The subscription base of World of Warcraft has seen a steady decline since its peak of 12 million subscribers in 2010, and that number continues to fall as the next expansion, Warlords of Draenor, approaches its release date.

During Activision's quarterly financial call, covered by CVG, that there are currently 6.8 million subscribers to the service, down from 7.7 million subscribers after the second quarter of 2013. This decline may sound bad for the long-running MMO, but Blizzard insists that WoW is still the "number one subscription-based MMORPG" and that these drops fall in line with the company's expectations.

"As expected, we did see a decline in subscribers, which mostly came out of the East. This pattern is right in line, percentage wise, with the drop that we saw at the end of Cataclysm's cycle in Q2 2012," according to Blizzard co-founder and president Mike Morhaime. "That drop in 2012 was followed by an uptake in subscribers just ahead of Myst of Pandaria's launch, and we're hoping to see players return once we draw closer to the release of Warlords of Draenor later this year."

Blizzard can dress up these falling numbers all they want, but it's clear that they are worried about this to some degree. Warlords of Draenor is said to be a love letter to the fans, ripe with nostalgia and re-designs of classic areas, and there's no convincing us that they aren't doing that to win back those they've lost. We'll see if it works when the expansion hits this holiday season.