Online PC game World of Warcraft (WoW) will be around for another 20 years if it manages its players properly in the future, claims an analyst.
DFC Intelligence commented on the latest expansion - Warlords of Draenor - which sold 3.3 million units at launch and pushed the game's paying subscribers up past the 10 million mark.
"The new expansion bucks the freemium trend by charging a premium price plus a monthly subscription. Of course, World of Warcraft has arguably been the only title to do this to such a scale," said DFC in a statement on its blog.
"Rather than working on a replacement, [developer] Blizzard has smartly been updating the decade old title in tangible ways such as reworking the character models to better match the higher visual quality exhibited by games made more recently. This all gives the game a fresh face that could help in retaining subscribers longer than is experienced with previous expansions.
"But what impresses us most is how well localised Warlords of Draenor is up-front. With no delay the MMO supports Brazilian Portuguese, French, German, Italian, Korean, Latin American Spanish, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish and Traditional Chinese. All of which makes Warlords of Draenor a critical installment for the franchise.
"Depending on how well players are retained, this expansion will be the key to whether World of Warcraft remains relevant enough to have a shot at a 20-year tail."
Earlier this year DFC told PCR that the PC games market has surpassed the console gaming sector in terms of global revenues.