World of Warcraft lost 800,000 subscribers in the last quarter, according to numbers revealed by Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime during an Activision Blizzard quarterly conference call on Tuesday.As of September 30th, the ending of ActiBlizz’s previous quarter, WoW held 10.3 million paying players. The previous quarterly result had been 11.1 million, which itself was down from a 12 million peak.Morhaime explained that the bulk of the losses came from Eastern territories, including China and Korea. What’s more, expansions like Cataclysm are only yielding temporary spikes in players. Experienced players resubscribe to the game to play the expansion content but unsubscribe again as soon as they complete it. That gave a net loss of nearly 1 million subscribers, according to reports from the call. Mists of Pandaria, a panda-ful content expansion pictured above, was announced at last month’s BlizzCon fan convention and is expected to launch next year.Also at BlizzCon, the company also announced that it’s giving away Diablo III to players who buy a year’s subscription to WoW. Rather than pay month-to-month, a down payment of a year’s worth of subscription money will get you the WoW Annual Pass and D3 for free.via GamasutraBlake’s OpinionThe gaming press has often looked for signs of the decline of World of Warcraft. Falling subscriber numbers have been a telltale sign, but for me it’s really the Diablo III tie-in. Blizzard’s willingness to discount WoW — by just throwing in a free copy of their hugely anticipated new game — shows a certain sense of urgency coming from Irvine.Morhaime pointed out that the losses of players are concentrated in Asia. Over there, Blizzard’s taking an old-school business model (paid subscriptions) to a very forward-thinking region of the world, where the free-to-play model has already been dominant for years. While Blizzard’s product is undoubtedly of higher quality than many Asian online games, it faces ever-increasing competition from regional publishers, like Korea’s Nexon and NCSoft, who are rapidly improving and have better ties within the various Asian markets. Moreover, Asian online game players are known to consume content faster than their Western counterparts, so for the (substantially more) gamers who’ve “finished” WoW, a major content expansion won’t hold their attention, either.Speaking of Asian markets, how are they supposed to react to a WoW expansion that’s full of Chinese-caricature architecture and humanoid pandas? Pandaria‘s reaction among the western BlizzCon crowd was underwhelming. Compared to the major in-game changes that came with Cataclysm, Pandaria is just a new area to go quest in and that’s about it. It’s a fair prediction that the Kung Fu Panda look-alike expansion will flop in East and West alike, accelerating this subscriber downfall even further.