IRVINE, Calif.—November 19, 2014—On November 13, millions of Azeroth’s champions enlisted for the war against the Iron Horde with the launch of World of Warcraft®: Warlords of Draenor™, the fifth expansion to the world’s #1 subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game.* Blizzard Entertainment today announced that as of the first 24 hours of the expansion’s availability, more than 3.3 million copies had sold-through† and the game’s global subscriber base had passed 10 million, with growth across all major regions.
It looks like orcs might trump pandas (and destroying the old world) when it comes to igniting the WoW player base.
I am not sure what it means when you have more than 10 million subscribers, up 2.6 million in the last month and a half, but are talking about moving 3.3 million units of the expansion in the first 24 hours. Does that 3.3 million number include all the early sales? Is that an indication of what the US/EU player population is, as the rest of the world was waiting for the expansion to drop? (It launched in South Korea, mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau today according to the press release.)
Subscriber numbers (what constitutes a subscriber is mentioned in the press release) had dropped to 6.8 million in the second quarter of 2014, down further from the slight dip to 7.6 million in the first quarter when the first blush excitement for the expansion had passed, and which was likely only that small because Blizzard said they sold through 1.5 million pre-orders of Warlords of Draenor back then to people interested in getting their insta-90s early. Then in the third quarter subscriptions bounced back, hitting 7.4 million, with the announcement of a date for the expansion.
Now WoW is back above the 10 million mark, something we have not seen since the post-Cataclysm climb down from the 12 million subscriber high water mark before pandas appeared on the scene. (First quarter of 2012 the subscribers were listed as 10.1 million.)
Now, where will the number be in a month and a half, when we close out the fourth quarter of 2014?
Addendum: Visual aids from Twitter on subscriptions.
I am surprised that WotLK held as many subscribers as it did over its two year run. I mean, I sat there and ground out everything in the Argent Tournament during that second year, I just didn’t think so many other people did as well.