No doubt influenced heavily by digital pre-orders, Blizzard today revealed that World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has shattered previous marks for first-day sales in the PC gaming market. In its first 24 hours the expansion sold approximately 3.3 million copies, making it the fastest-selling PC game of all time by eclipsing Wrath of the Lich King's 2.8 million sold mark set in November 2008.
"We had to bring Azeroth to the brink of destruction in Cataclysm, but the result was our best expansion yet," said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "We want to thank all of our new, existing, and returning players throughout the world for their incredible enthusiasm and support, and we look forward to hearing what they think about all the new content."
Interestingly, GameStop is stating that Cataclysm sold better in its first day than StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, which is a bit surprising considering the lackluster turnout at our local San Francisco midnight opening. Perhaps other locales faired better, because I expected the digital download to have a severe negative impact on box sales. Then again with Lil' Deathwing coming out of the Collector's Edition, that was a sure hit, and something that you couldn't digitally download -- at least not in advance from Blizzard.
With so many first-day copies sold, it will be interesting to see how the expansion fairs in its first month. Will we see a majority of the playerbase own the expansion by the end of the year? Or heck, do they already own it and Blizzard just hasn't released week one numbers yet?