World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria will sell in the region of 4.5 million units during Activision Blizzard's Q3, analysts at investment bank Brean Murray, Carrett & Co. have said.

The figure is a huge increase over Lazard Capital Markets' estimate of 700,000 Mists of Pandaria retail boxes.

"We think recent reports of weak retail sales for Mists of Pandaria may fail to reflect a channel shift toward a greater percentage of digital sales," said Brean Murray, Carrett & Co. in an update posted on Venturebeat.

"More than 1 million people bought premium subscriptions, which bundled a year-long subscription with a copy of Diablo III. We look for the premium subscribers to not only pick up the expansion but for a significant portion of them to download it through the platform, which should offer high margin revenue."

The firm expects WoW subscription numbers to increased from 9.1 million to 9.8 million by the end of the quarter.