Mists of Pandaria sales well below last two WoW expansions

Blizzard has released the latest sales figures for the new World of Warcraft expansion, Mists of Pandaria, and while they are solid numbers for most games, the debut of the Pandarens was not a huge success by company standards. Sales were 2.7 million for the first week, down from 3.3 million on the first day of Cataclysm in 2010, and 2.8 million in the first 24 hours of Wrath of the Lich King in 2008.

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While many companies would love to sell 2.7 million copies of any game in the first week of release, that number of sales, revealed today by Blizzard, for the Mists of Pandaria expansion for World of Warcraft represents a steep drop from the 24-hour numbers of the last two expansions.

Cataclysm sold 3.3 million in the first day of sales in late 2010, while Wrath of the Lich King showed 2.8 million over the same period. However, the release was a boost for overall subscriber numbers, boosting the global number to more than 10 million, Blizzard said. That number was up from a reported 9.1 million in August, and reverses a trend that had seen numbers slip from a high of more than 12 million after Cataclysm released.

Those numbers could be slightly better, as the game, which has a distinct Chinese theme, just launched in China on October 2, and figures were not yet available for those sales. The game was released in the United States on September 25.

Blizzard has already started unlocking the new raid content for the game, with more updates coming. If you are one of the new adventurers on the isle of Pandaria, then be sure to check out our travelogues on places to see and people to meet in the game.

Contributing Editor
From The Chatty
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    October 4, 2012 11:00 AM

    John Keefer posted a new article, Mists of Pandaria sales well below last two WoW expansions.

    Blizzard has released the latest sales figures for the new World of Warcraft expansion, Mists of Pandaria, and while they are solid numbers for most games, the debut of the Pandarens was not a huge success by company standards. Sales were 2.7 million for the first week, down from 3.3 million on the first day of Cataclysm in 2010, and 2.8 million in the first 24 hours of Wrath of the Lich King in 2008.

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      October 4, 2012 11:07 AM

      This was the 1st exp I didn't buy. I wished it would had been a lot lower and then maybe then it would be F2P. :'(

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      October 4, 2012 11:12 AM

      Not surprising, really. A lot of MoP looks plenty fun, but I played WoW all I wanted to. I think a lot of gamers feel that way.

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        October 4, 2012 11:25 AM

        Its feakin expensive imho 40$ +15 for a month and i dont even feel like playing ... Manage to burn myself by leveling a monk to lvl40 this weekend ... Cant do the low level dungeons anymore.

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        October 4, 2012 11:27 AM

        Yep, I played wow for a long time and just feel like I don't need to anymore. No hard feelings or missing it, just a sense of complete.

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      October 4, 2012 11:32 AM

      It's a shame, because despite a few weird decisions, it's probably the best expansion the game has seen.

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      October 4, 2012 11:36 AM

      I used to be at least curious when new expansion came out for WoW. A few times I was tempted to sign up again. But by this point I don't even care anymore. I watch the release videos because they are always awesome... that's about it. I really nope their next MMO is something totally innovative which just tosses the whole genre on it's ear. The whole MMO scene is pretty tired right now. The current recipe has just been sucked dry.

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      October 4, 2012 11:50 AM

      Too expensive to get me & the wife back in to it. $40 x 2 plus two $15 subs is prohibitively expensive. I don't know why Blizz charges nearly full price for these fucking expansions anymore. They wind up hitting $20 in a few months (if that) and I can't really see the software being a major revenue generator, I believe that's what the monthly subs are.

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      October 4, 2012 12:00 PM

      It's too bad, It's really good. I was really not looking forward to it, but after giving it a shot, it's tons better than Cataclysm

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        October 4, 2012 12:12 PM

        Yeah I agree, wasn't even planning on getting it right away but so far its been a lot better than Cataclysm. I thought 1-60 in Cataclysm was really good but the 80-85 zones were boring and felt uninspired. I did ShadoPan Monastery instance last night and its my favorite WoW instance that I have done. Wasn't really blown away by any of the 5 mans in Cataclysm either.

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        October 4, 2012 12:16 PM

        That is the problem Cataclysm just kind of killed any momentum WoW had for a lot of people. People left Lick King ready and eager for more content and Cataclysm kind of just fell flat. Also storywise Cataclysm felt very disjointed and meh compared to Lich King, which shouldn't have happened given that Deathwing is such a good villian, but they just didn't use him.

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          October 4, 2012 12:47 PM

          Which is ironic, since Cata actually had the most content of any expansion so far at launch. It just didn't apply to the 90% of people already playing who were max level.

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          October 4, 2012 12:50 PM

          the story in cataclysm was arse, and the atmosphere paled in comparison to wotlk.

          cata zones and 80-85 was weak, but I actually liked the first tier of raid content a lot.

