During today's Activision-Blizzard investors' meeting, the company revealed that World of Warcraft has lost another 100,000 subscribers since Q2 2015, with active numbers hovering around the 5.5M mark representing a nine-year low. Of interest, however, is the further revelation that this is the last quarter that Activision-Blizzard will be revealing subscription numbers, preferring instead to project the game's health via the overall success of Blizzard as a whole.
"Note that this is the last quarter that we plan to provide subscriber numbers," the company said. "There are other metrics that are better indicators of the overall Blizzard business performance." (source)
This, of course, leads to speculation that Blizzard understands the truth about WoW: Despite 5M subscriptions, it is in clear decline further leading to the idea that the venerable title will go F2P in the somewhat near future followed by work beginning on (we hope!) World of Warcraft 2.
This is not to diminish the power of 5.5M subscriptions, though the numbers may not be quite that given the differences in the way subscriber metrics are counted in some Asian nations, but it is clear that WoW is in what appears to be an irrevocable decline.
Of course, all of this is our opinion only, though this announcement coupled with the drastic decline in subscriptions over the past year, the introduction of the WoW token and the backlash against the Warlords of Draenor expansion leads us to believe that all of these things will come into play much sooner than later.