Blizzard games lost 12 million monthly active users in three years

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,164   +872
Staff member
In context: Since the start of 2020 and the Covid pandemic, the gaming industry has seen a surge as players find themselves with more idle time. This growth brings with it more competition between developers as they try to grab their share of that extra gaming time. Some have seen rapid growth, while other studios have taken a hit—Blizard Entertainment is one of those.

According to research from Mejores Apuestas (MA), Blizzard has lost around 12 million monthly active users (MAU) since 2018. Since 2017, it has lost about half of its player base, and as of Q2 2021, Blizzard's MAU across all properties sits at 26 million. Between 2017 and 2018 alone, the studio's IPs dropped 11 million players falling from 46 million to 35 million by Q4 2018.

The decline has not been precipitous, as can be seen in MA's charts (below). It has been steadily falling over the past three and a half years. However, its Twitch audience has seen an even sharper fall.

 

In August 2019, Blizzard's Overwatch following on Twitch sat at about 47 million followers with an all-time viewing count of 7.6 billion, making it the seventh most popular game on Twitch. As of August 2021, the follower count has dropped to a dismal 12.1 million. Overall, Overwatch viewership has dropped 75 percent.

Blizzard's decline in popularity cannot all be blamed on the pandemic. The studio has struggled with several factors that have players jumping ship. Most recently, Activision Blizzard has been entrenched in legal issues regarding its alleged toxic workplace that has escalated to the point that the Securities and Exchange Commission has opened an investigation into its workplace culture.

Also notable is the fact that the studio has not released a new property since Overwatch in 2016. Additionally, fan-favorite franchise Diablo has not seen an addition since Diablo III in 2012. Blizzard has announced it's working on Diablo IV, but it is in early development and has no release window yet. In the meantime, the studio is trying to placate fans with a mobile game called Diablo Immortal, which nobody asked for and fans rejected upon announcement.

Permalink to story.

 

Nobina

Posts: 3,343   +3,436
It's actually amazing how they're still alive. They are riding the success from Warcraft, WoW and Diablo all of which are ancient now. They haven't done anything interesting in years. Overwatch was a flop, OWL numbers were made up. CoD is bought by people with dementia who forgot they already have 5 other iterations of it which are basically the same game.
 

BobDoleStillAliv

Posts: 19   +21
Fans flipped out on diablo immortal b/c they thought that was the only next diablo game. Bliz didn't say anything at the time about diablo 4 being in development. I'm interested in a mobile version of diablo. There's a diablo'esque mobile game called eternium that is very fun. Very much reminiscent of diablo
 

Edster

Posts: 102   +78
The article says it cannot be blamed on the pandemic.

Conversely, I would argue that the drop is DESPITE the pandemic. I definitely got into gaming a lot more again the past year just because of more free time.
 

Rayneofpayne

Posts: 450   +369
Blizzard died the moment
1- Activision bought them and Blizzard north left.
2- They stopped listening to the actual fans
3- they told people how to play their games instead of letting people decide how to play their games giving illusion of choice rather than hallmarks of what an RPG really is, watering mechanics and complexity down in favor of dumb no thought play.
It's sad to see a company like this die but, Bethesda Game Studios(Not Bethesda the Publisher) is going down the same route basically pissing off the actual fans.
 

Achaios

Posts: 208   +562
Ι quit WoW Classic:TBC because of the changes they did.

We were clear, #nochanges, we don't want you to change or develop the game Blizzard, we just wanted the original experience.

Me & friends are back to Russian private servers. We hate it but Blizzard left us no choice.
 

brucek

Posts: 900   +1,305
Such a shame. At one point Blizzard had truly assembled all the right ingredients for making the most entertaining games possible. Then someone started wasting all those great resources by directing them to maximize metrics like "time played" instead of "fun delivered", eventually resulting in transparently anti-player gameplay that felt a lot like chewing day-old gum.

...Although for some reason they kept blindly prioritizing e-sports, at the cost of fun for everyone else, a decision which I can't imagine was supported by any metric of actual player participation. Was one of their executives a frustrated athlete or something?
 

Puiu

Posts: 4,956   +3,829
TechSpot Elite
People don't stop playing Blizzard games because of their toxic workplace, people stop playing Blizzard games because the games are not very fun anymore. And in my case, because of their disgraceful kowtowing to China.
"disgraceful kowtowing to China"
This reminded me of the recent Playism (a japanese publisher) incident where they removed one of the biggest host of their upcoming online live event because China asked them to do it (the event is supposed to be streamed on bilibili too).

Then they played it off as a "mistake" where they posted for many days on all websites and all social media an "unapproved" list of hosts. So disgusting.

Ty for reminding me since I had so much work lately. I'll write "Taiwan is an independent country" in their chat during the live :)

Edit: they "postponed" event because of the huge backlash :joy:
 
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terzaerian

Posts: 988   +1,434
The only unfortunate thing here is that it's basically just Fortnite filling the void, but nonetheless I exalt the implosion of this company. They murdered Nostalrius to give us a cheap imitation, kowtow to the CCP and suck at the teat of mobile gaming, they've become as bad as EA itself.
 

Guberian

Posts: 32   +43
It's actually amazing how they're still alive. They are riding the success from Warcraft, WoW and Diablo all of which are ancient now. They haven't done anything interesting in years. Overwatch was a flop, OWL numbers were made up. CoD is bought by people with dementia who forgot they already have 5 other iterations of it which are basically the same game.
Cod is just a tool to fall asleep for the office worker after a day of work. And for a place for those with severe mental disablilties to feel good about themselves by getting a few kills.
 

Guyver1wales

Posts: 12   +25
Cancelled my blizzard account a week ago and forfeited all my games. Will no longer support scummy games companies. Did the same with my Ubisoft uPlay account as well.

All thanks to the amazing YouTube journalism of Stephanie Sterling.
 

Adi6293

Posts: 931   +1,307
Cancelled my blizzard account a week ago and forfeited all my games. Will no longer support scummy games companies. Did the same with my Ubisoft uPlay account as well.

All thanks to the amazing YouTube journalism of Stephanie Sterling.

So what are you using to buy / play games?