The analysts speaking: Diablo III will sell 5M copies in year one
Gamasutra have published an article, containing the words of analyst Doug Creutz from "Crowen & Company", who suggests that the upcoming hack-and-slash RPG from Blizzard will sell five million units within a year.
Are there different than the usual factors in play when calculating this number, however? According to Creutz, one million units will be sold solely via the World of WarCraft annual pass, which comes with a free copy of Diablo III.
Although 5M units sold do sound juicy in the profit department, Creutz avoids talking about the "meaningful impact" that the game will have on Activision/Blizzard's financial status as, according to him, his company cannot yet predict the levels to which the "real money auction house" will grow in terms of community popularity and, hence, the money inflow generated by it.
History is on Blizzard's side as well, at least as far as their most recently released games are concerned. Even when one excludes the MMO franchise World of Warcraft, whose last expansion Cataclysm sold 4.7M in one month only, there is still StarCraft 2. The RTS saga about the Koprulu sector hit 4.5M less than half a year after its launch. Also, if those predictions come true it will mean that in one year, Diablo III alone will have sold a quarter of the whole Diablo franchise thus far, which is currently sitting on a 20M units sold figure.