According to website Gamasutra, the most successful MMORPG, World of Warcraft, is continuing to lose subscribers at an overwhelming rate, shedding nearly a million subscribers within the last three months.
Gamasutra reports that World of Warcraft has been losing steam since well before the release of its most recent expansion, Cataclysm, and even though the new content released in the Cataclysm expansion was enough to bring back unsubscribed players for a fleeting glance, many have since canceled their accounts. Gamasutra also explains that according to their source, Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime, most of the canceled accounts come from eastern countries such as China, where games like World of Warcraft are used as a source of income by the many prevalent “gold farmers” who collect in game resources, and sell them online for real currency.
With a future promotion on the way which will allow new annual subscribers of WoW to acquire a copy of Diablo III upon it's release, as well as another new expansion on the way with Mists of Pandaria, Blizzard still has a few tricks up its sleeve to wake the now sleeping giant. Whether or not it is too late to inject new life in a seven year old game remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure; the timeliness of a panda bear oriented expansion coming out around the same time as the notable decrease in Eastern based WoW subscriptions is made of some brand of ironic, tongue-in-cheek hilarity.