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World of Warcraft stops losing subscribers

Numbers stabilise following large declines in 2011

Activision has said that World of Warcraft subscriber numbers held firm during the first quarter of 2012.

World of Warcraft had 10.2 million global subscribers as of March 31, 2012, exactly the same total the publisher reported three months earlier.

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WOW subscribers totalled around 12 million at the start of 2011, but fell significantly during the following 12 months. Activision's shares were hit in November after it was revealed that WOW had lost 800,000 subscribers in the three months ended September 30. A further 100,000 were lost in the next three months, but things have since stabilised.

Last night Blizzard CEO Michael Morhaime told investors (via Seeking Alpha): "Maintaining our subscriber levels puts us in a great position as we drive toward the launch of Mists of Pandaria later this year."

Asked how subscriber numbers have fared since the beginning of April, he added: "So we don't provide intra-quarter updates on subscribership. What I can say is that we made a large content update towards the end of Q4, each did help us out a lot on player engagement. And we expect to see increased engagement with the launch of Mists of Pandaria."

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