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Leaked Walmart playbook predicts 90% sellthrough on expansion

Mike Schramm

Nelson dropped us a link to this apparent handout to Walmart employees about the upcoming release of the Burning Crusade expansion in that store. There's some common info on there (did you know WoW "has taken the PC gaming world by storm"?), but there's also some interesting info about how sales might go, and exactly how many copies are showing up in each store.

After a little introduction about the game and how popular it is, there's two stats that jump out: Walmart expects (due to a survey-- done by.. Blizzard? Analysts?) that a whopping 90% of current WoW players will be buying the expansion, and that 75% said they would pick it up within the first 10 days of release. By my math, considering their figure of 7.5 million players, that's just over half a million (I need to stop doing math on this site-- thanks, JP) 5 million copies of the expansion pack sold in just the first ten days (!). As a comparison, the best-selling expansion pack of all time so far, Sims: Livin' Large, sold 700,000 copies in its first year. Holy moly!

As for Walmart numbers, they say 2,008 stores will each be receiving half-pallets of 60 copies, which is 120,480 right there. The flyer also notes that product will be showing up in stores on the 8th (which means it's there RIGHT NOW), and that it's not to be sold until 12:01 am on the 16th. From my time working at Gamestop, I well know that some of these stores will break street date (usually they just don't realize how important the item is, and accidentally sell it early), but I also know that if the publisher finds out they did so, they risk not receiving product next time-- so try bribing the Walmart people at your (and their) own risk. But with these numbers, and this plan, it looks like Burning Crusade might be ready to make history on Tuesday.

[ Thanks, Nelson! ]

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