Blizzard: Over Half of Ex-World of Warcraft Players Returning from Warhammer Online

By Chris Faylor, Oct 16, 2008 8:32am PDT Over half of the World of Warcraft players that left the popular PC MMO for Mythic's recently launched Warhammer Online have since returned to Azeroth, Blizzard claims.

"We've seen a significant number of people, well over half, that cited Warhammer as their reason for leaving--they've already returned." Blizzard COO Paul Sams told GamesIndustry.biz. "It surprises me because Mythic is a very good company and it doesn't surprise me at the same time because it's really hard [to make an MMO]."

"I think Warhammer is best positioned to succeed out of the various products that have come out thus far since World of Warcraft has come out," he explained. "It seems to be a good game, certainly a great company, Mythic and Mark [Jacobs] over there and his team, they're very, very talented."

"We respect those guys over there a lot and certainly wish them well to succeed but having registration troubles, having server troubles, these are things that come with the territory."

Since its September 18 debut, Warhammer Online has amassed over 750,000 players. World of Warcraft, launched back in 2004, currently has 10.9 million subscribers, with a new expansion pack, Wrath of the Lich King, due out November 13.

"Each time an MMO has come out we've seen some amount of reduction of use," Sams noted, adding that the company saw a drop when Funcom's Age of Conan launched back in March. About 40% of those that left for Age of Conan had returned by July, according to Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime.

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  • The way Blizzard says this, it almost sounds like a clever form of a marketing attempt to convince MMO players - 'Everyone is gonna be back to playing WoW - you should come back too.'

    However, in terms of what will remain for the WAR player base, there are a few things that number does not take into consideration:

    -People who cancelled WoW subscriptions stating a different reason, but are playing WAR
    -People who plan on subscribing to both WoW and WAR
    -People who never played WoW but are playing WAR (Tabletop fans, DAoC fans, etc)
    - etc ( probably more- this is just a few I can name off the top of my head)

    I have to say I am vastly enjoy WAR, it has its faults and problems - but every patch they've released so far has had at least one, if not more fixes for one of major complaints. So, for the time being I'll being sticking with it.

    I actually changed my sub from 1/month to 6/months the other day - I'm 100% sure I'll still be playing it 6 months from now - and saves money in the long run.