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Solid Pandaria Sales Bolster Blizzard’s WoW Subscriptions

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Sales of Mists of Pandaria, Blizzard Entertainment Inc.’s latest installation of its World of Warcraft franchise, has sold more than 2.7 million copies.

The game—released midnight Sept. 25, marked by a launch party at Irvine Spectrum Center—helped to push the franchise’s online subscriptions back above 10 million. WoW had lost 1.1 million subscribers in the June quarter, marking the first time subs dipped below 10 million in more than a year.

Irvine-based Blizzard finished the first six months of the year with 9.1 million WoW subscribers, still the highest for any online role-playing game. Blizzard customers pay about $40 for WoW and $15 a month to play it online.

Pandaria is the fourth WoW expansion.

Blizzard bills Mists of Pandaria as a game in which players clash off the coast of a lost continent, where they’ll “unearth ancient secrets,” encounter new allies, and help reignite a long-running feud between the Horde and Alliance.

The game did not garner as much interest as previous WoW releases. Cataclysm sold 3.3 million copies in the first 24 hours it went on sale in December 2010, a record that was broken in May with the release of Blizzard’s Diablo III.

2008’s Wrath of the Lich King sold 2.8 million copies in its first 24 hours.

Blizzard is a unit of Santa Monica-based parent Activision Entertainment Inc., which is ultimately part of France-based Vivendi SA.

Shares of Activision were up 1.6% at the close of trading Oct. 4, with a market value of about $12.68 billion.

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