World of Warcraft: Cataclysm breaks first-day PC sales record

By on December 13, 2010, 2:15 PM
Activision Blizzard has announced that World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, the third expansion for the most popular subscription-based MMORPG available, has become the fastest-selling PC game of all time in terms of first-day sales. Based on internal company records and reports from key distribution partners, the company sold more than 3.3 million copies in its first 24 hours of release (that includes digital pre-sales).

The previous record was made in November 2008, also by Activision Blizzard. More than 2.8 million copies of the second World of Warcraft expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, were sold in 24 hours. Activision Blizzard also holds the record for the most sales of a video game in 24 hours, regardless of platform. Just last month, Call of Duty: Black Ops sold 5.6 million copies on its first day.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm was simultaneously released in the US, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Europe, Russia, Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand on December 7. It became available in Korea and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau on December 9.

"We had to bring Azeroth to the brink of destruction in Cataclysm, but the result was our best expansion yet," Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment, said in a statement. "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."





User Comments: 17

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TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Man, I remember when Activision was just a handful of coders for the Atari 2600 who became fed up with how Atari was treating them and broke off to form their own company. Guess they've done good, eh?

ramonsterns said:

TomSEA said:

Man, I remember when Activision was just a handful of coders for the Atari 2600 who became fed up with how Atari was treating them and broke off to form their own company. Guess they've done good, eh?

And thus they became that which they hated the most.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Mmmm...not really. At least not at that time. Programmers were paid a base salary - and it wasn't much more than a secretary received. They didn't get any bonuses if their games sold well, nor did they receive any credit for the game. Basically these guys worked as a sweat shop for Atari. When 4 of the top programmers approached the Atari CFO asking for bonuses or a percentage of sales along with their names associated with the product, the CFO basically told them they weren't worth more than they were getting paid and to get back to work.

So the 4 broke away and formed Activision where they were the first gaming company that instituted a system where programmers received a percentage of sales, plus they received recognition for their product.

Wikipedia has a nice write-up on the history of Activision. It all hasn't been roses for them, but ultimately a success story as you can see from today's WoW sales article.

Guest said:

It did not sell more than call of duty blacks ops 5.6 million and warcraft 3.3 million so how is that a first day PC sales record?

Guest said:

Black Ops was multi-platform. The Cataclysm sales figure is PC only.

PanicX PanicX, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

Guest said:

It did not sell more than call of duty blacks ops 5.6 million and warcraft 3.3 million so how is that a first day PC sales record?

Really?

COD: Black Ops, is a console title, WOW: Cataclysm is a PC exclusive title.

WOW: Wrath of the Lich King sold 2.8 million, WOW: Cataclysm sold 3.3 million.

This isn't rocket science.

Cota Cota said:

i Blame GameStop, their constant reminder of pre ordering stuff until you agree to spend some extra bucks for something thats gona come in one year only to enjoy the peace of they keeping quiet for the rest of your buy, thats why they broke the record.

aj_the_kidd said:

Cota said:

i Blame GameStop, their constant reminder of pre ordering stuff until you agree to spend some extra bucks for something thats gona come in one year only to enjoy the peace of they keeping quiet for the rest of your buy, thats why they broke the record.

Yes, nagging was the reason it sold 3.3 mil in one day, how did i miss that? It had nothing to do with the fact that its an WOW expansion.

krayzie said:

i blame the NPC who tells me to go see another NPC to get more quests for making me buy the game

Lurker101 said:

It's WoW. It doesn't matter what excuses or reasons you find, at the end of the day, a lot of people still enjoy playing WoW.

fpsgamerJR62 said:

With record setting sales for CoD and WoW, it would be a massive understatement to say that 2010 has been a banner year for Activision.

Guest said:

Nah, i blame the buyers :P

teklord teklord said:

WoW is awesome and I am addicted myself. Don't want to shell out $40 for the new expansion, hoping I can get it cheap when I get that high in level. I remember Activision most from their Atari third party house days as well. Played several 2600, among other systems, Activision games. They managed to survive the crash of the 80's and subsequent lackluster years to become the powerhouse in video game sales they are today.

Guest said:

To those confused about "The previous record was made in November 2008, also by Activision Blizzard. More than 2.8 million copies of the second World of Warcraft expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, were sold in 24 hours. Activision Blizzard also holds the record for the most sales of a video game in 24 hours, regardless of platform. Just last month, Call of Duty: Black Ops sold 5.6 million copies on its first day. "

Call of Duty: Black Ops is also an Activision / Blizzard title.

lchu12 lchu12 said:

Guest said:

To those confused about "The previous record was made in November 2008, also by Activision Blizzard. More than 2.8 million copies of the second World of Warcraft expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, were sold in 24 hours. Activision Blizzard also holds the record for the most sales of a video game in 24 hours, regardless of platform. Just last month, Call of Duty: Black Ops sold 5.6 million copies on its first day. "

Call of Duty: Black Ops is also an Activision / Blizzard title.

Thanks for the clarification.

Guest said:

Where is the games revenue going too? Its dosnt seem to be funding anything groudbreaking and new. There was a time when every new pc development would push the envelope.

Shnig said:

Guest said:

Where is the games revenue going too? Its dosnt seem to be funding anything groudbreaking and new. There was a time when every new pc development would push the envelope.

That is an unbelivably odd thing to ask. This is a private company your asking about!?!?! If you dont want to give them money, dont. They arent forcing anyone to buy the game. Nor or they obliged to fund anything at all, except their back pockets of course. Why dont you lobby your local bank and ask where their profits are going to? Oh wait its none of your business. Start your own company if you want to philanthropidic. Dont just preach.

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