Cataclysm sells 4.7 million in one month

After selling 3.3 million units in a single day, the latest World of Warcraft expansion sets another sales record.

121 Comments

Just over a month after it was released worldwide on December 7, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has set another record. Developer-publisher Blizzard Entertainment announced this morning that the third expansion for the massively multiplayer role-playing game has sold 4.7 million units during its first month of release, 3.3 million of which were scooped up on the first day. Currently, World of Warcraft has more than 12 million subscribers worldwide.

Deathwing has laid waste to 4.7 million WOW accounts in a single month.
Deathwing has laid waste to 4.7 million WOW accounts in a single month.

According to Blizzard's internal sales figures, Cataclysm has set a new sales record for the company, eclipsing the prior record-holder, 2008's Wrath of the Lich King. The latest expansion raises the game's level cap to 85 from 80, with its titular disaster reworking much of World of Warcraft's existing world as well as adding several new areas. The add-on also adds a new playable race for each of the game's factions to the mix: the technological goblins have joined the Horde, while the cursed Worgen have sided with the Alliance.

This year has been a strong one for Blizzard. In July, the Irvine, California-based studio released Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty, the first installment in a trilogy of releases for its sci-fi real-time strategy franchise. The game achieved sales of 1.5 million within 48 hours of release, eventually selling 3 million units worldwide by the end of September.

Blizzard has not yet begun talking about the next expansion to World of Warcraft, even if it believes that add-ons to the MMORPG could continue "as long as the Internet is up." However, according to what purports to be a leaked release calendar, Blizzard intends to launch Cataclysm's follow-up during the April-June quarter in 2012.

Cataclysm is currently available in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Europe, Russia, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and Korea, as well as the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. For more information, check out GameSpot's previous coverage of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.

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Darthbawls

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@ Roxomega Lol Im a fanboy so my opp = squat? I'm a player not a mindless fanboy ty, so I would think that what I have to say matters just as much as someone who kinda played the game. This is an expansion with some improvments over the last. Yes some things they should have done years ago but heck most games can make that claim as well. And @ Abberon Im not gonna say what they improved or changed like a child comparing toys go read youself lol.

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metalsyr

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Although We are represented by Europe. Please Don't Forget Also available in South Africa. I find myself Playing WOW more whereas before LICH KING never really got me going. The only thing that really sucks is that I have to play on a 384DSL line. Shaped. Hopefully faster Line speeds become Cheaper.Solo questing is fine but a Raiding gets Latency readings from HELL. Unless you have a semishaped line with good speeds to Euro Servers. Cant Wait to get a Flying mount.

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Synlore59

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@Unreal This is not entirely true. The servers do not actually work this way. They used too before (remember the dreaded queue waits?) BC but definitely not after. They load balance based on player activity and while a server says that it is full it really means that the load capacity has been met for that load balancer (the queue server representing multiple realm servers) but that does not mean that the server is "full" it just means that it has the capacity to be full if all players logged into 1 server (which never happens anymore). I played on 3 servers and most of the hardcore players/top guilds had 2 accounts. Maybe not all at one time but they did have multiples (even around 4) to take advantage of the recommendation perks. Just like any other PR firm Bliz discloses total number of accounts (I don't think they count trials but they might). Active is a loose term. An active account is an account that has not been deleted or removed from the accounting system. If your characters are still in storage even after 6 months off, you are still "Active" and Blizz will still count you as their player.

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-Unreal-

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@Synlore59 If you count the number of servers there are across the world and how many players are in a server, there's probably no lies about the numbers. There's over 240 servers for the US, 265 for Europe and probably over 200 for Asia (I've not counted). Each server holds thousands and thousands of players and most of them are medium-high populated and a lot are full too. The multiple accounts theory has been brought up time and time again by people that dispute Blizzard's claims, but in reality there will be a very very small percentage that have more than one active subscription at one time.

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Synlore59

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@ Link3301 I agree completely. Once the expansion falls in price I would expect more people to pick it up also (I might as well). But also remember a lot of people have more than 1 account.

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Link3301

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@Synlore59 When an expansion first comes out, only the minority of players who take the game the most seriously or just like it so much usually by the expansion early. A year from now though will be much different. Every active WoW player except for probably tens of thousands will have the expansion.

