World of Warcraft’s new race, the Pandaren, are a pretty big gamble by Blizzard. They hearken back to an age when WoW was much sillier than it has been in its last three expansion packs. For years, WoW has been on a more serious bent as they wove tales about the Lich King and Illidan Stormrage, and it’s that tone that’s won over most of their fanbase. But as we can see below, the Pandaren aren’t quite so serious.
Some people credit WoW’s latest expansion, Cataclysm, with causing the rapid decline we now see in WoW’s subscriber numbers. Even if you don’t necessarily agree with that, it’s pretty clear that the Pandaren have a heavy weight on their shoulders. If the expansion doesn’t go over well with fans, then it’s likely that WoW will continue to bleed subscribers – especially with games like Guild Wars 2 (opens in new tab) coming out (opens in new tab) – however, if Pandaria turns out to be a success then WoW will have a great second chance at life. We’re dying to find out which it will be.