Blizzard has lost about 29% of its playerbase in the last three years, according to Activision Blizzard’s latest fiscal results. The drop was pointed out by MassivelyOP, who noted that Blizzard started 2018 with an active playerbase of 38 million players. That number has fallen to 27 million as of the first quarter of 2021.
Activision Blizzard released its financial statement for 2021 recently, which covers every part of the company. While the numbers all good across the board, Blizzard’s numbers are the least impressive. The studio reported a 7% increase in revenue compared to the same time last year, with the increase attributed to Hearthstone, WoW Classic, and Shadowlands. If you’re wondering how Blizzard can be making more money off of fewer players, that’s probably due to COVID-19, which has a lot of people spending more time and money on video games.
It’s worth noting that Blizzard’s decline in playerbase isn’t entirely unexpected. World of Warcraft is still quite good, but the game is 17 years old, as are most of Blizzard’s other titles. The studio hasn’t released a truly new game since Overwatch in 2016, and regular updates for that title have stopped so Blizzard can focus on Overwatch 2.
The statement has some good news for Blizzard, though. Players offered “very positive feedback” during recent tests of Diablo 2: Resurrected and Diablo Immortal is still scheduled to release later this year. There’s still no word on release dates for Overwatch 2 or Diablo 4, however.