World of Warcraft Expansion Breaks All-Time Record

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The wintry new expansion to the world's most popular MMO is now the fastest selling PC game in history. Wrath of the Lich King, the second expansion to Blizzard's World of Warcraft that unlocks a third continent and raises the game's level cap from 70 to 80, sold over 2.8 million copies in its first 24 hours of availability.

How do they figure 2.8 million? "Internal company records and reports from key distribution partners," according to Blizzard. If accurate, that number puts Wrath of the Lich King about 400,000 copies ahead of the last expansion's opening tally of 2.4 million back in January 2007. Quite a feat, though 15,000 stores staging worldwide midnight release parties probably helped cinch Blizzard's Guinness grab.

"We’re grateful for the incredible support that players around the world have continued to show for World of Warcraft," said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "Wrath of the Lich King contains some of the best content we’ve created for the game so far, and we look forward to seeing even more players log in to experience it in the days ahead."

"After a single day of availability, Wrath of the Lich King is already the bestselling PC game of 2008 at GameStop and ranks as one of our top-selling products so far this year," said Bob McKenzie, GameStop’s senior vice president of merchandising. "In keeping with the tradition established by their previous releases, Blizzard Entertainment has again created a product that not only reflects their high standards of quality but is clearly an instant hit with gamers around the country."

Blizzard's careful to point out that its 11 million subscriber base was "prior to the launch of Wrath of the Lich King." Mm-hmm. Smell the press-release-sequel coming? Care to wager whether they'll hit 12 million this side of 2008 or not?

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