With World of Warcraft still offline in the massive Chinese market, Blizzard Entertainment hasn't released worldwide subscriber numbers since last December's 11.5 million-plus figure. However, the NPD Group has provided GameSpot with an authorized breakdown of the game's life-to-date retail sales in the US market. The figures do not include direct digital sales from the Blizzard Store.
According to the industry-research firm, some 8.59 million units of boxed World at Warcraft games have been sold domestically since the game launched in November 2004. The original stand-alone game, GameSpot's 2004 Game of the Year, has sold 3.66 million units at varying price points. It currently costs $19.99 a la carte, but is also included in the $39.99 World of Warcraft Battle Chest, which has sold 740,000 units domestically since going on sale in October 2007.
The World of Warcraft Battle Chest includes the first massively multiplayer online role-playing game's expansion packs, The Burning Crusade. By itself, the add-on sold 2.27 million domestically since its release in January 2007 and currently costs $29.99 solo. The second WOW expansion, the $39.99 Wrath of the Lich King, has sold 1.91 million units since it launched last November. During that launch, it moved over 2.8 million copies worldwide in 24 hours, making it the fastest selling PC game of all time.
Though retail sales do generate revenue, Blizzard's big money earner is the subscription fee--$14.99 in the US--each World of Warcraft player pays monthly. In May, the developer-publisher's parent company, Activision Blizzard, reported quarterly MMORPG income of $314 million, or more than $100 million per month.