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There is a battle brewing for gamers in NA and EU. Right now WOW enjoys the largest number of subscribers in NA and in EU. Question is, will GW2 come close, match, or even possibly beat WOW in NA and EU?
It is no secret that the vast majority of WOW subs are in Aisa; China mainly. As of Jaunary 22, 2008, WOW enjoyed 10 million subs (2m in EU, 2.5m in NA and 5.5m in Asia). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_of_Warcraft
With WOW subs down to 9.1 million no one really knows exactly what the numbers per market are, so for the sake of argument, we're going to assume that the percentages remain the same; out of 9.1 million subs, NA would have 2.275m, EU would have 1.82m and Asia would have 5.005m subs.
Many have heard of KDB Daewoo Securities firm predicting approx 3.12 million GW2 box sales; though some consider KDB to be very reliable, it is still just a prediction, not fact. Since GW2 will only be available in NA and EU gaming markets, though people in other continents will be playing GW2 via NA/EU servers, you can see how it would be quite possible for GW2 to near WOW numbers in NA and in EU. With a prediction of 3.12 million and the threshold being 4.5 million, GW2 would have to beat KDB's expecations by 1.38 million copies; possible? Only time will tell.
One of the reasons why this is such a big deal, especially for Blizzard, is because the vast majority of the revenue for WOW comes from NA and EU, not Asia; due to different payment models. WOW is one of the largest cash cows for Activision/Blizzard, and a significant reduction in revenue from WOW could possibly spell disaster (key "possible"). Blizzard's recent, and quite aggressive, sales, advertisement, and release date campaign I think speak to the possible uneasiness at the Irvine studios.
What do you think?