Warhammer Online Subscribers Dwindle to 300,000 (Update: Rumors of New Mythic Layoffs)

By Nick Breckon, Feb 04, 2009 11:07am PST Update: Joystiq is now reporting that "several well-placed sources" have confirmed a new round of Mythic layoffs, on the order of 60-130 employees.

The story claims that the layoffs extend to the development staff, including senior designers. Shacknews has contacted Mythic owner Electronic Arts for comment.

Original story: Tucked away in yesterday's Electronic Arts conference was the news that Mythic's MMO Warhammer Online has seen its player base reduced to a lean 300,000 subscribers.

The number places Warhammer's base ahead of MMOs such as EverQuest II and Lord of the Rings Online, but far behind behemoths like Lineage and World of Warcraft.

Following Warhammer's September launch, developer Mythic had registered 750,000 players of the game. By early November, Electronic Arts was reporting that Warhammer had accumulated over 800,000 subscribers.

But even before the World of Warcraft expansion Wrath of the Lich King launched in November, competitor Blizzard was reporting that up to 46% of Warcraft subscribers who had cancelled their subscription citing Warhammer had already returned. Lich King went on to break sales records, increasing Warcraft's stranglehold on the MMO genre to 11.5 million subscribers.

Though layoffs at Warhammer developer Mythic were rumored last month, the company has reassured fans that it will continue to support the game, announcing a series of updates that will roll out between March and June of this year.

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  • I can see that the WAR people are not happy they are running low on subscribers, but delays ended up causing them to release just a short amount of time before the WOW expansion, as well as right before significant updates to EVE online and Lord of the Rings Online - hell there could have even been an Everquest II thing in there.

    The reason I played WAR and stopped was because I didn't find the PvP that compelling, and the rest of their content was lackluster. If you didn't want to seige a keep, there was mostly just the battleground-type things, and besides getting experience I didn't really see any tangible benefit of doing those over and over again like all the other people seemed to want to do.

    That said, I do absolutely love the Warhammer IP, and I hope this game shapes up and still lives in a year when theres more stuff to do. I'd check it out again for sure.