PARIS, France. 15th February, 2005 - Blizzard EntertainmentÂ® today announced that World of WarcraftÂ® has become an overnight success in Europe, achieving record-breaking sales in its first 24 hours since the game launched on Friday, 11th February. World of Warcraft, the company's subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), has sold-through an estimated 280,000* copies at retail on day-one, selling more units in one day than what was previously thought to be the overall cumulative size of the European MMORPG market. This figure rose to more than 380,000 units being sold-through by the end of the first weekend.
As the fastest-growing online game in European history, World of Warcraft has shattered previous records for highest number of accounts created, concurrent user populations and number of servers. More than 290,000 players created World of Warcraft accounts during the first weekend, and 100,000 of those were playing the game concurrently on the first day. A first time ever peak concurrency of over 180,000 players in Europe was reached during the first weekend. To support the European launch, Blizzard deployed over 80 servers at the World of Warcraft data centres in Paris and Frankfurt; additional servers are on standby as new players subscribe to the game.
"We are extremely pleased by the launch of World of Warcraft in Europe," said Mike Morhaime, president of Blizzard Entertainment. "Our experience of launching World of Warcraft in North America last year has helped us to prepare for Europe by providing more boxes at launch than we had previously planned and deploying more servers from the start, which we hope will allow us to provide a smooth and fun game experience from the outset for everyone playing."
Retailers across Europe have reported outstanding demand for the title:
According to Lou Triche, Senior Vice President of International Operations for EB Games, "World of Warcraft has become the fastest selling PC game to date for EB Games in Europe. The game has set new sales records for units sold during its first weekend of release." In the UK, Tricia Brennan, Head of Buying, GAME, said: "World of Warcraft was passionately anticipated by customers and staff alike. Yet again, Blizzard has delivered a superb game and we are delighted with the success of the title."
A similar success story was experienced in France where Jean Marc Martel, Games Buyer of the country's leading PC retailer, FNAC stated, "I'd like to thank the Blizzard team for their professionalism in making the launch of World of Warcraft a real event at FNAC. We look forward to partnering with Blizzard Entertainment on future releases."
Blizzard Entertainment supplied 560,000 boxes of World of Warcraft to its retail partners for launch. As additional servers are brought online and proven stable, re-orders will be fulfilled for stores across Europe, and additional copies of World of Warcraft will then be available at retail.
*Based on internal company records and reports from key retailers in Europe.