Activision Blizzard has revealed it has lost almost a million users for its "World of Warcraft" after years as being the by-word in online games.
Halfway through a results conference call, executives said it finished the quarter with 10.3 million active subscribers to World of Warcraft, the online role-playing game that generated more than a $1 billion in revenue last year. But all that was down from 11.1 million subscribers at the end of the previous quarter and Wall Street is fretting that the age of WoW is over.
The steep fall in regular-paying users makes the company more vulnerable to its main rival, Electronic Arts, which is releasing a highly anticipated online game based on "Star Wars" in December. Activision said it was working on developing new content to improve its game and bring new players back to WoW..
Things are not going well in the gaming industry. Yesterday Take-Two Interactive reported a net loss and warned that its top sports title "NBA 2K11" would take a sales hit because of labour strife that has delayed the start of the National Basketball Association season.
Activision raised its earnings per share forecast for the year by 10 percent because it expected "Call of Duty" to perform better than it had planned. The game went on sale at midnight on Tuesday. The last edition of "Call of Duty" made the outfit $1 billion in revenue in less than two months, which set an industry record.