IRVINE, Calif. - November 24, 2004 - Blizzard Entertainment� today announced that World of Warcraft� has become an instant success, achieving epic sales figures in less than 24 hours. Launched Tuesday, November 23rd, the company's subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) sold-through to consumers an estimated 250,000* copies of the game. At retailers across the country, players lined up for blocks at midnight to purchase the game, which sold out in many stores nationwide after only one day on store shelves.
In just the first day alone, over 200,000 players created World of Warcraft accounts, and over 100,000 were already playing the game concurrently as of 5:00 p.m. PST on Tuesday. The account-creation and concurrent-user populations are both record numbers for a MMORPG on its first day of launch, making World of Warcraft the fastest-growing online game in history. World of Warcraft is expected to continue to shatter records and achieve a record-setting week-one population in the days ahead. With dozens of World of Warcraft servers already filled to capacity, Blizzard is deploying additional servers rapidly to match the growing player base.
"We had a lot of confidence in World of Warcraft, but the success on day one far exceeded our expectations," said Mike Morhaime, president of Blizzard Entertainment. "We are extremely happy that players are enjoying our game, and we are doing everything we can to meet the demand and maintain a fun and smooth game experience for everyone playing."
Retailers across North America, including Wal-Mart, EB, GameStop, and others are reporting that hundreds of their stores have sold out of World of Warcraft due to the demand. If consumers have not yet purchased their copy of World of Warcraft, they are advised to call ahead to make sure their store has copies still in stock.
"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!"
Blizzard Entertainment and its retail partners are expecting all remaining supplies of World of Warcraft to sell out soon. Meanwhile, the company is working diligently 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 retail shelves.
*Based on internal company records and reports from key distribution partners in North America.