Analysts say Mists of Pandaria sales have been disappointing
Retail sales of last week don’t keep up with 24 hour sales of last expansion
Blizzard has just launched their latest World of Warcraft expansion, Mists of Pandaria, to a somewhat lukewarm reception. Despite Blizzard insisting Panda was the most requested playable race, a lot of the rumblings around the internet suggest otherwise, and this has reflected in the sales.
Lazard Capital Markets, an analyst firm, estimates sales figures of between six and seven hundred thousand since Tuesday’s launch.
This may sound rather respectable, but things don’t look great when you compare it to World of Warcraft’s last expansion, Cataclysm, which sold an enormous 3.3 million copies in the first 24 hours alone. While Cataclysm’s figures included downloads while Mists’ does not, Lazarus analyst Atul Bagga believes its highly unlikely digital sales compensates for the near 60 percent drop since the last expansion. Similarly, 2008’s Wrath of the Lich King sold 2.8 million on the first day, and the first expansion The Burning Crusade managed 2.4 million.
This is another blow to the long-running MMORPG, which has been on a steady decline since its peak of 12 million active subscribers in 2010. As of last month, that figure had dropped to a less impressive 9.1 million. Blizzard president Mike Morhaime said this was likely due to the release of Diablo 3, as well as the type of drop you would expect in the sunset of an expansion cycle.
It isn’t just World of Warcraft that has suffered, Star Wars themed MMORPG The Old Republic has had very disappointing subscriber numbers, forcing it to adapt a free-to-play model. With players more and more unwilling to pay subscriptions, many of WoW’s competition have gone free-to-play, but Blizzard is holding firm for now. The developer instead lets you try the game for free, with a progress cap at level 20.