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News video games 05 May 2021, 15:01

author: Adrian Werner

Blizzard Lost 29% of Playerbase in Just 3 Years

For three years, the number of people who regularly play Blizzard's games is steadily decreasing. However, the studio is increasingly efficient in earning money on those who have not yet abandoned its games.

  1. The number of "monthly players" of Blizzard games dropped to 27 million;
  2. Three years ago it was 38 million;
  3. Nevertheless, Blizzard's game revenues are rising.

There is a lot of noteworthy information in Activision's latest financial report. The most interesting of these is that the number of people who regularly play Blizzard's games has dropped by 29% over the last three years.

The report covers the period from January 1 to March 31, 2021. According to it, 27 million users play at least one Blizzard production every month. This compares to 38 million in the first quarter of 2018. Thus, in three years the population of so-called "monthly players" decreased by 11 million.

Importantly, since the beginning of 2018, almost every quarter has seen declines, or at best - no change. An increase was recorded only once - in the period from July 1 to September 30, 2019, when the number of monthly players jumped by a million. This was due to the release of the highly anticipated World of Warcraft Classic.

Especially worrying should be the lack of growth last year. The biggest online games experienced a real boom at the time, because the pandemic forced people to stay at home. For Blizzard's games, it only mitigated the declines. In the last quarter of 2019, the studio's games were played by 32 million people per month, and a year later it was only 29 million.

It is worth recalling that Overwatch has gained 10 million new players over the past year. However, even this could not stop the playerbase from melting like an iceberg approaching the tropic.

Interestingly, however, the decline in the number of players was not accompanied by a decrease in revenue, which in the first quarter of 2021 was 7% higher than in the same period of 2020. This is to be attributed, among other things, to the excellent financial results of the World of Warcraft: Shadowlands expansion.

Many players abandon Blizzard's productions, but the studio manages to earn more and more on those who continue to play. The rest of this year also promises to be very good in this regard. The Hearthstone: Forged in the Barrens expansion debuted on March 30 and so far is doing better than the previous one, Madness at the Darkmoon Faire. In addition, tons of people are anticipating the release of Diablo II: Resurrected. Video footage of the alpha version has been viewed by more people than the testing of any of the team's previous games. Diablo Immortal is also expected to finally debut in 2021.

  1. Blizzard Entertainment - official website
  2. World of Warcraft: Shadowlands Review - 75% Legion; 25% New
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