By Blizzard Entertainment Released: 7 Nov 10
World of Warcraft's subscription numbers have continued to drop since the quarter ending June 30, according to Blizzard.
Company president Michael Morhaime has responded to this decline during a conference call on Wednesday, stating the drop in subscribers is expected after the release of a major expansion like World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.
"What we have seen is that subscribership tends to be seasonal and driven by content updates.
"So as we're heading further away from an expansion launch, it's normal to see some declines," he said to Gamasutra.
"As our players have become more experienced playing World of Warcraft over many years, they have become much better and much faster at consuming content," he added.
"And so I think with Cataclysm they were able to consume the content faster than with previous expansions, but that's why we're working on developing more content."
That new content will include major new raids and dungeons, he explained.
"We believe that this new in-game content will keep the game fresh for current players, and provide compelling reasons for lapsed players to come back."
Morhaime went on to say that both the new trial system, which allows users to play for free up to level 20, and the game's expansion into international areas such as China and Brazil, will help change the tide.
In terms of Brazil he stated:
"Their economy has performed very well compared to the rest of the world during the recession. We already have some Brazilians playing in English, but we think the market can be a lot bigger in Portuguese.
"There are other countries that we're looking at beyond these as well, but I don't have anything that I can talk about."
In the last few months it was reported that WoW's subscription rate dropped a fraction due to players joining the then-new MMO Rift. Speaking to Virgin Media, Rift's developer Will Cook said "We'd love to take credit" for the drop in subscriptions to WoW.