Activision Blizzard released a press statement today regarding a recent hot topic: Mists of Pandaria sales.
While not reaching the lofty heights of former expansions, Mists of Pandaria sold 2.7 million copies in its first week, prior to its release in China on October 2nd. In addition to this, the global subscriber base of World of Warcraft is reported to have returned to over 10 million, with growth said to be occurring over all major regions.
It will be interesting to monitor the impact of the Chinese release, given that one of Blizzard’s goals with Mists of Pandaria was greater penetration into the Chinese markets. However, overall, given the stiff competition from big titles such as Guild Wars 2 and many others, this is a great result for Blizzard, although not quite reaching the sales levels of earlier expansions. Given, also, that the majority of Blizzard’s income comes from subscriptions, rather than from initial sales, the hike in subscriber numbers will be a welcome boost to Blizzard’s stock.
It seems, from our past reports at GAMEBREAKER on analysts’ sales projections, that Lazard may have fallen somewhat short, although it would be interesting to see if their box sales number of 700,000 holds water, and, of course, Lazard were looking at sales within the first days rather than one week. Brean Murray’s numbers seem to have greater potential, if one assumes that their 3rd Quarter of 2012 is in fact a fiscal quarter rather than a calendar quarter. They were also correct in predicting a subscriber rise, if a little pessimistic in numbers.
The bottom line is that this is a solid first week’s sales, and that Blizzard will likely hope for even better numbers following the Chinese launch. It would be interesting to look at these sales figures as a percentage of the playerbase. Cataclysm’s sales of 3.3 million, although in the first 24 hours of release, were roughly a 27.5% uptake on the total player base of 12 million, while Mists of Pandaria’s 2.7 million first week sales indicate approximately a 29.5 % uptake based on a subscriber base of 9.1 million (subscriber numbers based on battle.net and Brean Murray’s recent figures). Of course, it should be noted that these sales compare one-day sales to one-week sales, but nonetheless, an encouraging start for the latest expansion.