Pandaria sells 2.7m copies

So the press release is up and the numbers are out. Blizzard say that they sold 2.7m copies in the first week, prior to the Chinese release, and that WoW’s global player base is now over 10 million subscribers. I suspect that number may edge up as word of mouth has been pretty positive, so people who were on the fence about MoP may decide to give it a go or get the old gang back together.

In a month or two, we’ll know how many people either burned through the content or decided that the game is no longer for them. I think 2.7m, crazy as it sounds, is a bit on the low side for what we might have expected from a WoW expansion and really shows the effect that a) Cataclysm b) passage of time and c) other games have had on the industry giant, in that order.

The sales likely include a fairly high proportion of direct digital sales, driven partly by a sales campaign and partly by sensible pricing. Or in other words, when the price of a digital copy is roughly similar to a retail box, people will tend to go for the easier option. Anyhow, yes it did sell more than GW2, if we go by the first week, which is reflective of both games being well received. Initially at least.

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12 thoughts on “Pandaria sells 2.7m copies

  1. 10 million subscriber but only 2.7 million bought the expansion? The others are just… keeping their account subscribed but stopped playing? (They didn’t sell 7 million year passes, did they?)

  2. @Kring

    Many of those who are subscribed but didn’t get the expansion will do so over the next several months. I got WotLK and MoP on day one for my wife and myself, but waited two weeks for BC because I had just barely dinged 60 on my first character when it came out. I got Cata day one, but waited a few months for my wife’s copy because she was in school and so unsubbed for a while because she didn’t want the distraction.

    Cataclysm sold 3.5 mill its first week, but it’s a reasonable guess that about twice that number eventually got it and some more got upgraded from a scroll of resurrection.

    • > and so unsubbed for a while

      But that’s the point. An unsubbed account is not an active one.

      I’m just surprised that 7.3 million people pay $15 per month but didn’t get the expansion. Why do they still pay for the account? Why don’t they unsub for a month if they don’t play?

      • First, it’s not available in China, so that’s millions of subscribers who can’t buy it yet. Second, there are a lot of WoW subscribers who aren’t like us. They don’t blog, they don’t raid, they don’t beta test, they don’t go to midnight release parties, and their play time is measured in hours per month, not hours per day. The fact that there are several million subscribers who didn’t buy the expansion in the first week doesn’t surprised me at all. They’ll get to it when they get to it.

      • I thought they wanted to publish only after it’s released in China?

        But I think you’re right, Ratshag. Still, it’s astonishing that a company is able to charge $15 per month for nothing. The majority of the people who didn’t buy MoP, probably also didn’t play in the last few weeks. But they payed their monthly fee. How many of them have a yearly movie theater pass which they only use a few times a year? Probably none.

        The gold mine WoW is never stops to amaze me.

      • Probably also it will be on a lot of people’s xmas lists. But its been true of every expansion that they don’t sell anywhere near as many expansions as there are subscriptions. So Ratters is probably on the mark when he says there are lots of players who are happy noodling around ultra casually and will think about buying an expansion when they get to it.

        I think cable tv is a better comparison than cinema passes. How many people pay monthly for channels which they rarely watch? I’d guess quite a few.

      • I can say that I’m probably not going to get Mists until I get my new main up to L85. At first I thought it’d be November, but I’m thinking now it’ll be sometime into next year given the ebb and flow leveling via BGs.

        Spinks does have a legit point, given that Cata did release with better numbers, however.

        Here was a facepalm moment: I was loitering around Alliance PVP Hall, waiting for WSG to pop, when an L90 toon came in, looked around, and declared “I’m bored.” That just had to be a troll, because if that was real….

  3. Yeah, 2.7 million is good overall I think-and they got some people back(around 900k-1m, probably mixed between Western and Eastern audiences, which is fine since subs are subs). Less than the rest, but still a respectable amount. I do think their true challenges are A. After the yearly subs are up, later this month and B. Indeed, a few months down the line…3-4 months or so. I think the next two quarters are going to be trying for them-they definitely can’t sit on their laurels. (For the record, I think Pandaria is a charming place, am having fun in it, and think that in terms of non-raiders they have some of the best content they have for awhile. I can’t speak for raids yet…but I AM a bit skeptical on that end, but that might be me wondering if heroic mode/hard raiding is for me anymore after years of it.)

    What I’m trying to figure out is that…okay. So they had a total of 9 million subs(worldwide, and by the sound, roughly split fairly evenly between West and East, with West having a bit more, I’d say a 65/35 or 60/40 split). They sold 2.7 million. I’m beginning to think a lot of the returners may be from Asia, since I know their expansions work differently. Now I*m not saying that ‘Asians will like Pandaria just because’, but I actually wonder if we’ll ever see a shift to a more 50/50 West-East audience in WoW? Again, I’m sure it’s all the same to them(hell, I’m sure 9m subs would be 9m subs even if it was mostly from the East)-but the way you’d hear some people talk, the Eastern subs ‘don’t count'(which I wholly disagree with.)

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