Half Price Pandas

Now, you cannot take every sale, promotion, or other offer as a sign of something wrong.  Coke goes on sale at the supermarket practically every third week where I live, and I don’t start wondering if they, or the store, are in trouble because of it.

Still, when a WoW expansion goes half price just two months after launch, it is something that makes you go “hmmm…”

I recall, back in the day, Burning Crusade going for full price until just before Wrath of the Lich King.

Reduced in price, not in size…

Yes, it is the high holiday shopping season, a time for deals.  And this offer appears to be directed to former subscribers. (Offer ends November 29th)  And, of course, the market has changed since 2006 and Burning Crusade.

Then again, Amazon.com had the Pandaria Collector’s edition for half price as well, and that is generally a sign of excess stock.

I still have no burning desire to go back to Azeroth.  Well, post-Cataclysm Azeroth in any case.  But I am sure this will get a few more people back in the game.

19 thoughts on “Half Price Pandas

  1. Tesh

    A lot of things were on sale. There are even sales on Wii U games. I tend to think it’s a systemic problem with the industry and economy at large.

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  2. bernardparsnip

    Most WoW players I know went digital this year. Even the Collector’s Edition virtual perks were available without a physical order.

    It’s no surprise that there’s excess stock around.

    I know we MMO players all suffer from confirmation bias, but I suspect Blizzard is laughing to bank rather than panicking about jumping the shark.

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  3. NetherLands

    The last number I know of was before the China launch and was a total of close to 4 million copies (digital and non-digital)sold all told.

    Compared to the 10 million subscribers at around the same time one could take this how one wants. The argument that there are stockpiles of physical copies seems plausible to me, considering the physical copy sale around launch was reported to be rather less than expected (less than a million).

    It depends on your playstyle wether buying MoP + playtime now, or ‘binge play’ every time the free Trials are on offer, make the best option. Also, I don’t think it’s too cynical to believe the Scroll of Rezzing will be updated to providing free MoP as well while MoP is still ‘current content’.

    For me personally, Expansions of WoW would be much more attractive if they included gametime, even though I’m the first to admit it’s mostly on the psychological level.

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  4. João Carlos

    Guys, here at Brazil we say “tapar o sol com uma peneira”.

    WoW is LOSING subscribers. The Blizzard q4 finacial report will show Wow lose at least more 1 million subscribers. Next year will be a constant bleed of subscribers, there is no expansion coming at least until 2014.

    If Tobold, that ever was a fanatical defender of WoW and pandas, canceled the WoW subscription, something is hapening. So, it is better you not try to “tampar o sol com uma peneira”.

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  5. Latrodanes

    I’m gonna go with this being a symptom of a larger emphasis on deep-discounting. XCom and BL2 are both being discounted as high as 50% already and they came out about the same time as Pandaville and were hits.

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  6. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Latrodanes – It was interesting to see what was discounted, and by how much, as well as what was not marked down for the Steam sale. I noticed that Skyrim, which is over a year old now, was only marked down 33%, while a couple items on my wish list were not marked down at all, which made them stand out all the more.

    I managed to purchase nothing during this Steam sale.

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  7. Matt

    Didn’t Skyrim get down to 50% over the summer sale?

    I was annoyed when I saw that Blizzard already discounted MOP…if they are just fine selling it at $20, then why not initially price it so? $40 is too much for an expansion, which given the subscription fee ought to be free anyhow. But does it mean that Blizzard and WoW are in trouble? I don’t know…I think they are definitely more humble now and don’t take their success for granted as much.

    Along with others, I’m sure they have excess physical stock. Let’s face it, the days of selling games in physical boxes are over. I feel sorry for the Gamestop employees already.

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  8. Aufero

    I’m not sure what the 50% sale price means about MoP sales so far – maybe they’re trying the Steam strategy and hoping deep discounts push sales way up? (I bought Borderlands 2 and Dishonored this weekend at a 50% markdown on Steam, both of which I suspect have been fairly successful. I didn’t expect to see large discounts on them this early.)

    I do know that even at 50% off the new expansion, I’m not terribly interested in renewing my WoW subscription. Been there, done that.

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  9. NoAstronomer

    Yes it is definitely a hmmm moment. Certainly not WoW’s demise but it is perhaps an indication that the game does now have serious competition. Well, serious enough for Blizzard to take notice of.

    Though, like Aufero, I really have no interest in returning.

    @matt That’s capitalist economics at work. Everything is worth whatever you can convince people for it. Two months ago people Blizzard convinced people to pay $40. Now they think they can convince more than twice as many people to pay $20 as would buy it at the previous price.

    WoW is obviously a long way off from F2P but i wonder if Blizzard might soon switch to the EVE model of free expansions? And is this the last expansion we, by which I mean you, will pay for?

    Mike.

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  10. wokyr

    Had a look on the European site, we only get 40%, from 35 to 20€… but I may buy it. I have already reinstalled and patched the games some days ago seeing there were a free 10 days available (maybe even saw this here), so I’ll activate it now, and if I like it, I’ll buy MoP. Damn I would like GW2 to get a 50% sale, still haven’t bought it, and wasn’t able to get someone to invite me during the free week :/

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  11. Gripper

    Maybe I am part of the minority but I am back to the Wow and having a good time with it, trying to take a new attitude and not kill myself raiding, worrying about gear etc, just trying out each class that I always wanted to play but felt that guilt that I wasnt on my main working him to be top of the game. I really am enjoying Pandaria and think it will be better with the new patch and invasions!

    I also bought digital and have to agree with who said that box sales are not realistic anymore – digital downloads are where its at.

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  12. Ahtchu

    Pray-tell, when is the q4 report due out? And Wil- will you make a post announcing it? I’m terrible with stocks, let alone stock announcements.

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  13. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Gripper – Well, you are probably part of the biggest group of MMO subscribers in the world. There is something to be said for that. WoW still makes money hand over fist.

    @Ahtchu – The Q4/FY2012 report will probably be out some time in February 2013. I will probably post something about it that will probably say something like “still has X subscribers” where X is a number bigger than all other subscription MMOs combined even if multiplied by a single digit integer, and “still making money hand over fist” where hand over fist means somewhere above a 40% return.

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  14. Liore

    I’m not sure what it means for current subscriber levels, but for what it’s worth that sale tipped a LOT of people in my social networks into buying WoW, and these were mostly ex-burnouts who declared they’d never go back.

    As for me, I bought it at launch because I am an idiot who buys everything at launch, and put in maybe 4 hours before forgetting all about it.

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  15. Toxicroach

    MoP sold 2 million less copies than Cataclysm in the first month. Now it’s 50% off two months after release. This is not a good sign.

    I don’t think it’s competition that is killing wow nearly as much as age. I think the people dropping out of WoW aren’t playing other MMO’s at all. Or at least most of them. I mean, the total number of ex-WoW players vastly outnumbers the # of current players. If they were moving to other MMOs we wouldn’t have had a decade of very mediocre performance.

    I guess it’s a bit much to call WoW a fad, but it is a unique phenomenon that is puttering (quite profitably) along and slowly fading.

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