Has World of Warcraft Peaked?

With the resent release and huge success of Age of Conan and a slew of high profile MMORPGs on the way, could it be that WOW has finally hit its peak. The last numbers we received from Blizzard were back in Jan 2008 stating that WOW has passed the 10 million mark. If you take a look at the chart provided by mmogchart.com, you’ll see the subscription numbers since WOW went live and you can plainly see that the numbers are approaching a plateau.

I can’t tell you how many WOW players I heard from saying they were switching to AoC and I can imagine the same when Warhammer Online comes out later this year. However players leaving one game for another is nothing new and WOW has managed to keep increasing its numbers regardless of what games come out. The question is can it keep doing it.

I don’t believe it can. I think that it will peak sometime this summer and start declining in the fall or winter. World of Warcraft has had a great run, not to say it won’t still be #1 for a long long time, but I believe Blizzard knows WOW is approaching its peak and they are looking towards the future with an unnamed MMO in the works. Starcraft, Diablo or maybe a Lost Vikings MMO (yes Blizzard made Lost Vikings), but whatever the MMO is, I’m sure it will keep Blizzard at the top of the MMO gaming world for years to come.


  1. There’s a ridiculous number of good console and PC games coming out toward the end of this year. I’m sure WoW will stay strong, but I’d be amazed if they didn’t lose a significant number subscribers to smaller games this fall and winter.

  2. I have heard from blogs that have reportedly heard from blizzard that they now have upwards of 10.7 million subscribers. If you ask me – World of Warcraft still has some to go before it peaks. Best bet is that the numbers some time after WoTLK will be higher than they are now.

  3. I’ve heard just as many bad things about AoC’s launch and gameplay as good. I’ll believe that WoW has peaked when I see it.

    Having played EQ since release and then WoW, I’ve seen many, many, many people saying that Asheron’s Call/Dark Age of Camelot/Shadowbane/Star Wars: Galaxies/The Sims Online/whatever will ‘kill’ the current market leader. They are wrong way more often than they are right. New games come out strong and fade more often than they start weak and grow. Check back in with AoC in six months.

  4. After WAR, there is seriously nothing on the horizon that might have an impact. WAR is the big storm, but Blizzard is really good at weathering those storms.

    WoW has at least 18 more months until it peaks. The peak will probably be a few months after the next expansion (the expansion after WotLK).

    Blizzard will hit the 11 million, possibly scratch the 12 mil mark, but eventually it’s going to start eroding.

    Just not for another 18 months.

  5. Of one start to think about a peak in WoW, no one think in the fact that WoW reaches 10 million with only 1 expansion, and the same graphic motor in both games (WoW and WoW The Burning Crusade) and also note that WoftLK will has the same graphic motor… So.. can anyone imagine how much players will join to the WoW files if in the (just an example) fourth expansion they improve the graphics of the game?.

    Nobody can say that the history of the game is boring… One of the best things that the game has is its history… I don’t think that WoW will reaches its peak soon… There will be WoW for a long long time


    Cheers… and yes.. I’m a Warcraft and World of Warcraft player xD

  6. No I don’t think WoW has peaked.
    I am done with it, but thats after 60 days /played.
    Can’t do it anymore.

    AoC will keep a lot of those ex-wowers happy for about 2-10 days game time, max.
    WAR will do well but I don’t think it will be stealing a lot of wow players, mainly because the gameplay mechanics are too simliar.

    For a long time I was one of those people calling for wow’s head. I hate a lot of things about the game, but…

    * It is more accessable than any other major mmo
    * It has a VERY large player base
    * Much, much more refined gameplay
    * Balanced classes, balanced for solo and group, balanced for casual and hardcore, balanced balanced balanced.

    Wow will stay on top until at least 2010. Maybe much longer.

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