Matthew Roszak

In The Press Blog

Blizzard secures dominance of online games with World of Warcraft: Cataclysm (review)

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World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is Blizzard Entertainment’s most ambitious expansion pack for its wildly popular online role-playing game yet. Instead of focusing on adding additional content for high-level players, like it did in its previous expansion, Blizzard went back to its original release and remade the entire world from scratch. Both new players and veterans are going to see the fruits of Blizzard’s labor in this one.

Blizzard, a division of Activision Blizzard, is issuing a very clear directive by revamping the world of Azeroth: 12 million players (and a billion dollars in annual revenue) is not enough for this company. Blizzard has always been extremely ambitious and regularly crushes expectations for its game sales. Its first expansion pack sold 2.4 million units in 24 hours, and its most recent one sold 2.8 million units in the first day. But a majority of its players are already veterans, and won’t see much of the new content unless. The biggest goal is attracting new players to the game.

And pretty much each player counts, because World of Warcraft is a subscription-based game. Each player pays around $15 a month — meaning there’s more than a billion dollars in revenue for Activision Blizzard from this game alone.

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