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Synlore59

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@ Ohaidere according to the article here: Cataclysm is currently available in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Europe, Russia, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and Korea, as well as the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. But you are right about sub numbers. As Gamasutra pointed out in the past there are about 3.5M in US, 2.5M in EU, and the rest of the majority in East Asia. But most of the money comes from the US/EU groups.

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Ohaidere

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@Synlore59 As several people have mentioned, you have to keep in mind the game hasn't been released in a few of their largest subscriber bases. If you recall, China JUST got WotLK back in August 2010, and estimates put them as much as half of the WoW subscriptions (4 million - 6 million is a number thrown around for them)

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Synlore59

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@Ohaidere I don't think the game is dead. Far from it. But I think Blizzard is lying about active subscriptions. The sales numbers for Cata prove how many active players there actually are/were. I won't be surprised to see the number go up to maybe 6M total but not 12M. Still a nice number though. Can't argue that.

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hello8964

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wow is wow for many people

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Ohaidere

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@Goyoshi12 Nah, haters have been around since they heard it was subscription based. @Synlore59 If you read in the article, it specifically says this beats WotLK's record, this would infer that your logic is a bit off since the game isn't dead yet and still has a growing subscription base.

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-Unreal-

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Black Ops apparently sold 4.9 million in a month on Xbox 360. WoW sold 4.7 yet it's a subscription based game and is on a "dying" platform that needs regular upgrading etc. Pretty impressive feat.

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jamesAboy19

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Just got into WoW recently, lv l45 night elf paladin, and i am loving it, i never hated the game, i appriciated what it stood for, but the fact of hearing about people becoming obsessed put me off. THEN I PLAYED IT! and this obsession thing is a load of trash, i still have a part time job, and in collage, play PS3 and then manage to still get a good ammount of time in on WoW. The games formula is great and its easy to come back into at any point in time, and blizard should be proud to have such an old game be one of the benchmarks in the industry and genre of MMOs. If onyl the wern't with activision who do the complete opposite of Blizard lol...stupid CoD (you all know what i mean by this, or you're a little kid)

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Goyoshi12

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I find it funny how years ago you people loved WoW and praised the life out of it and now here we are years later and now people just despise the heck out of it.

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acasero44

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Wow is not the saver of pc gaming. AND SINCE WHEN did pc gaming need to be saved? It has the best graphics and extra features consoles dont have therefore there will always be games for the pc as long as there are pcs. Im tired of people associating this game with other pc gamers who play crysis,Counter strike and many different games. Fact: Most WOW users dont play any other games besides Wow therefore the users make little to no contribution to pc gaming. Dare to debate go ahead but dont just rate down this comment like a 12 year old who gets all butthurt because of facts he cant argue

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Ar13ls

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it's funny cause in the store i work at, we have about 70 copies of the game if not more and around a dozen of collectors edition. we ordered way too many for the demand. i mean it's way more practical to get it online anyways and i heard the collectors isn't worth it that much (i don't play so i don't know). anyway, pretty big fail on my manager's part who ordered so many (he's too much of a fan and was blinded by his biased opinion i guess) and poor owner of the store who had to buy all these and hasn't sold half yet.

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Synlore59

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So out of 12 Million players only 4.7M are on cataclysm? Sounds like there has been about a 50% drop off in wow supporters. Or they are waiting for it to hit the $19.99 bin :) Numbers are great but this seems to suggest that players on not as active as Blizzard presents.

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ecw1983

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But PC gaming is dead !? (sarcasm)

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campbell153

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Well done WoW... good to see some games doing something right!

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Ohaidere

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I just really don't get the blind hatred for the players of this game, I've been in the Marine Corps, graduated college, am an EMT and have gotten married- all while playing WoW since launch. Hell, my wife even plays the game and she's a teacher and in graduate school (and we didn't meet on there). Sure, we've taken 4-8 month breaks when workloads (personal and professional) got intense, but we still come back when new content releases.

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smfes

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this game has gotten amazing agian with this expansion from when i started in late 2006. Any old school player will LOVE all the new content, there's simply so much to see!

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Warlord_Irochi

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@MJ_kratos Not always; "Big Rigs" sold quite a lot since it was officially considered "wort videogame ever made". In the case of WOW is quite true though.

