Not even the sacred Pandaren are enough to save this aging tiger.
According to Activision Blizzard's fourth-quarter earnings, World of Warcraft dropped to 9.6 million subscribers by December 31st of last year. That follows the game's one-million subscriber gain during the launch week of Mists of Pandaria, half of which disappeared within three months.
Judging by activity graphs as seen on various census sites, or Xfire, the game has had an even further decline in the past month. There's a possibility that it's at its greatest low in years even beating out the 9.1 million announced during its late Cataclysm content drought.
As negative as this can be spun, it's important to remember that it's an eight-year old game and even then it has more subscribers than any other MMO on the planet. On the flip side, similar to Call of Duty it's in a decline that will test the creativity of its development team going into the future.
Blizzard has a new MMO in development which it has been tight-lipped on. It could be exactly what Blizzard needs to combat this inevitable recession. It's not surprising that we haven't seen a screenshot or even know what IP the new game will belong to. World of Warcraft is a tought act to follow, and whatever the new title is it'll have to aim for the stars to produce results even remotely similar to its kindred.