World of Warcraft and Xbox One cast obfuscate on sales numbers

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Two high-profile sets of gaming numbers will no longer be reported. Microsoft will no longer divulge Xbox hardware sales numbers, and Activision Blizzard will no longer give out World of Warcraft subscriber data.

Microsoft announced that they will no longer be sharing Xbox One hardware sales in their investor reports. In their latest earnings release, Microsoft folded Xbox One sales under More Personal Computing and stated only that gaming revenue grew 6%, and that Xbox Live transactions were healthy. When pressed on the change in reporting, Microsoft told GameInformer that they feel Xbox Live engagements are more relevant to the business. No doubt Microsoft would be crowing about hardware sales if the gap between sales of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One weren’t so far apart and getting worse all the time.

Activision Blizzard’s executives told investors listening to the company’s latest quarterly conference call that World of Warcraft current subscribers hit 5.5 million, and that it would be the last time they reported that data. According to them, subscriber numbers do not adequately tell the story. “There are other metrics that are better indicators of the overall Blizzard business performance.” Surely, the fact that 5.5 million subscribers represents a 100,000 loss of players since the last quarter, and makes this a nine-year low for the MMO had nothing to do with that decision? To Activision’s credit, the news about their impending acquisition of Candy Crush developers King Digital had more impact.