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          October 4, 2012 12:55 PM

          Arthas was so overused it was basically comical by the end. He was basically Azmodan on crack.

          Every two feet the dude would pop up, declare THIS mob to be the be-all-end-all, then promptly get it slapped down. At the end he was all, well I WANTED to find people who could slap down all my be-all-end-all mobs so I could get STRONGER death knights, and then got slapped down himself.

          Deathwing was very absent in Cataclysm, but at least when he showed up the shit hit the fan and your character barely survived (usually by much stronger allies sacrificing themselves so you can live). Most of it was just cleaning up his mess anyway.

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          October 4, 2012 11:48 PM

          Yeah wrath was prob my favorite

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        October 4, 2012 12:46 PM

        Agreed. There's a lot of good things in here. I stand by my opinion that the pandas are stupid and they expectedly play right into the Kung Fu Panda stereotype, but the models (the pandas themselves, and new creatures), texture work and music are all the best I've seen yet in WoW.

        They've got more "teaching" going on for new players (I like the idea of using raid mechanics in quests for example, to train people that most of what you do in WoW is watching what's on the ground, and interrupting things).

        I'm just sad that most of GCR is dead and it's just a social guild like the hundreds of others out there.

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      October 4, 2012 12:48 PM

      if wyvern and raknar are NOT playing it means I should be playing

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        October 4, 2012 12:55 PM

        I can only play if there are 8 other mages playing.

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        October 4, 2012 1:07 PM

        Raknar is getting married and hasn't had time for games for quite a while.

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          October 4, 2012 1:19 PM

          hahahahahah no fucking way. kick him directly in the balls as a "congrats"! :D

          also say "vitler still owns your soul and you can't sunder for shit" :D

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      October 4, 2012 12:57 PM

      Too bad it's fun so far. I'm hitting 90 this weekend!

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      October 4, 2012 12:57 PM

      I posted about this over on NeoGAF, but comparing sales in this short of a term is pretty pointless. What IS important is if Blizzard can hold on to subscribers this time around instead of everyone dropping off fast in Cataclysm. Not to mention there is less and less of a reason to buy an expansion on day one as each one is released. If you do not plan on playing a Monk or hitting 85-90 content right away then I could see waiting a few days to grab it.

      I have noticed more and more people popping back into the Shack guild as days go by.

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        October 4, 2012 1:00 PM

        The other piece of this story that didn't make the headline is that their up over 1 mil subscribers since the last release, and back over 10 million.

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          October 4, 2012 1:00 PM

          s/their/they're/g

          bleh, should stop rephrasing points while typing

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        October 4, 2012 1:06 PM

        Yeah, they gave away a lot of stuff in this expansion to everyone.

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          October 4, 2012 1:48 PM

          I wonder what percentage of players (past and present) had at least one 85 before launch compared to having an 80 before Cata launch.

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          October 4, 2012 2:48 PM

          Sure did, 40 or so dailies a day, wee.

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        October 4, 2012 2:02 PM

        Just wait for the drop when all the Diablo 3 subscription commitments expire.

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          October 4, 2012 2:26 PM

          Yeah, it's not like the news article you replied to also referenced an increase of about a million subscribers since the last set of numbers were published.

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            October 4, 2012 5:50 PM

            The article isn't painting a rosy picure at all. They lost about a 1/4 of their subscribers since cata launched (from 12 to 9 mil). I'd guess that of that 9 mil, another mil are stuck in subcription and not playing. That could put the actual player base at closer to 8 mil in august, a 33% drop from 12 mil. Add in that it took MoP a week to hit 80% of Cata's day-1 sales and, while it's hard to complain about 2.7 mil sales, it's got to worry them. Hopefully, if MoP is a strong product, it will steadily bring people in/back.

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              October 4, 2012 6:32 PM

              The first week sales doesn't even include the China launch, and the player base is back over 10 million.

              How many players does the next biggest mmo have?

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                October 4, 2012 6:52 PM

                I'm not saying they're doing poor, or their crying, but 30% fluctuations can't make them comfortable.

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          October 4, 2012 2:31 PM

          Blizzard will take that drop rate and double it!

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      October 4, 2012 1:09 PM

      I played the beginning of the beta, and every bit of fun had been sucked out of the DPS warrior tree's, it was about as simple as playing a retribution pally, killed it for me there. Did they fix it ?

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        October 4, 2012 3:15 PM

        That depends on what you consider 'fixing'. Right now the two DPS specs play completely opposite of one another. You'll find yourself pressing the same three filler buttons between resource attacks as Arms, whereas you'll be using anything that isn't on cooldown as filler while playing as Fury.

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          October 4, 2012 4:06 PM

          They probably had to rebalance for Monk class to fit...Tank/Healer/DPS specs

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      October 4, 2012 1:23 PM

      I threw in the towel on WOW 1 level in to Cataclysm. No more for me. It's just the same crap all over again. Same quests to level. Throwing away gear you spent countless hours to get. Reach level cap. Spend countless and pointless hours again trying to get good gear...just to repeat the nauseating cycle.

