'World of Warcraft' loses 2 million players

"World of Warcraft" (WoW), one of the world's favourite online games, has reported big losses in its subscriber base. Over 600,000 players have left the game in the past three months. The exodus has seen almost two million subscriptions ended in 2013. At the start of the year, Activision Blizzard, owners of the game, boasted a healthy 9.6 million subscribers. That figure is now 7.7 million. Despite the huge decline, it is still easily the world's most popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG). Analysts are saying the drop is due to fierce competition from hugely popular multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games like "League of Legends," which has 12 million active daily players.

Despite the downturn in the fortunes of WoW, Activision is pushing ahead to provide the company with greater independence. Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, is spearheading an $8.2billion buyout to be the majority shareholder once again. He wants to buy 429 million of the company's shares back from French telecoms and entertainment giant Vivendi. The French company currently holds a 61 per cent controlling stake in Activision, which would fall to just 12 per cent if the acquisition is successful. Mr Kotick, who has been Activision CEO since 1991, is a strong believer in the future of online subscriptions. He oversaw the success of WoW and another Activision smash hit, "Call Of Duty".