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WoW Finds its New Normal at 7.6 Million Total Subscribers

Hype is high for Warlords of Draenor, but WoW's numbers have held steady for the past year.

As part of its financial earnings release for the first quarter of 2014, Activision Blizzard revealed with World of Warcraft is currently sitting at 7.6 million subscribers. That's down from the game's all-time high of over 12 million subscribers, but that's not what is important about the current numbers. Impressively, Blizzard has been able to pull the game out of its decline and find a new middle ground; World of Warcraft has been performing at a similar level since June 2013. Either way, that's far above most of its other competitors, especially in the lull before an expansion's launch.

According to Activision Blizzard, the Warlords of Draenor expansion is doing well for itself in the pre-order department. It's been pre-ordered more than 1 million times already.

"Blizzard Entertainment expects to launch World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor, which is already one of the fastest selling expansions in the franchise’s history based on pre-sales, in the second half of 2014," said Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick in the earnings release.

During the earning conference call, Blizzard president Mike Morhaime said that he believes the expansion's pre-sales are brisk due to the free level 90 character boost that players gain access to by pre-ordering. Previously, Blizzard gave the expansion a release window of Fall 2014, but Morhaime updated that today with a promise that players would see the new content "no later than December 20, 2014." Why December 20 as opposed to the end of December? No clue.

If you're wondering how the current subscriber numbers compare with World of Warcraft's past, here's a simple timeline:

Blizzard Entertainment defines World of Warcraft subscribers as "individuals who have paid a subscription fee or have an active prepaid card to play World of Warcraft, as well as those who have purchased the game and are within their freemonth of access."

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