Blizzard has published some of the biggest PC games of the last 20 years. MCV checks out the merch to make retailers go WoW
Thanks to the continuing success of Blizzard's many franchises, it seems as if the World (of Warcraft) is retail's oyster.
Despite the MMO preparing to celebrate its tenth anniversary next year, the statistics remain staggering: over 100 million players from more than 244 countries around the globe have ventured into WoW's lands of Azeroth – more than the populations of Germany, Belarus and Sweden combined.
This massive popularity is only set to increase again with the release of the next WoW expansion, Warlords of Draenor, later this year.
But WoW isn't the only Blizzard property with a huge fanbase. Thanks to its continued presence in the eSports sector, StarCraft II also remains a strong franchise, with the third and final expansion, StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void, set for release in the next few years.
Blizzard's gothic RPG series Diablo also provides a way to satisfy console owners, with over 20 million copies of the game sold last quarter. The game and its expansion pack were last week bundled together into Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - Ultimate Evil edition, a version of the title for PS4 and Xbox One. So now is an ideal time to stock related products and benefit from Blizzard's marketing efforts.
In addition to our ongoing PR and social media efforts, we're planning significant investments in eCRM, TV and digital advertising, and PoS to support the launch of Ultimate Evil Edition,” a Blizzard representative told MCV. Furthermore, our successful strategic partnership with Sony continues across console generations, and as such, we're looking forward to the amplification of message that this relationship continues to bring.
We'll be promoting the game directly to our players through website updates and community interaction via social media channels.”
Clearly, Diablo merchandise is a heaven – not hell – for retail. (Sorry.)
Diablo Pop! Vinyl Figure
The eponymous Lord of Terror from the Diablo series has ascended from the Burning Hells to sit on the desks of demon-battlers. A Pop! vinyl figure of Diablo's nemesis, the Archangel Tyrael, is also available.
Distributor: Underground Toys
SteelSeries Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Mouse
Branded with an illuminated Diablo III logo, this mouse is designed with a 10 million click lifespan – just about enough to make it through Reaper of Souls on Torment difficulty.
Distributor: Exertis Gem
Contact: 01279 822 822
Based on the terrifying StarCraft unit, this not-so-terrifying soft toy is sure to cause a plush rush to your store among fans.
WoW Quest Giver Hat
This hat is a great way for WoW players to meet new people – and force them to do their bidding in return for XP.
Distributor: Gaming Merchandise UK
Strategy fans can bring the competitive battles of Blizzard's sci-fi RTS series to their tabletop in this reimagining of the board game.
Contact: 01633 278 770
WoW Orc Overhead Mask
Suitable for cosplayers and the green-skinned, this mask recreates a member of the playable race from World of Warcraft.
Distributor: Rubie's Costume Company
Contact: 01491 826 500
Some extra energy for those late-night raids in WoW and pushing up Actions Per Minute rates in StarCraft II matches.
Contact: 01622 845 160
StarCraft Zerg Carapace Zip-Up Hoodie
Great for warmth and comfort, not so great against Terran gunfire.
Distributor: Gaming Merchandise UK