World of Warcraft: Legion sales ended up showing that Blizzard’s MMO still had more than enough strength left in it to kick butt, as the expansion pack ended up selling 3.3 million copies on day one alone, matching the other expansion packs that had come before it like Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, and Warlords of Draenor.
The expansion pack, which puts players right in the middle of the demonic Burning Legion’s third attempted invasion of Azeroth, immediately got WOW fans talking when the last update before its release came out and showed that the power structure of Azeroth was already shaken, as Varian Wrynn, King of Stormwind and the leader of the Alliance, and Vol’jin, Warchief of the Horde, both died in battle against the Legion.
With Anduin Wrynn inheriting his father’s positions, and Sylvanas Windrunner being appointed as Warchief by a dying Vol’jin, the stage was set for a battle with much greater consequences than ever before. Other quests in the expansion have included the death of the green Dragon Aspect Ysera, and the near-destruction of the draenei capital, the Exodar.
Things in Azeroth are at their darkest, and that possibility of raised stakes, along with the return of various well-liked characters such as Illidan Stormrage, Bolvar Fordragon, and more, likely helped to reinvigorate the World of Warcraft fanbase and jump up the World of Warcraft: Legion sales to better levels.
Blizzard had previously been reporting large drops of subscribers with some regularity, with the number of players in WOW going from 12 million in 2010, at the game’s height, to 5.5 million last year before Activision stopped reporting subscriber numbers.
The number of active subscribers can mainly be attributed to a dearth of content experienced by many players after they’ve done everything that the expansion has to offer; many of the game’s veterans and more experienced players will spend several weeks doing everything possible, including grinding for the best loot, doing the raids and instances, and more before dropping off.
However, hopefully the World of Warcraft: Legion sales have breathed some new life into the game, and will keep a semi-active playerbase around for longer.