Warcraft expansion sells 2.7 million in first week
October 5, 2012 // 10:07 a.m.
King of MMOs World of Warcraft's latest panda-themed expansion has failed to live up to the sales records of the game's previous expansion, Cataclysm, selling 2.7 million copies in its first week.
Although still a very successful first week by any other standards, by comparison, Cataclysm sold 3.3 million copies on its launch day.
The Mists of Pandaria is the MMO's fourth expansion and brings a new monk class to the game as well as introducing the panda-like Pandaren as playable characters, a race initially introduced to the Warcraft lore as an April fools joke in 2002.
The game's level cap has also been raised from 85 to 90 and the new island of Pandaria has been opened up as a new stomping ground for the forces of the Horde and Alliance.
The launch has managed to boost World of Warcraft's subscriber base back over the 10 million mark, having previously dipped to 9.1 million in the first half of this year. At the end of 2010, the MMO peaked with more than 12 million subscribers.
The 2.7 million sales do not take into account sales figures from China which saw Mists of Pandaria launched on October 2.
'We set out to expand on the sense of fun and discovery that's always been at the heart of World of Warcraft, in addition to adding a huge variety of new content and features to the game.' said Blizzard chief executive and co-founder Mike Morhaime. 'It's been gratifying to see the results of all the work we put into this expansion and to hear all of the positive feedback from players so far.'
The first major content patch for the expansion is currently being developed by Blizzard with release details forthcoming in the next few weeks.
As debate rages as to whether World of Warcraft has peaked or not, Blizzard is still working away on a top secret new MMO codenamed Titan. Although the developer has stated that this will be based on a brand new franchise, with the Pandaren transcending from April fool's joke to a major Warcraft expansion, there is more than one fan hoping for something similar to happen with World of Starcraft.