MoP Sales Underwhelm?

Analysts describe Mists of Pandaria sales as below expectations.

How is Mists of Pandaria for you?

Most of the folks I speak to -- I haven't had chance to play it myself yet, that will change shortly -- are quite positive about World of Warcraft's latest expansion.

However, as reported by Venture Beat, one analyst believes that MoP is not going to perform as well as previous releases.

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Atul Bagga, of investment bank Lazard Capital Markets, proclaimed that retail sales of MoP are 60% below those for Cataclysm. This figure does not include digital copies, but Bagga believes that purchased downloads will not make up for the shortfall on overall sales.

This speculation has to be of concern for Activision/Blizzard due to the huge importance of World of Warcraft in regards to the companies' overall revenue.

In my opinion, it's too early to be hammering a nail in the expansion's coffin for a number of reasons.

Firstly, there's no doubt a lot of players were disappointed by Cataclysm and could still pick up MoP if there is positive buzz regarding its content. Though certainly rates of early adoption would have been affected, it doesn't count out the possibility of long term players coming back if their guildies report that all is well in Pandaria.

Secondly, many people -- including myself -- are moving to digital and it could be easy to underestimate the size of that avenue of sales for the overall performance of the expansion.

Still, there's no doubt that WoW finds itself challenged by the success of Guild Wars 2 -- the biggest launch of any competitor to WoW -- as well as its own longevity. It is a game that has been around so long its player churn could be starting to catch up to it.

Are you playing MoP? What do you think so far?

Did you pass on buying it? If so, would you pick it up if there are enough players giving good reviews?

Let us know below and be sure to check out Wowhead for all the tools and resources your panda could need.

                                                                                    Scott "Jarimor" Hawkes, Editor in Chief

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Digital Sales
# Oct 01 2012 at 11:12 PM Rating: Good
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I think they are WAY underestimating digital sales. Everyone I know who has purchased MoP has bought it via Digital Download. It is way easier, way more convenient.

Honestly, I went into MoP just about ready to give up. It took my friends and family who play a lot of convincing to get me to actually buy the thing, and so far I haven't been disappointed. It's different, it's fun. What more should I say? And I haven't even started with the upper level zones. I've just been playing my monk and I've really enjoyed it.

Even if it doesn't make the same sales, I think it's because a lot of players are gun shy after cataclysm. They are waiting to see if it's really worth it, and I don't blame them.

But so far, I'm very pleased with the changes Blizzard has made. All of the things I was extremely critical of and skeptical of have proven to be some of my favorite parts. Like the new talent system. I thought it was going to be a load of fail, but it actually is creating individual playstyles.
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Difficulty buying it
# Oct 01 2012 at 3:42 PM Rating: Decent
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After the disaster of pre-ordering Cataclysm (I prefer the physical box rather than the digital download) and the fact that although I had it on order from Amazon for months ahead of the launch, it never arrived until 6 weeks after - and yet the shops were full of stands of it.

This year I decided to hold out and buy it on the day of release. It shows the downturn in PC game sales. ASDA didn't know anything about it, it wasn't on the shelves and it wasn't on their order list. Tesco had one copy in and told me they only ever order in one copy of a PC game, when it sells they order another (I would have been lynched buying just one copy).

It was the same wherever I went, not "sorry we have sold out", but "what is Pandaria?", "World of Warcraft? Yes we have Lich King and Cataclysm here, but we haven't had any Pandaria copies in yet".

Talking to a friend last night and he pre-ordered the collectors edition months ago, as of tonight it still hasn't arrived. He has now cancelled it and ordered the standard edition from elsewhere.

There have been no promotions, posters, etc., in the shops anywhere, and Game in the Birmingham City Centre has about half a shelf with 3 copies and the book on it.

