The YouTuber Bellular does the math and explains: World of Warcraft still has 2 million active players – in the best case scenario.
World of Warcraft player numbers have been a big mystery for years. After all, Blizzard does not give out any official data, so other analysis techniques and speculations have to be used. The YouTuber and streamer Bellular made it his business years ago to constantly reassess the current state of WoW. During his research he comes to the result: WoW may still have 2 million active players – and that only in the best case.
What happened? In one of his latest videos, Bellular pulls together several current statistics and compares them with the numbers from previous WoW extensions and patches. While all of the above are quite interesting, there is one number that stands out. He says: WoW currently has between 1.2 million and 2.0 million active players.
How does the data come about? In different ways. Most of it is read out via the Blizzard API and the Armory, i.e. the database of all WoW characters. The updates there make it possible to see how many characters are actively being played and are around level 60 or have chosen a pact. Together with other sites, such as Raider.IO, you can collect a few more data.
The most important number is the character set of 2,691,799 as of August 2nd. This is the number of characters who have chosen a pact in Shadowlands and have logged in at least once within the last month, so that an update took place in the database. So these are characters who have either reached level 60 or have chosen the “threads of fate” at level 50 in Oribos as a second character.
However, around 2.7 million characters cannot be equated with 2.7 million active accounts. This number doesn’t take into account how many players are playing more than one active character at the same time. Anyone who has numerous twinks (“alts”) would have to be factored out, as well as players who have several accounts at the same time.
- If each player played an average of 1.5 characters, then the number of active players would be around 1.8 million.
- If each player plays 3 characters on average, the active number of players would be a little over 900,000.
The actual number will probably be somewhere in between.
However, it must also be said that the data does not record some players who are also considered “active” but are not in the endgame. Characters who are currently still in the level phase or role players who never reach level 60 with their characters are not recorded.
How has the number of players changed over the years? That is difficult to say. In the early years of the World of Warcraft lifecycle, Blizzard published player numbers. World of Warcraft peaked in 2010 with just over 12 million active subscribers. Since 2015 – at that time there were still 7.1 million subscribers – there are no more official figures.
However, the trend analyzed by Bellular also coincides with the data from other sites and analysis methods. The number of completed “Mythic +” dungeons in Season 2 of Shadowlands has decreased dramatically, as has the number of raid visits to the Sanctum of Dominion. Or to put it another way: Significantly fewer players cavort in the endgame than a few months ago.
Not counting scandal: What is particularly worrying about these data is the large wave of protests against Blizzard, which led to the departure of many players, not counting at all. Accordingly, it is quite possible that the current numbers look a little darker and that the actual number of players has reached a new all-time low.
In spite of everything, one should not forget that these are not official figures, but that they were compiled from various sources. Only Blizzard itself knows the exact value of the current subscription numbers and players.
What do you think of these numbers? Does that coincide with your perception and experience? Or do you think the numbers are actually much bigger or smaller?