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Blizzard: player base down 29% over three years

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Written by Guillaume
Publication date: {{ dayjs(1620576051*1000).local().format("L").toString()}}
This article is an automatic translation

When even a video game heavyweight can suffer from public disaffection.

If there's one video game company that needs no introduction, it's Blizzard. Famous for its successful franchises - Warcraft, Starcraft, Diablo - and for being at the origin of one of the biggest successes of the massively multiplayer role-playing game - World of Warcraft - Blizzard has more recently released titles such as Hearthstone or Overwatch which have in their own way contributed to continue its legend. However, all is not so rosy at the heart of the Californian company.

Indeed, for three years now, Blizzard seems to be reaching a less and less large audience. At first glance, the figure of 27 million players connecting each month to a title created by the studio is quite a good performance, even a very good one. In reality, it mostly masks a decline observed quarter after quarter for three years now by VideoGameChronicle. During the first quarter of 2018, there was talk of 38 million players connected each month. More "only" 32 million a year later, a figure that was stable until the first quarter of 2020, but which resumed its decline with "only" 27 million players in the first quarter of 2021. In the end, over three years, we are talking about a 29% drop in its audience.

A title like Overwatch has not managed to stop this decline, nor has the latest World of Warcraft expansion - Shadowlands - or the release of World of Warcraft Classic. Even more embarrassing is that this decline is taking place at a time when the health situation has tended to boost video game companies. The question now is whether this decline is inevitable or whether promising future projects like Diablo IV or Overwatch 2 will be able to stop the trend. However, both projects are still far from being released: Diablo IV is expected to arrive well after Diablo II Resurrected, at best sometime in 2022, and Overwatch 2 could land a little earlier, but with little certainty.