The news that Activision Blizzard purchased the Candy Crush devs (King Digital Entertainment) for $5.9B definitely gave me reason to raise an eyebrow. Just a few years ago, Disney purchased Lucasfilm for $4B. Lucasfilm… Candy Crush…. Lucasfilm… Candy Crush… I just don’t… yeah. There’s clearly money to be made crushing candies.
The other part of this news story talks about how World of Warcraft’s subscribers drop by another 100,000. This most recent drop follows the previous 3 million sub loss. While some people are questioning the statement made by Blizzard that these sub numbers put the game in a “relatively stable” state, I think that’s the absolute truth. If you just dropped 3 million subs, haven’t released anything new in months and do not plan to until the next major expansion in 6 months, and you only dropped 100k subs? That’s… yeah, that’s relatively stable.
Playing WoW myself right now I can attest to the fact that there isn’t a whole lot to do. WoD, while relatively fun compared to Cataclysm and MoP, isn’t a WotLK. There’s not much to live through in this expansion. Could Blizzard have continued making content? I think that question takes a back seat to whether or not they should have kept making content. I believe pushing for Legion is the right way to go. Let’s be real, when Legion launches you know they are rebounding at least 5 million subs. It always happens.
WoW as a whole is being slowly pushed to the side to make room for other (potentially more lucrative) projects. Yes, WoW makes a ton. No, they won’t just toss it aside. But look at the big picture (and a BCG matrix) and it’s becoming ever more clear that WoW, while a cash cow, is no longer their star.