World of Warcraft's slow demise continues, as the massively multiplayer online (MMO) role playing game has lost 1.1 million subscribers in the last three months.

This may sound like a lot of players and revenue, but it still remains the most popular MMO on the market with 9.1 million battling away in Azeroth, even if it's the lowest the figures have been since 2007.

It is also a lot more than one of its main rivals, Star Wars: The Old Republic. The game initially started with 1.7 million monthly subscribers when it was released at the end of last year, but this has since dropped to less than a million, leading its publishers Electronic Arts (EA) to make the game free to play.

World of Warcraft subscriber figures peaked two years ago with more than 12 million players.

The figures for World of Warcraft are expected to receive a massive boost when the forthcoming fourth expansion Mists Pandaria is released at the end of September, bringing back many former players who cancelled their subscription.

A similar thing happened with the game's previous expansion pack Cataclysm when it was released at the end of 2010.

It is not all bad news for the World of Warcraft developers Blizzard. While the MMO has been haemorrhaging players, the commercial success of Diablo III has brought in 6.9 million new Battle.net accounts from the ten million copies of the game sold.

Michael Morhaime, the president of Blizzard Entertainment, is hoping that many of Diablo III's players who have not yet tried World of Warcraft will be tempted to give it a try.

"There are a surprising number of Diablo players that have never tried World of Warcraft," he said.

Mists of Pandaria will see gamers travelling to a lost continent inhabited by warrior Panda bears.ADNFCR-1220-ID-801423063-ADNFCR
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