We already reported a few days ago about the recent subscriber losses for World of Warcraft. With a statement released on the official forums Blizzard was quick to blame it on Diablo III, whose mammoth sales arguably make up for the subscriber loss in World of Warcraft. See for yourself.
Contributing factors to the lower subscribers were likely the launch of Diablo III in the quarter, which provided consumers with an alternative gaming experience to World of Warcraft (although Diablo III has not yet launched in China), as well as the lack of new content patches in all geographies resulting in less overall game play. Looking forward, Blizzard Entertainment expects to release World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria™ on September 25, 2012, which will deliver new game content in all regions that is expected to further appeal to the gaming community (with availability in mainland China to be announced at a later date).
The latter part of the statement is the more realistic one. World of Warcraft is getting old and Blizzard knows it. It takes lots of new content to keep players around, and paying. Mists of Pandaria has recieved mixed previews so far, and WoW has been on a downward slide for more then a year. Does this expansion have what it takes to turn things around and keep the gaming juggernaut going? Only time will tell.