Aion Wins The Battle, But Can It Win The Warcraft?
Like a dual Warglaive of Azzinoth wielding rogue, Blizzard president and co-founder Mike Morhaime dealt a double blow to World of Warcraft's world domination plans while speaking at Activision's Calendar Year 2009 Conference Call. Under the guise of increased stability, the company announced a halt in growth, with the market leading MMORPG currently having 11.5 million current subscribers, the same amount as there were in December 2008. Less easy to sugarcoat was the bombshell that a massive 70% of World of Warcraft players fail to progress past level 10, a process that usually doesn't take longer than a few hours.
What makes this news even more interesting is that on the very same day NCSoft, arguably Blizzard's biggest competitor, announced that their revenue in 2009 had risen by 83%, with Aion alone responsible for 43% of the year's income. Given that the Korean developed MMORPG was only opened to the Western World in the latter half of the year, resulting in Q4 profits rocketing by 1000%, comparisons are bound to be drawn between the recent performances of World of Warcraft and Aion.