Shadowlands is already smashing WoW records, and it's not even out yet - Dexerto
World of Warcraft

Shadowlands is already smashing WoW records, and it’s not even out yet

Published: 9/Nov/2020 1:54

by Isaac McIntyre

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Shadowlands is on-track to be the biggest World of Warcraft release to date, with the juggernaut MMORPG already breaking 16-year-old franchise records ahead of the eighth expansion’s expected release date in late November.

The next WoW release, Shadowlands, has had more pre-sales than any other expansion in the title’s history, Activision Blizzard confirmed in their latest quarterly earnings report.

Activision Blizzard’s chief executive, Bobby Kotick, confirmed Shadowlands has already bowled over at least one franchise record on Nov. 2. He said, “Pre-sales for the upcoming Shadowlands expansion are the highest we’ve seen of any release.”

“We’ve seen unprecedented engagement trends since the [World of Warcraft] subscriber base doubled following the launch of Classic last year,” Blizzard’s CEO added.

Kotick also revealed World of Warcraft is well on track to make “over $1 billion” in the next annual year. The MMORPG rakes in more than $300m each quarter, bumping shoulders with gaming giants Call of Duty, and mobile cult-classic Candy Crush.

World of Warcraft artwork showing to characters doing battle in a forest.
Blizzard
World of Warcraft is steadily raking in over $1 billion every year, Activision Blizzard has reported.

World of Warcraft has had a bumpy ride in the ’10s. Mists of Pandaria (2012) drove plenty away from the game, and follow-up Warlords of Draenor (2014) couldn’t do much to stem the tide of veteran fans turning their backs on the series.

Legion, released in 2016, had issues, but overall it did what people wanted World of Warcraft expansions to do; delivered a great story, solid endgame content, and was pretty fun.

The franchise was rattled slightly by the mixed reception for Battle for Azeroth, but with the release of WoW Classic in mid-2019, the legacy MMORPG seemed to find its feet. The player base flourished again, and it appears to have ‘saved’ the series.

“Franchise engagement is at the highest level for this stage ahead of an expansion in around a decade,” Activision’s COO Daniel Alegre revealed in the same Q3 call.

WoW Shadowlands castle
Blizzard
A record number of World of Warcraft fans are set to storm the Shadowlands in late November.

The numbers are all up across the board too. According to WoW stat tracking websites, the MMORPG boasts around 105m subscribers, 4.99 million of which are playing daily.

All of this points in one direction; the Shadowlands release on Nov. 23, will be one of the biggest in World of Warcraft history. New and returning players are already gearing up to get in-game ⁠—  it’s going to be a big one!

Ahead of Shadowlands, World of Warcraft is celebrating its 16th birthday by bringing back Lord Kazzak, Azuregos, and more. The title’s next expansion, its eighth since release, will be available from Monday, Nov. 23.

Smash

New Smash Ultimate fighter theory rules out fan-favorites as next DLC

Published: 25/Nov/2020 19:11 Updated: 25/Nov/2020 19:17

by Michael Gwilliam

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A new theory in the Super Smash Bros Ultimate community suggests that the next DLC character won’t be one of the popular favorites for Fighters Pass Volume 2.

The theory has to do with the latest tournament event announced by Nintendo. As revealed on November 24, the upcoming tournament will only feature fighters who have a form of headwear such as a hat or helmet.

Normally these events come and go with fans not really reading too much into them, but there is a good chance that Nintendo would want a new fighter to partake in an event such as this.

Basically, if the next DLC fighter was going to be a character such as Doom Slayer, Geno or Ryu Hayabusa, they would have qualified for this event. As such, it would have made more sense to save this tournament until after they released.

Over on the popular forum Smashboards, fans started speculating what this could mean for future DLC.

“The tourney suggests that the next fighter does NOT have a hat, since they cannot be included,” wrote user Aerospherology.

“Considering Mega Man is also there, this includes helmets too,” another pointed out.

Megaman attacks in Smash
Nintendo
The headgear event includes helmets such as Megaman’s.

User pupNapoleon further noted that this would rule out Master Chief, Doom Guy, Excite Biker, Balloon Fighter and Mach Rider.

Furthermore, when considering full hoods, Mortal Kombat’s Scorpion and Ninja Gaiden’s Ryu Hayabusa get deconfirmed.

Smash Ultimate DLC fighters spots
Nintendo
There are still four more DLC spots left.

While the odds seem to definitely be against Geno for now, on the bright side, this could be a good sign for a fighter such as Crash Bandicoot who has long been rumored for Smash DLC.

Of course, this is still just a theory and it’s more than possible that the next fighter ends up coming with a hat or helmet. Nonetheless, it’s something to consider when thinking about just who the eighth DLC character to join the Smash Ultimate roster will actually be.