World of Warcraft subscriptions have contracted by 800,000 subscribers, Blizzard Entertainment has revealed.
Subscriber numbers fell from 11.1 million in June to 10.3 million in September – a seven per cent drop.
That loss followed another exodus of about 300,000 customers in the six months prior, which means the game has dropped over one million customers so far this year, and the losses are accelerating.
In a conference call, Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime said that the biggest fall in subscribers was occurring in China.
But World of Warcraft is still one of the most popular games in China and remains by far the most popular subscription-based MMO in the world, he added.
Blizzard will take further action in a bid to claw back lost customers, with new updates and projects such as the recently announced expansion Mists of Pandaria.
"It's really not intended to go out and drive new user acquisition, that's a whole other strategy," he said.
"But it does drive engagement with the game, and so that will impact churn if we do it successfully, and will eventually drive win-back, as players tell each other about the content they're enjoying."
Blizzard recently announced it would be offering free copies of the studio’s upcoming Diablo III to those who purchase an annual pass to World of Warcraft.