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Mists of Pandaria Sales Disappointing?

VentureBeat has estimated sales figures for the just-released Mists of Pandaria expansion for World of Warcraft by way of investment bank Lazard Capital Markets, where they estimate the MMORPG expansion has sold between 600,000 and 700,000 copies at retail since launching this week. This estimate does not include digital sales, but they add that "Lazard analysts believe Pandaria's digital sales won't make up for its poor retail performance." Word is: "Historically, each new World of Warcraft expansion has outsold its predecessors, Lazard said, but sales of Pandaria are down 60 percent from the previous expansion pack, Cataclysm, which has sold 3.3 million units since its launch in December 2010."

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54. Re: Mists of Pandaria Sales Disappointing? Sep 28, 2012, 09:36 NewMaxx
Verno wrote on Sep 28, 2012, 08:46:
Let's be honest, the B team is working on this. I still see almost weekly hotfixes. The A team already moved onto Titan, although it will be interesting to see if that ever makes it to market as the climate for subscription MMOs seems to have drastically shifted. They put this out because they thought they could make a quick buck and to get some younger players into the game. The trouble is that the younger players are probably dicking around with a Nintendo 3DS or cellphone games.

Quite true. It was stated over a year ago that the best of the WoW team had already moved on to Titan. They plan for it to "eclipse" WoW and last "10, 15, 20 years going forward," so I'm confident that's where they're placing their bets. An investment of that caliber in this day in age implies a lot of thought about a pricing model.

You will see a GW2-like MMO, just with an extreme edition of social features, everything "bigger," they're definitely pulling an Apple move combined with an Avatar move. The question is whether or not they intend to go subscription, and I apply this same question to The Elder Scrolls Online, which will be in the same boat. It may have taken WoW to really make the MMO genre explode; maybe it will take Titan to put the death knell in subscription-based.

You point out the younger player base, and casual player base, which is why I wink when I mention Titan won't technically be platform-specific. So anticipate a hybrid pay model, although I still question (in terms of analysis) whether it will be viable by the time it is released, given GW2's success with a more sensible model. Micro-transactions are virtually guaranteed, I think it's more an expectation of their approach to each platform.
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