NOV. 8, 2011 • After noting that the number of active World of Warcraft subscribers had dropped under 11 million to 10.3 million, Activision Blizzard announced an annual pass for the MMO to encourage lapsed players to return. Consumers who make a 12-month commitment to World of Warcraft, will get a copy of Diablo III for free, along with an invitation to the next World of Warcraft beta and an exclusive in-game mount.
Impact: The World of Warcraft subscriber numbers are expected to start declining in all major markets. Blizzard said most of the decline they reported for the period ending September 30th came from China. However, there is a slowdown in usage in other markets and this is expected to result in an eventual decline in subscribers that choose to renew when their subscription is over. The idea of giving away a copy of Diablo III is probably not that great an inducement. An annual subscription costs about three times the price of Diablo III so if you only care about Diablo III it makes much more sense to just buy the game without making a 12-month commitment.