Blizzard games decline in player count despite WoW Shadowlands, D2R & more

activision blizzard logo over wow world of warcraft orc statueBlizzard Entertainment

Following the lawsuit against Activision Blizzard in 2021, the company has struggled to maintain its player base despite releasing WoW Shadowlands, WoW Burning Crusade Classic, and Diablo 2 Resurrected. 

2021 wasn’t quite the year that Activision Blizzard would have expected. Plunged into turmoil following a lawsuit by the state of California for nurturing a “pervasive frat boy culture” within the workplace, the company has struggled to maintain players across a number of titles.

Coming into 2022, however, the Microsoft acquisition of the publisher has, for many, been a shining beacon at the end of a seemingly endless tunnel. As eyes turn to the future, debates about the path iconic MMORPG, World of Warcraft, will take have consumed the game’s community.

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Following Activision Blizzard’s Q4 earnings call, however, the signs are not positive.

diablo 2 resurrected tyraelBlizzard Entertainment
Despite a major release in the form of Diablo 2 Resurrected, Blizzard closed out 2021 with less players than ever before.

Blizzard Earnings Call brings bad news

In a graphical version of Blizzard’s Monthly Active Users (MAU) stats from the 2021 Q4 call, it appears that Blizzard lost 5 million users during 2021 despite the release of WoW Shadowlands in October, 2020, and Diablo 2 Resurrected and WoW Burning Crusade Classic in 2021.

While the total MAUs across all of Activision Blizzard’s affiliates climbed to 435 million in Q1 of 2021, it dropped off to 371 million by the end of the year.

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This implies that Shadowlands saw a brief interest spike, but following lackluster updates like Chains of Domination, it struggled to live up to the hype.

Fans have been quick to weigh in on why the stats look like this, citing a lack of completely new content as being one of the major factors for decreased interest.

“Nothing actually new has been released. Diablo 2 [Resurrected], Burning Crusade Classic, and the “content” of 9.1.5 was old Legion content lol. Need some new content,” writes one.

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Another points out that, despite global troubles, Blizzard still struggled to make any headway despite restrictions causing “an uptick in MAUs for many other games from other companies.”

Following the Microsoft buyout, it’ll be interesting to see how things change coming into 2022. With a new WoW mobile game set to release, as well as Diablo Immortal and a confirmed survival game, the future seems to look a little brighter. Only time will tell.

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