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Activision-Blizzard Stock Downgraded on Declining WoW Subs

Posted by Michael Bitton on Nov 22, 2011  | Comments

Activision-Blizzard Stock Downgraded on Declining WoW Subs - World of Warcraft -

Lazard Capital Markets has downgraded Activision-Blizzard stock from "buy" to "neutral" in light of World of Warcraft's declining subscription numbers.

Lazard analyst Atul Bagga does not believe Activision-Blizzard can stop the hemorrhaging of World of Warcraft subscriber numbers due to age and increased competition in the space.  The downgrade was mainly motivated by data coming out of a recent survery of 381 online gamers conducted by Lazard Capital Markets (along with Peanut Labs) . The survey results have Lazard Capital projecting a potential 900,000-1.6million player drop due to the the imminent launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic alone. 50% of those who were actively subscribed to World of Warcraft during the time of the survey stated they would be purchasing The Old Republic, while 38% said they may pick up the title.

Bagga wasn't entirely pessimistic, however, noting that half of former WoW subscribers polled during the survey stated they may return to World of Warcraft if Blizzard put on a special promotion, and that 33% of former subscribers would return to the game with the launch of Mists of Pandaria, the game's next expansion.

via GameSpot.

Michael Bitton / Michael Bitton / Michael began his career at the WarCry Network in 2005 as the site manager for several different WarCry fansite portals. In 2008, Michael worked for the startup magazine Massive Gamer as a columnist and online news editor. In June of 2009, Michael joined as the site's Community Manager. Follow him on Twitter @eMikeB