World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria sales ‘disappointing’, says analyst

Investment bank Lazard Capital Markets have described the sales of World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, the newest expansion for Blizzard's long-standing MMO, as "disappointing".

The fourth expansion has sold around 600,000 to 700,000 copies at retail since its launch on Tuesday, the firm estimates. Speaking to Venturebeat, Lazard explained how each new World of Warcraft expansion has outsold its predecessors. Mists of Pandaria sales, however, are down 60% from the previous expansion pack, Cataclysm, which has sold 3.3 million copies since its December 2010 launch.

Although these initial sales figures don't take digital sales into account, Lazard analyst Atul Bagga doesn't believe Mists of Pandaria's digital sales will make up for its poor retail performance.

There's a few things to take into account when determining the reason behind the lackluster sales. A drop in customers could be one reason. Since November 2011, World of Warcraft's subscriptions have dropped from 12 million to 9.1 million. Another cause could be the increase in competition. The MMO market is saturated with tons of competitors who offer similar experiences for a fraction of what World of Warcraft costs. The increasing number of quality free-to-play MMOs, like Guild Wars 2, could be a factor as well. Then again, maybe their was just too much expectations for Mists of Pandaria. Maybe people are finally over World of Warcraft and this expansion was the final straw.

Let us know below; did you purchase or plan on purchasing Mists of Pandaria?