For me and my partner, we have been with WoW since Vanilla, loved (although infuriated by) BC, liked Wrath (if the constant waiting on the stories was skipped - time for another cuppa), and didn't like the Cat expansion. But with MoP we are back to ardent fans, whether the new areas which are beautiful to look at, well laid and thought out, and the old content (although with the Guild Perks and the Heirlooms, the levelling is just a tiny bit too fast I think). But I still think the dungeons have been changed too much. We were looking forward to the Scarlet Monastry and Sunken Temple and were very disappointed how short they are now - especially the Temple which always was a favourite.
Digital sales + non-holiday release
# Oct 01 2012 at 7:56 AM Rating: Excellent
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In addition to the digital sales, which I think are a big time this go around (first time for me), I think there is another factor at play. The previous expansions were released in January, November, and December, respectively. These holiday releases allowed younger players to get them as holiday gifts and have time to play them while on break from school. I think a September release was not a great idea from a numbers perspective, but I also think that Blizzard was trying to reclaim some market loss at the hands of GW2, SWTOR, and other entries into the market.

Sometimes the best offense is a good defense :)

As for the game, I'm enjoying it. I haven't laughed this much since the first time I encountered Brewfest. The zones feel large and grand, and they're well-designed. Not sure how sold I am on the monk class yet, but I'm enjoying the questing. In particular, I like the new quest type where an NPC tells you a story and you play it out using their unique abilities. That's been fun.
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digitial
# Sep 28 2012 at 10:21 PM Rating: Excellent
A majority of my guild went digital. I bought the CE, as it is my 1st CE for WoW (didn't have the money for LK's or Cata's). If I didn't want the other goodies, I would have went digital myself.
And from what people are telling me, and from what i read, people like this xpack more then Cata so far.
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I think...
# Sep 28 2012 at 6:43 PM Rating: Excellent
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...the digital download is most likely a huge part of the reason.

It is so much easier and faster, and unless you're going for the hard-copy collector's edition, you have no reason whatsoever at all to buy a hard copy instead of the online upgrade/digital download.

I'm willing to bet that a HUGE portion of the playerbase went Digital this time because it is so much easier and faster.

Face it, who wants to wait until 1pm+ next day before Fedex/UPS/USPS finally gets you your package just so you can type some number in when you can have it done a month in advance and log on the very second the content goes live?
Returned to WoW for MoP
# Sep 28 2012 at 6:27 PM Rating: Decent
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I returned to WoW to give MoP a go after a 18 month break.I bought the Digital Edition myself and I think there is a growing trend for people to go digital rather than stand in line for a launch party to get the physical product so the whole basis for that article and theorising about total sales could be completely off track.

First impressions: It's rather beautiful and they've done a good job with the ambience and general presentation of Pandaria. I'm wondering though if this might have been a bit over done. In previous expansions there have always been zones with stark contrast which added to an expansion as a whole. Just a thought but the whole general flavour of the expansion might start to get a bit much after a while.

I'm levelling through questing and haven't gone into any dungeons just yet. I have noticed though that levelling seems slower than it did with Cata. I started out with 8 level 85s and thinking ahead while the content and levelling is fresh and vibrant the first time I am concerned that the XP curve is going to turn into a big grind when trying to level alts. This is compounded by the no flying until level 90 thing. I really, really hope they introduce a tome of flying that you can buy at level 90 and send to alts like they did in Wrath as being surface bound is going to be a real drag.

Early take up isn't the big issue. The question is about the end game content and player retention. How many people will drop out after 3-4 months as they feel they've done what they wanted to achieve is the true benchmark for the expansion's success in my books. There is also another hurdle in the expansion/content release cycle of WoW in that MoP was in beta a REALLY long time. This means that it's already getting old at release for 10% of the player base. This will put even more pressure on Blizzard to keep players busy as they try to keep MoP ticking along.

Edited, Sep 28th 2012 8:38pm by Rob1003
I bought
# Sep 28 2012 at 4:46 PM Rating: Good
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The digital version myself.. I think they are grossly underestimating digital sales. For me Wrath was the best expansion released as far as story and what not. But BC will always hold a special place in my heart.. mainly for making my paladin not suck!

