Remember that little diddy from Lazard Capital Markets from last week. Through its seemingly dated research methods, the company warned that Activision-Blizzard was not having a very cataclysmic launch for Mist of Pandaria, the fourth expansion to World of Warcraft. The company estimated that only 700,000 copies had been sold through retail channels. A far cry from the 3.3 million total units Cataclysm pushed in December 2010.
The reason I call the research method dated is because A) it failed to account for any digital purchases and B) didn’t believe that digital purchases would be of any consequence anyways (hence A). The company went as far as saying “digital sales won’t make up for [MoP's] poor retail performance.”
Brean Murray, Carrett & Company either took more time in its research, has better data at its fingertips or polled a few MMOG players to see how they purchase their games these days. Not so shockingly, the company’s research states that Lazard Capital Markets is full of hot air. “We think recent reports of weak retail sales for Mists of Pandaria may fail to reflect a channel shift toward a greater percentage of digital sales,” it said in a report.
Hey, that’s what I said!
More specifically, the company expects MoP to push 4.5 million total copies through the different channels in Q3, despite the stiff competition of subscriptionless Guild Wars 2. It also estimates that subscriber numbers should remain over the 9 million mark, potentially as high as 9.8 million.
That makes for a happy panda.