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World of Warcraft Loses 300,000 Subscribers

Blizzard's online roleplaying game loses nearly a million paying subscribers in less than a year

It looks like World of Warcraft, Blizzard's nigh indefatigable roleplaying behemoth, may finally be experiencing some serious attrition. The number of paying subscribers for the online game dropped to 11.1 million between May and July, down from 11.4 million in May and 12 million back in October, 2010. That's nearly a million down in less than a year, despite the launch of Wrath of the Lich King in China and Cataclysm internationally, as well as a new free-to-play angle with a feature paywall.

Many online game publishers would kill just to have a quarter million subscribers, all told, but even for Blizzard, an exodus of 300,000 in 30 days time (or about 3 percent) seems a little steep.

(More on PCWorld: Is This the Next World of Warcraft Expansion?)

Of course Blizzard's calling that "business as usual." telling investors during a call yesterday that declines are expected after major content drops like Lich King and Catacalysm. Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaine chalks it up to increasingly experienced players chewing through content more quickly with each new release.

Morhaine's not-exactly-inspired solution? Develop more content. Specifically: more raids and dungeons. I know—how utterly thrilling for those of you who've spent the last seven years chewing through...raids and dungeons.

Nonetheless, the game remains the world's most subscribed MMORPG, or at least that's what the game's apparently contentious enough for an edit-lock Wikipedia page says.

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