World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, latest expansion for Blizzard Entertainment’s massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) reaches a record 3.3 million copies sold through as of its first 24 hours of release. The previous record-breaking title was the previous WoW title, World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, which sold a meager 2.8 million copies over the course of its launch day back in 2008.
The 3.3 million mark includes both retail copies of the game and digital sales, though Blizzard didn’t break it down any further. Over 10,000 retail stores worldwide helped the role-playing behemoth achieve the mark by holding midnight launch events. The first-day sales were bigger than the July launch of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, which sold 1.5 million copies in two days. Blizzard managed to beat its own record by launching simultaneously in more territories. On the first day, it released the game in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Europe, Russia, Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. It then released the game in Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau on Dec. 9.
World of Warcraft has more than 12 million paying subscribers, making it the only game that can get such huge audience numbers despite charging a subscription fee. The first-day sales show that Blizzard’s grip on hardcore online role-playing fans is getting tighter and tighter, resulting in guaranteed revenues of more than $1 billion from this one game alone.