World of Warcraft stepped into the unexplored area as it transcended the lore from RTS games and so far it seems to be paying off as Shadowlands sold extremely well.
WoW: Shadowlands caused the game to earn the highest monthly revenue since Blizzard was merged into Activision, all those years back in 2008. As a reminder, the game had one of the best expansions in history as this is also the year when Wrath of the Lich King was released. It only remains to be seen whether Shadowlands will hold up later on.
Whether the fact that WoW is stepping out of the lore that was set by the RTS games is beneficial or a handicap also remains to be seen. On one hand, it threw the developers into the unknown and they had to explore new ways to entertain the audience. On the other hand, fans could be curious about what the game has in store for them with brand new content.
Despite the higher revenue, it appears that the number of active players is still lower than in WotLK days as SuperData's report notes the player count is highest since 2010.
The reason for the discrepancy in subscriber count and revenue is rather obvious - WoW has leaned into microtransactions during 2010s which helped the game earn more but the overall popularity may still not be what it once was.
Still, Shadowlands is killing it when compared to Battle for Azeroth launch, with earnings being 50 per cent higher while the player count grew by 34 per cent.