Since 2017, the average monthly active user base for Blizzard Entertainment‘s games has fallen from 46million players to 26million.
As reported in GameRant, the drastic decline of players of Blizzard’s games – which include World Of Warcraft, Overwatch and Hearthstone – was revealed during Activision Blizzard‘s latest earnings call, with a chart shared on Reddit.
The studio hit its peak in Q2 2017 with 46million monthly active users, a year following the launch of both Overwatch and WoW‘s Legion expansion.
This figure has however continued falling year on year, although it had plateaued to around 32million monthly active users from 2019 up to 2020, when more people were spending time indoors playing games due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite the latest WoW expansion Shadowlands becoming the fastest selling PC game of all time when it launched last December (albeit swiftly overtaken by Cyberpunk 2077), it wasn’t enough to turn around the numbers.
While there is no clear reason why there has been such a massive drop during this time, some fans believe it’s down to Blizzard’s lack of support for games like Overwatch, exacerbated by rumours suggesting that its sequel Overwatch 2 may not launch until 2023.
Recent weeks have also seen WoW players leaving the game in droves in favour of Final Fantasy XIV, which saw the MMO beating its concurrent player record on Steam. Prominent WoW streamer Asmongold – who had made the switch – went as far as calling the WoW community “trash” in comparison.
The recent allegations of abuse and sexual harassment made against Activision Blizzard, which saw the studio’s employees stage a walk out last month and now calls for change from company shareholders, are only likely to see these numbers dwindle further.
Elsewhere, more allegations of sexual harassment have surfaced in other parts of the gaming industry, as game controller company SCUF Gaming is investigating claims of harassment made by a former employee.