SuperData calls expansions the ‘lifeblood’ for World of Warcraft


I have a thing about graphs without labeled axes. Just yesterday, I was literally making fun of the time Nexon turned in this unitless graph in its investor report. Yay squiggly lines!

I say this to prepare you for what SuperData dropped last night following the World of Warcraft Shadowlands stream. The analytics firm emphasizes what fans surely already know: that WoW makes bank on these expansions. Its graph is likewise unitless (it sells these data to industry), so requisite side-eyes, but it’s still a useful to see Legion, Battle for Azeroth, and Classic stacked up against each other. It’s also useful to see how low that dip after BFA went, and how Classic didn’t really hold the base long (though longer than BFA). Again, you already knew that if you read the SuperData monthly reports on Classic’s staggering rise and fall through anything but rose-tinted glasses, but it’s helpful to see it laid out in comparison.

“Expansions are the lifeblood for World of Warcraft,” the firm tweeted. “For the past two expansions and WoW Classic, monthly revenue has jumped an average of 160% on release.” Can Shadowlands do it again? Guess we’ll see.

Source: Twitter

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Bruno Brito

You mean, a company that is keeping itself afloat by selling regular boxed content is actually getting it’s peaks of profit when that boxed content releases?

I’m shocked.

Adam Russell

Proven at last!


Of course. WoW expansions don’t include free play time, so regular players need to spend more than triple the regular amount during the launch month (the regular sub + the expansion) in order to avoid being locked out of the current content. And this before you even take into account the players who return for the first couple months of the expansion.

The one that was truly impressive was the Classic one, as it managed to generate a revenue spike about as strong as that of a brand new expansion despite not requiring the purchase of one. Which means the Classic spike wasn’t due to fleecing the player base even more, but instead was from attracting a huge number of (likely former) players.

Bryan Turner

To be fair Classic had not been available since Death Wing woke up with a hand over and vomited all over Azeroth, so after an 8 to 9 year absence Classic felt almost like new content.

Kickstarter Donor

Uh…no duh? I mean, they have some interesting insights, but this ain’t one of them. This is more akin to Michael Pachter coming in and “predicting” the Vita would fail after its initial abysmal sales.

Get back to farming those space cucumbers, Michael Pachter. Maybe Superdata can send a few folks to help : P

Rick Mills

And thats why Wow will never have real progression or housing.

Bryan Turner

Humm I just discovered that wheels are incredibly important to a civilization . . . No man what do you think I’m as oblivious as Superdata has been all these years?

Songs for Children

So new content appears, and people want to play that content?

you don't say.jpg
Dug From The Earth

Hey now, you are just one person. Obviously, it takes a professional company tons of time, money and experience to determine these sort of simple, common sense things.

Dankey Kang

In other news, superdata also discovers that water is indeed, wet.