MOP is really good. I think the people that complain about the whole "kung fu panda" thing are just misplacing their overall frustration for the game in general.. Its easier to say that then to actually give some thought into why you don't want to play it. I love the ambiance of the zones in MOP.. I love the music.. I love some of the quests.. especially the SI 7 ones for the alliance! Dungeons are really cool too.. I like the mantra of easy trash pulls but interesting quirky bosses.
hmm
# Sep 28 2012 at 1:19 PM Rating: Decent
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My guess is alot of people (obviously people who are probably not playing the game anymore) won't even try it because of the whole "OMG its Kung Foo Panda BOO!!!" I was at one point one of those people.

I finally decided since EQ1 and Eq2 has gotten boring to try the game again and bought the expansion and have been playing. All in all it is ok. I do agree with people who are upset over constantly changing classes that has gotten really old. I look at games like eq1 and eq2 and considering how many expansions they have and the age of those games for the most part most classes generally play the same. Granted as you get higher lvl you unlock new spells/abilities which changes you classes but its not complete overhauls of how a class plays like we have seen pretty much every expansion with WOW.

I will say I despite the new talent system. I find it VERY boring to lvl now. I hit lvl 86 last night on my druid and it was very underwhelming. No new spell and no talent point to spend.... I really liked the method of every lvl either getting a spell upgrade or a talent point.

As long as its not 3 hour long heroics like the launch of Cata was I will prob be happy with the game for awhile.
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Outstanding thus far
# Sep 28 2012 at 12:08 PM Rating: Decent
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I have 3 family members and all 3 copies that I purchased were digital deluxe. I find this xpasion to be on par with BC and Wrath if not better. The zones are expansive and full of life and have outstanding visuals. This expansion definitely has the potential to be the best one to date.

Now just to get my first toon to at least 89 so I can do the Brewfest dungeon run.
Just another screw over
# Sep 28 2012 at 11:42 AM Rating: Default
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Each release since Wotlk has been a ***** over to the player base, constant nerfs to players classes that require us to relearn how to play them and the content is no where near as good as it used to be. I checked out the beta and the new changes to the classes and decided enough was enough. There are enough good titles out now that can easily compete with WoW that don't require subscription fees that it was a pretty easy decision to not buy the latest release.
Just another screw over
# Sep 30 2012 at 2:40 PM Rating: Decent
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aldenpark wrote:
Each release since Wotlk has been a ***** over to the player base, constant nerfs to players classes that require us to relearn how to play them and the content is no where near as good as it used to be. I checked out the beta and the new changes to the classes and decided enough was enough. There are enough good titles out now that can easily compete with WoW that don't require subscription fees that it was a pretty easy decision to not buy the latest release.


Sooo if you haven't played since beta, and there are many other better F2P mmo's, then why are you hanging out posting comments on a WoW fansite?? o.O
Just another screw over
# Oct 02 2012 at 10:09 PM Rating: Decent
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demegod wrote:
aldenpark wrote:
Each release since Wotlk has been a ***** over to the player base, constant nerfs to players classes that require us to relearn how to play them and the content is no where near as good as it used to be. I checked out the beta and the new changes to the classes and decided enough was enough. There are enough good titles out now that can easily compete with WoW that don't require subscription fees that it was a pretty easy decision to not buy the latest release.


Sooo if you haven't played since beta, and there are many other better F2P mmo's, then why are you hanging out posting comments on a WoW fansite?? o.O

since when is this just a WoW fansite? I see many other games on here might wana get your eyes checked.
Monks Rock
# Sep 28 2012 at 8:19 AM Rating: Decent
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Sure WoW is a huge part of their revenue, but not the expansion sales. If that was the case then they would have expacks every 6 months.

I personally bought the online upgrade b/c it is less time spent having to go out and get the hard copy. And so far the MoP is very good.
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