Mists Of Pandaria sales highlight World Of Warcraft’s decline

Mists Of Pandaria

Activision Blizzard (neé Blizzard Entertainment) is a very successful video game company. Over the past two decades, the firm has earned the admiration and devotion of a fanbase that trumps every other gaming studio in existence, with the possible exception of Nintendo. Thus, when Blizzard releases a new game, it’s simply expected that sales records will be broken. It’s never a question of “if,” but instead of “by how much.” In turn, when a Blizzard game doesn’t top sales records, it’s a bit alarming and suggests something might be wrong.

Mists Of Pandaria, the latest expansion for the world’s most popular subscription-based massively multiplayer online role playing game World Of Warcraft, hit retail shelves on September 25 alongside Blizzard’s standard marketing push which includes television commercials, online ads and massive amounts of press coverage. It seemed like a typical big-budget Blizzard release, but when the first day sales totals rolled in things seemed a bit off. In that initial 24 hour period of availability, Mists Of Pandaria managed to sell 2.7 million copies, a figure that would be seen as a massive victory for almost any other video game release, but when compared to the numbers posted by Blizzard’s past games, it’s something of a disappointment.

To wit: Cataclysm, the previous World Of Warcraft expansion, which was released in December of 2010, set a new sales record by moving 3.3 million units in its its first day on store shelves (a record that was later broken by Blizzard’s own Diablo III). Likewise, the expansion before that, 2008’s Wrath Of The Lich King, sold 2.8 million copies in its first day, making it the fastest selling PC game released up to that time.

While it’s been public knowledge for quite a while that World Of Warcraft’s subscription base has been steadily dwindling over the past few years, as long as the game kept breaking records with each new addition it seemed that Blizzard’s flagship MMO would continue to utterly dominate its genre. Mists Of Pandaria’s arguably disappointing sales however, seem to suggest that the masses have finally become burned out on World Of Warcraft, and that perhaps they are now gravitating toward other online games. 

Of course, even without setting this particular sales record, World Of Warcraft is far from dead. It’s still the largest subscription-based MMO on the planet by a huge margin, and its only real competitors are either games that have yet to be released, or MMOs that have attracted mere fractions of the user-base that Blizzard has cultivated. Also, it’s important to remember that this “2.7 million” figure fails to take into account how well Mists Of Pandaria has been selling in China, a country with a notorious love for both American culture and massively multiplayer online games. Not that we expect the Chinese sales figures to massively increase that first-day sales total, but at least things aren’t quite as bleak as they seem. Activision Blizzard continues to rake in money courtesy the world’s most lucrative interactive cash cow, and the game is nowhere near being shut down. You may now towel the fear sweat from your brow and go back to hunting murlocs.

Emerging Tech

Alibaba’s Singles’ Day sale smashes online shopping records

The annual online shopping frenzy that is Singles' Day this year raked in $30.8 billion, up from $25 billion last time around. The Alibaba-organized event generates more in sales than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Gaming

These are the best Xbox One games available right now

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Halo 5,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.
Gaming

The best free-to-play games you can play right now

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially-popular League of Legends.
Gaming

‘Overwatch’ gunslinger Ashe is now available on all platforms

Blizzard announced Ashe as the latest Overwatch hero at BlizzCon 2018. The gunslinger has a history with McCree and makes use of a lever-action repeating rifle and a robotic sidekick.
Gaming

‘Marvel’s Spider-Man: Turf Wars’ sees Spidey confront the villainous Hammerhead

The second part of Marvel's Spider-Man's The City That Never Sleeps DLC swings into action on November 20. Titled Turf Wars, the new storyline is focused on Hammerhead, who is waging war across New York City.
Gaming

Mount up: Latest ‘Fortnite’ update adds powerful turret weapon, Food Fight LTM

The latest update for Fortnite added a Mounted Turret weapon to the battle royale mode. The weapon features unlimited ammunition, but it can overheat if fired too long without interruption.
Gaming

Xbox One adds mouse and keyboard support, levels playing field with PC

The latest system software update for Xbox One has added mouse and keyboard support. The support is limited to Warframe and Fortnite at the moment, with more games coming in November and December.
Mobile

Check out 30 of the best iPhone games you need to be playing

The iPhone has some of our favorite games available for any mobile platform. Here are the best iPhone games for every big-name genre, whether you're into puzzles, strategy, or something else entirely.
Gaming

The Army wants YOU … to play esports with soldiers

The U.S. Army is creating esports teams for games such as Overwatch, Fortnite, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, and League of Legends. The initiative looks to boost recruitment, after missing the mark for the first time since 2005.
Computing

If the speed of AMD’s Radeon RX 590 doesn’t entice you, the game bundle will

AMD's Radeon RX 590 is a new video card that targets 1080p gaming at maximum detail. Starting at $280, it fills a gap between the Radeon RX 580 and the more expensive Radeon RX Vega. AMD says the new RX 590 can beat Nvidia's GTX 1060 Ti.
Gaming

PlayStation 4 celebrates fifth anniversary with ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’ bundle

The PlayStation 4 is officially five years old today, November 15, and to celebrate the anniversary, Sony is offering a new console bundle that includes a free copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.
Gaming

‘Hitman 2’ makes a target of the unkillable Sean Bean, but you’d better not miss

Famously mortal actor Sean Bean will be available to kill in Hitman 2 beginning November 20. He'll be in the game as an Elusive Target for two weeks and you'll only get one chance to take him out.
Gaming

Bug is turning ‘Fallout 76’ players into mutants even more terrifying than usual

A bug linked to the Power Armor gear in Fallout 76 appears to be turning players into bizarre naked mutants, complete with extremely long limbs that are more than a little unsettling.