone down about 800,000 in the past 5 years. Even with that downward trend, 4.74 million players is still very good for an MMO that was released 16 years ago. World of Warcraft has been thriving for over a decade, and it will probably still be a long time before the game hits its end. While some players have flocked to other MMOs like Final Fantasy XIV recently, likely lowering WoW‘s sub count even more, there are still millions of players logging in on a regular basis.
Even with this decline, World of Warcraft consistently shows an active player community, even with its monthly WoW subscription system. If Blizzard listens to players and gives them what they want, that predicted downfall could quickly turn into an increase. WoW Classic managed to nearly double World of Warcraft’s player base, but that success was short-lived. Shadowlands likewise caused a spike in subscriber counts for WoW, but that also leveled off after a short time. Blizzard could manage to make a comeback with World of Warcraft by creating another great expansion that players want, similar to how Shadowlands became the fastest-selling PC title ever last year.
Of course, those expansions typically only keep new players in for a few months or so, and then only the hardcore players still remain subscribed to WoW. Blizzard’s main goal should be keeping the game fresh for veteran players. The 4.74 million players that still play World of Warcraft need more content if they are to keep coming back, and new content is a great way to keep WoW subscriber counts up.