Activision’s (NASDAQ:ATVI) Ideal World of Warcraft Strategy


world of wizard - wowActivision-Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) is the giant company behind the highly popular massively multi-player online role-playing game World of Warcraft. World of Warcraft has seen better days. At its height, it had more than 15 million monthly subscribers. World of Warcraft is a huge cash cow for Activision-Blizzard. Unfortunately, in recent years, its total number of subscribers has dwindled.

If you are a shareholder of the company behind World of Warcraft, you might want to pay attention to the release patterns for this franchise. Whenever a new World of Warcraft is released, the total subscriber base increases. Maybe the powers that be behind World of Warcraft should pay more attention to other successful video game franchises like Call of Duty. Call of Duty pretty much updates every year. When it does so, it sets solid sales figures. While the sales figures are not necessarily always record breaking, they at least maintain the large installed base of fans of this first-person shooter.

Maybe World of Warcraft could adopt an annual update strategy. With each update, there are fundamental changes to the content that might recruit new players. Also, previous players who have stopped playing the game may be enticed by word of the new content changes to try the game again. This is a great strategy to at least keep the subscriber base of World of Warcraft around the ten million mark. Based on the market reception of the latest WOW upgrade – Warlords of Draenor, this appears to be the case. If World of Warcraft wants to stabilize its membership base, it should look into annual updates.


  1. Activision does Call of Duty. Blizzard does World of Warcraft. They are two distinct companies. They are both subsidiaries of the same holding but they are nonetheless independant.

    The subscription base of WOW is hovering between 6 and 9 million players. at 15$ a month, when the subscription rate is at its lowest (not today’s level) Blizzard rakes in the equivalent in subscription money as if it sold about 50 million Xbox games each year.

  2. With the current subscriber base Blizzard pulls out as much money in one year as a publisher that would sell about 60 million copies of their game. Repeat every year since 2005.

    A subscriber pays 15$ straight to Blizzard 12 times a year.
    A Call of Duty player pays 60$ for the game disc (20$ or so goes to Activision) then maybe a few DLC (30% each time is kept by the vendor (Microsoft, Steam, Sony…)

    the current 7.5 millions WoW player give Blizzard as much cash as 30-40 million COD players can give Activision in a year.

  3. Lol I didn’t see that one coming. Well I just have to wait if what will the Bliz will do about it. Cause I find it crazy but makes a lot of sense.


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