Blizzard says that the decrease of WoW subscribers is linked with the release of SWTOR in December 2011. Although Blizzard did not release any specific numbers that would show just how much of an impact SWTOR had on WoW, they say that:
"We certainly do look at [where WOW players go], and we have a very smart bunch of guys who do our analytics for us."
"Of course people are trying Star Wars - our development team are trying Star Wars! I'm one of the few people who's still playing it actually, but yeah we've seen a dip in subs. It certainly has to at least be attributable to The Old Republic, but it's also attributable to people who want to wait and get Mists of Pandaria, so it's not surprising," said senior World of Warcraft producer John Lagrave.
Blizzard offers a completely free World of Warcraft trial up to player level 20. If you want to progress beyond that and unlock various other aspects of the MMO, you'll need to buy the game and pay a monthly fee.
"There's a fair amount that you can experience up to level 20, because you really get most of the core systems in by that point.
"But we can absolutely say, 'Hey, why don't we make it level 40?' 'Why don't we make it level 60?', do we let you at least experience the old world? It's all possible.
"Right now, no," he added, "but that's all absolutely on the table."
With titles like Guild Wars 2, Diablo 3 and TERA quickly headed for release, will WoW keep their core player base or will it deplete with every passing day that these game's are in official release?