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        October 4, 2012 4:09 PM

        I'm one of the few (apparently) who hasn't yet reached a cap--even with my main-- in time for an expansion to hit...I must be doing it wrong

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        October 4, 2012 7:53 PM

        Just don't spend as much time getting that gear

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      October 4, 2012 1:58 PM

      I went as far as really liking most of leveling in Cata, and then sleepwalking through the launch raid content, then feeling pretty 'done' just as my guild started the Firelands raids.

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        October 4, 2012 4:10 PM

        What's a raid? J/k I solo so raiders hate me and my gear :)

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      October 4, 2012 4:45 PM

      Sounds pretty good for an 8 year old game!

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      October 4, 2012 5:03 PM

      I played again a bit after Cataclysm came out a few years back, but I didn't like how they changed the game world, so I cancelled again and haven't been back since. I didn't really have much interest in Pandaria, either.

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      October 4, 2012 5:18 PM

      I don't think anyone has mentioned this but I could see Guild Wars 2 being part of the reason. I for one love it simply for the fact that there is no 15$ a month. I don't feel like I'm wasting money if I don't play it for weeks.

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        October 5, 2012 1:38 AM

        Yup. Also, the are of sub MMOs is over.

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      October 4, 2012 5:27 PM

      Does that include digital sales?

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      October 4, 2012 6:09 PM

      The money train is on it's way to the end. Time to release their next MMO already.

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        October 4, 2012 8:05 PM

        I'd be looking forward to it but Diablo 3 didn't inspire much confidence.

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          October 4, 2012 8:32 PM

          If you think there is only one team of people that create and make decisions on new games I have some news for you. They are a lot bigger than you think.

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        October 5, 2012 1:32 AM

        they still have over 10 million subs, why do you guys keep saying this

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          October 5, 2012 5:50 AM

          I never said it was ending soon, just that it's on it's way. Their model of making money from expansion packs is certainly not working anymore as well as they hoped. They can keep making bank off subscribers, but they will eventually run out of directions and the subscriber base will move on.

          Of course they already know this and thats why they have another MMO in development.

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      October 4, 2012 8:02 PM

      Wow only 2.7 million...

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        October 5, 2012 10:28 PM

        and thats only retail. If anything at all its an indicator to how comfortable gamers have become with digital sales.

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          October 7, 2012 11:56 AM

          No. The 2.7 million is with digital sales included. They only sold 600,000 box copies. 2.7 is the final total for week 1 of all sales, digital INcluded.

          On a related note, Guild Wars 2 has now passed the 2 million mark and is projected to sell 3.1 million copies by the end of the year. Considering their first game, the original Guild Wars, sold about 7 million copies overall, and considering that Guild Wars 2 is light years ahead of WoW, I would say that Forbes is right...(google "Forbes Vivendi Blizzard Achilles Heel").

          G W 2 will surpass WoW as time goes on, even IF WoW keeps its "alleged" 10 million subscribers (which included millions of people in Asia who pay by the hour, and one hour of week of gameplay is counted as an "Active sub").
          G W 2 is the perfect balance between traditional MMO and action MMO, and will bring players in who formerly hated the traditional makeup of MMORPG.

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            October 10, 2012 2:42 PM

            I didn't really know the GW2 numbers, that's actually really impressive. They're doing a lot of right things with Guild Wars 2, though they have the experience from GW1 and the feedback from people for GW2 plus the things that have gone wrong with WoW.

            On a side note: I can't wait to cancel my "active" subscription to WoW on the 21st.

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      October 4, 2012 8:04 PM

      That's pretty close to wrath actually

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      October 4, 2012 8:09 PM

      I don't give a shit, not even a really tiny one, about the game content. But at the same time, I have been bored as hell for the last couple of weeks and almost feel like playing an MMO.

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      October 5, 2012 1:25 AM

      If they would have included a month of gameplay, I would have been all over it. Since they're not, I'm skipping it.

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      October 5, 2012 1:44 AM

      Might've got it if it wasn't so expensive to get back in to. Expansion + Sub + Server Transfer = Pass

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      October 5, 2012 2:42 AM

      So basically it's another huge success in the PC-only market. K.

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      October 5, 2012 12:36 PM

      Misleading title much Keef?

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        October 5, 2012 2:13 PM

        How is that misleading, 2.8m sales in a whole week vs 3.3 in 1 day on last expansion is a huge difference.

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          October 5, 2012 11:15 PM

          Noone gives a crap about retail-only sales, that's why it is misleading.

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            October 7, 2012 9:50 AM

            That was based on a blizzard press release not NPD. I don't think it is misleading at all.

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