Mythic Entertainment's Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning
is off to a strong start, but it isn't going to cause panic in Blizzard's offices any time soon, says Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian.
The recently-launched challenger has hit 750,000 registered users, a small fraction of World of Warcraft
's user base but an impressive figure in the MMO genre at large. But, as Sebastian notes in a research report, "conversations at BlizzCon suggest limited interest in the title among core WoW
And the analyst only sees things getting better for Blizzard's behemoth, with an additional million subscribers expected to sign up over the next year, in part due to the significant growth of the game in Asia.
"Our informal survey of WoW
users at the show suggests little WoW fatigue among the game’s most loyal user base, we believe due in part to the pending release of the Wrath of the Lich King
expansion pack," he writes. "As previously discussed, the pending launch of WoLK
should provide a near-term boost in revenues and potentially in subscriber count."
Along with the new expansion, Lazard expects parent company Activision Blizzard to see strong revenue from Treyarch's Call of Duty: World at War
and Neversoft's Guitar Hero: World Tour
. The firm did not comment on whether Activision may be attempting to capitalize on World of Warcraft
's success by including the word "World" in as many of its titles as possible.
Sebastian was impressed with the recent BlizzCon event, noting that "while there was no significant headline announcement from the show, there was also no shortage of enthusiasm among attendees, with very long lines to play demos of upcoming titles." Some 20,000 fans turned up for the show.