So to kick this one off, we're going to ask--and then try desperately to answer--just one simple question: What is it about World of Warcraft and pandas? Really? Because despite all reason and good common sense, the launch of World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria is bringing gamers back to WoW like no tomorrow, and Azeroth
once again has an eight-figure population.
Yesterday, we tackled Activision's quarterly report numbers, and overall, the numbers were looking pretty nice, in all honesty. Big gains for Skylanders
, for Call of Duty, for Diablo 3
, right on down the line. But hidden in the quarterly report was a chunk of news that rated its own look; the return to 10 million World of Warcraft users following the launch of the newest expansion, Mists of Pandaria.
Viscerally, nothing about this makes much sense. It's not as though the basic game itself has been altered. Sure, there's a new race kicking up game mechanics a bit, but it's still much the same game as it was when all those people left.
Some have projected that it's not a matter of the terminally indecisive, but rather an influx of female players being drawn by the pandas. It's a reasonable explanation, at least on the surface, but there's little in the way of supporting documentation to back that up so it's a conclusion we need to take with a grain of salt.
Just why players are suddenly coming back in force--or whether they're coming back so much as showing up for the first time--is somewhat unclear. But still, it's clear that the numbers are being shored up rapidly, and that's even more good news for Activision, who was already on top of the world with their previous news.