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World of Warcraft loses a million subscribers. Can pandas save it?

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(Read caption) A screenshot from Mists of Pandaria, the latest expansion pack for World of Warcraft.

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According to publisher Blizzard Entertainment, the number of World of Warcraft subscribers shrank from 10.2 million to 9.1 million during the last fiscal quarter – a significant slip for the reigning heavyweight of the online roleplaying game market.

In an earnings call with investors, Blizzard chief Mike Morhaime said the "majority of declines" had come from Asia, and chalked the Q2 figures up to a lag in new content. 

"Historically, we have seen usage decline towards the end of an expansion cycle," says Morhaime, according to a transcript of the call. "We saw a similar drop in subscribers in the months before [the Cataclysm expansion pack], followed by a substantial number of returning players around the Cataclysm launch. We're also seeing that a number of players took a break from World of Warcraft to play Diablo III." 


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