Every time there’s a new expansion for World of Warcraft, it destroys the sales records for PC games, usually by besting the last World of Warcraft expansion. Cataclysm did just that – selling 3.3m copies in a single day. It looks like that pattern’s been broken though – because the latest expansion for the game, the pandariffic Mists of Pandaria hasn’t quite done as well.
Analysts at investment bank Lazard Capital Markets believe sales of the expansion are pretty disappointing, selling between 600,000 and 700,000 copies since launch, according to their estimates. This doesn’t take digital purchases in to account – but the same analysts don’t believe that they’ll bridge the gap much at all.
There could be a number of reasons for the expansion’s poor performance. Many fans were put off by the expansion, which they viewed as a something aimed at a younger, casual, Jack Black-loving audience. World of Warcraft’s also seen its userbase plummet of late, and is currently sitting at under 10 million subscribers. Lastly – and I think this is a big one – NCSoft and Arenanet’s Guild Wars 2 was recently released, and requires not a damned thing in the way of monthly subscriptions.
I don’t think it’s quite as bad as analysts are making it out to be, and I actually think that for the first time, digital sales could well surpass retail copies – the entire process is just ridiculously streamlined and easy. Plus, with all the reports I’ve heard from WoW players about having to wait in queues, there’s obviously still a ton of people playing.
Have you played World of Warcraft’s latest expansion yet – and if so, did you get it straight from Blizzard, or pick it up from a store?
Last Updated: September 28, 2012