Activision Blizzards stock has been downgraded from buy to neutral following the published results of a new survey that indicate more than one million players may bid farewell to World of Warcraft with the launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic. Blizzard has already suffered hefty losses to the aging MMORPG announcing that it had lost more than 800k players at its latest financial earnings call.
The survey conducted in coordination with Peanut Labs indicated that more than half of current World of Warcraft players have grown tired of the game. Researchers polled 381 online customers and found that 50% plan to buy Star Wars: The Old Republic and another 38% expressed interest.
Using other research data, including other competition, Lazard Capital Markets calculated that World of Warcraft could lose between 900,000 and 1.6 million subscribers following the launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic, which is slated for release on December 20th.
But as we all know, studies and online gaming can be hit and miss when it comes to where players will gravitate. And if there is one thing weve learned over the years it is that the MMOG market is always in flux. World of Warcraft has been king of the hill for a long time and theyve managed to gain back many players that theyve lost during that time to lots of competition and in some cases even gain ground. The question now is how much longer can they stay at the top of the hill?
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