World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, the third expansion for Blizzard's massively multiplayer online role-playing game, gained third place in the UK chart after launch on December 9. The mighty MMOG failed to dethrone Call of Duty: Black Ops, which holds onto the number one spot, and FIFA 11, which remains at two. It should be noted, though, that the UK charts do not currently include full digital sales data and that Cataclysm was the first World of Warcraft expansion to be released in stores and for download at the same time. Cataclysm is the only new title in the top 10, after a relatively quiet week for releases.
It's not the first time a Call of Duty title has blocked World of Warcraft from the top spot; the last expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, landed in second place after launching in the same week as Call of Duty: World at War back in 2008. The first World of Warcraft expansion, Burning Crusade, had a clearer path to number one in 2007, launching and topping the UK chart in January of that year.
Blizzard expects the world-changing Cataclysm expansion will bring an influx of new players and returning lapsed players to its 12-million-subscriber MMOG. To accommodate the population surge and address overcrowded servers, Blizzard is offering to waive the usual fee for transferring a character between certain realms until December 22.
[Update: Cataclysm sold 3.3m copies on its first day, making it the fastest selling PC game yet, says Blizzard. By comparison, the last World of Warcraft expansion, 2008's Wrath of the Lich King, shifted 2.8m units in day one sales.]
Top 10 Entertainment Software (All Prices); Week Ending December 11, 2010:
1. Call of Duty: Black Ops (Activision)
2. FIFA 11 (EA Sports)
3. World of Warcraft: Cataclysm (Blizzard)
4. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (Ubisoft)
5. Gran Turismo 5 (Sony Computer Ent.)
6. Just Dance 2 (Ubisoft)
7. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (EA Games)
8. Donkey Kong Country Returns (Nintendo)
9. Professor Layton and the Lost Future (Nintendo)
10. Wii Fit Plus (Nintendo)