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Warlord_Irochi

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@EddyG0RD0 Talk about yourself, numbers are part of the industry and some people (like me) is fairly interested in it. If people making thenself richer by the money you spend in they games anoys your then the solution is easy dude.

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Cowbie

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Me and quite a few friends are canceling our subscriptions at the end of this month. Was a great game though, just tired of the same ole same ole. Good luck to them in the future.

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BloodHaven13

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wow is awsome blizzard has come such a long way since there diablo days. the thing im most impressed about is definitly the art of the weapons and armor. definitly keeps me playing.

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TehFuneral

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I was never a WoW fan ... despite being a PC gamer.

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Dragorro

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may blizzard continue to make games that are not mmos long live blizzard!

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KuRf

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Considering there is a large amount of active subscribers, making this news irrelevant. Simple!

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hazboticus

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Why do so many people feel the need to post anger and degrading comments on a thread about sales figures? Shouldn't the board be about discussing the contents of the article rather than throwing useless flame posts at each other? Single-minded ignorance is killing us all. But yea, good sales figures although if it doesn't include digital distribution....

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qweasd54

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"Good Game = good sales !" Hell no lol .. look at COD .. that game is a piece of junk and everyone buys that recycled product called a game.

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Blaminator1221

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People who haven't played WoW since 2004: WOW, the game has drastically changed... People who have played WoW since 2004: WOW, the world has drastically changed... :P:P:P

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gamedragonshi

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[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

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swamptick

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It's totally awesome!

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Gelugon_baat

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@EddyG0RD0 [quote="You"]GameSpot please stop saying how many games or consoles have been sold , we dont want to hear who is getting richer from our money.[/quote]

You - to whom GameSpot owes NOTHING - have quite the gall to tell GameSpot what to do.

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Valen_Ca

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"Blizzard has not yet begun talking about the next expansion to World of Warcraft, even if it believes that add-ons to the MMORPG could continue "as long as the Internet is up." So does that mean that 5 years from now the install size of WOW will be about 60GB since if they want it to last forever they will need to patch the graphics engine and the game textures at some point?

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airforcetech999

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never played it is it really that fun ??

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MJ_kratos

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Good Game = good sales !

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quicksilver_03

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When I started this game, it consumed me like 10-12 hours a day of playtime and I even forgot my family life. I can frankly tell that WOW was an addicted game. Even now that I quit playing WOW (semi-retired and hey I might come back in the future) and just concentrate on my personal life, my job, and just play PS3 RPG's and strategy games from time to time nothing in the history of MMO RPG that will ever beat Blizzard's game. So I salute to the people behind this awesome game. LOVE it or HATE it...Warcraft is still the BEST.

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shooters125

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WoW can spread easily. Like a disease. A GOOD disease. I mention it once to my friend and he's already hooked on it. WoW is a great game and addictive to say the least.

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Poodger

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I just started playing WoW for the first time last week. I used to be a big hater of the game, and thought that it would take a real loser to get hooked on it, but I actually enjoy it quite a bit. For anyone who likes great stories in a huge "sandbox" type world, this game is beyond heaven. I was surprised by how addictive it became in a short amount of time. And despite how many hours I've put into it in the first week (already almost lvl 60), I still have managed to spend a large amount of time with my friends and GF.

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alfaresalasmar

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hears the song "here comes the money, there goes the money"

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barnold81

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This game (WOW) destroyed me until 2009 when I quit. Best and hardest decision I ever made. It's a wonderful game, but I just couldn't handle it.

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kangaox

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@EddyG0RD0 Its a game like any other mate! So playin games makes ppl losers, eh? wtf are you doin on a game website? gtfo Im not a huge wow fan but what you said then is beyond horrendous! Bout as horrendous as your display pic!

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covertgamer78

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BTW, I would welcome expansions to this game for years to come but update the graphics already. The game looks super low poly already. They did that for Everquest I and it looks way better now.

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covertgamer78

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I got my copy. I'm good to go for a run to 85, probably more than once. Best MMO IMO.

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MichaeltheCM

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@teeskoowared: insane! good for them

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teeskoowared

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@MichaeltheCM 40X3,300,000=$132,000,000 in one day lol

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MichaeltheCM

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never ceases to amaze me how much money VG's bring in

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