An analyst at Lazard Capital is telling VentureBeat that early sales indicators on the newest World of Warcraft expansion, Mists of Pandaria, are below expectations. The firm estimates 600-700k copies of the expansion sold at retail since its launch on Tuesday, down a whopping 60 percent from the previous expansion. VentureBeat notes that this estimate probably doesn't take into account digital downloads of the expansion.
Lazard Capital analyst Atul Bagga said that digitally distributed copies probably won't compensate for the estimated 60 percent drop in retail physical sales from the 2010 release of Cataclysm, which sold 3.3 million copies in its first 24 hours of release. The 2008 release of the world of Warcraft expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, sold 2.8 million copies in its first day of release, while the 2007 release of The Burning Crusade saw 2.4 million in sales.
Some of this could be due to the popular MMORPG's steady decline in subscribers. At its highpoint in 2010 World of Warcraft had 12 million active subscribers, but those numbers have been dropping: last month the game had tumbled to 9.1 million.