At the end of 2019 Blizzard had doubled the amount of active WoW subscribers since the end of Q2.
This was revealed in an earning’s call by Blizzard president J. Allen Brack.
Given the content updates for modern WoW, and the cadence that we have for Classic, we exited our year with a subscriber base that was double what it was at the end of Q2,” says Brack. “And we also see players remaining engaged in both versions of the game. We launched Visions of N’zoth, which is a content patch for modern WoW, in January. Engagement with Classic has been particularly strong in the East, and we see very high levels of player retention there.
The player retention being strong in the East should come as no surprise as eastern players are more accepting of grindy sandbox type games vs. theme park games like the retail version of WoW.
It will be exciting to see what measures are taken with the release of Shadowlands to appeal to players crossing over from classic into the retail version.
How Blizzard handles both versions of the game will be very important to the future of the company as they have lost a lot of respect from the fans over recent years.
Shadowlands is expected to be released in the second half of 2020.