From the minute I started tracking Xfire statistics for MMOs, Warhammer Online was trending downward. I missed a few weeks and when I went to catch my numbers today I was taken aback by what I saw. Xfire users are spending a third the time in WAR that they were a mere two months ago. That’s not a slow leak of subscribers, that’s people fleeing with their hair on fire.
WAR’s numbers are still fairly decent – it’s ranked #48 today (For reference, Age of Conan is #52 and the numbers are very close.) But it won’t be if this trend continues. By the time Cataclysm comes out, we may find Warhammer at the bottom of that whirlpool between Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms.
I’m not for a minute suggesting that Warhammer is doomed or beyond saving – that would be grossly premature. But it’s increasingly looking like Mythic is going to need a major move in the next six months to halt the tsunami of departing players. I suspect that Aion is stealing, or will steal away many players for whom WAR’s PvP did not live up to its potential. Aion’s surge is inevitable at this point, but three or four months after it launches when all the shine has worn off… that will be when Mythic needs something decisive. Unless Mortal Online gets in the way.