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Blizzard Entertainment announced that World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade has broken the day-one sales record to become the fastest-selling PC game ever in North America and Europe, with a worldwide total of nearly 2.4 million copies sold in the first 24 hours of availability. The Burning Crusade, the first expansion set for World of Warcraft, was simultaneously released in North America, Europe, Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia on January 16, and on January 17 in Australia and New Zealand.
Blizzard had supplied more than 4 million game boxes to retailers worldwide, and more than 5,000 stores throughout the world had their doors open at midnight to welcome thousands of expectant players.
Day-one sales totals on both continents were similar, with an estimated total of nearly 1.2 million copies sold on the first day in North America and an estimated total of more than 1.1 million copies sold in Europe within the first 24 hours of launch.* By the end of the first day of availability on both continents, a total of more than 1.7 million players had already logged in and upgraded World of Warcraft to play The Burning Crusade.
"The Burning Crusade has already exceeded even our most ambitious expectations," said Mike Morhaime, president and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "We're pleased that so many players are eager to see all of the new content that the expansion has to offer, and we look forward to seeing everyone online as additional players continue to upgrade in the days ahead."
Retailers are continuing to report sustained demand, so if players have not yet purchased their copy of The Burning Crusade, they are advised to call ahead to make sure their store has copies on hand. Additional shipments of the expansion have been routed to retailers to help maintain stock levels.
"The immediate popularity of The Burning Crusade once again shows that Blizzard consistently delivers what gamers want," said Robert McKenzie, senior vice president of merchandising at GameStop Corp. "In addition to setting a new day-one PC-game sales record at our GameStop and EB Games stores, the expansion garnered more online pre-orders than any other PC game in our company’s history."
Prior to the launch of The Burning Crusade, World of Warcraft was played by more than 8 million players around the world -- with more than 2 million on North American realms and more than 1.5 million on European realms -- making it the most successful subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game in PC-gaming history.