World of Warcraft, the company’s subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), sold through to over 240,000 customers at retailers in North America on Tuesday, November23, selling more in its first 24 hours than any other PC game in history.
In addition to shattering sales records, World of Warcraft also broke peak concurrency and account creation records for a MMORPG. Within the first day, over 200,000 players created World of Warcraft accounts. By 5:00 p.m. PST, over 100,000 were playing the game concurrently. These two record-breaking numbers made World of Warcraft the fastest-growing MMORPG in history. Within a single day, all original 40+ World of Warcraft servers were filled to capacity, and by the end of the Thanksgiving weekend, more than 40 additional servers were deployed to meet the rapidly growing player base, as the number of new accounts and concurrent users continued to grow.
“We were all extremely pleased with the success of World of Warcraft on its first day of launch,” said Mike Morhaime, president of Blizzard Entertainment. “Once we saw the numbers for the first day, we knew that we had to immediately increase capacity to accommodate the huge numbers of players joining our game. We’re glad so many people are enjoying World of Warcraft, and we are dedicated to supporting a fun and smooth game experience for everyone.”
Retailers across North America reported that the World of Warcraft launch was unequivocally their biggest day-one sales in PC gaming history. Leading industry retailers, such as Wal-Mart, Best Buy, EB, and GameStop, all reported that hundreds of their stores sold out of World of Warcraft within the first day.
“World of Warcraft has once again shown that Blizzard consistently delivers the best games in the industry,” said Robert McKenzie, vice president of merchandising at GameStop. “It sold better than any other PC game this year — in fact, World of Warcraft enjoyed the best day-one sell-through GameStop has ever seen on a PC title!”
Over the Thanksgiving weekend, players continued to buy World of Warcraft in record numbers, with a total of over 350,000(a) copies of the game selling through. Blizzard Entertainment and its retail partners expect the remaining supplies of World of Warcraft to sell out soon. Blizzard is currently evaluating its ability to ship additional games to retailers, given the unexpectedly high demand on the servers. The company continues to increase server capacity to accommodate the growing number of players connecting to the game. As the additional servers are brought online and proven stable, additional copies of World of Warcraft will be made available at retail. Blizzard will announce the availability of those additional games as soon as they are on shelves.