Cataclysm sunders 3.3 million in 24 hours

Third expansion to 12-million-subscriber World of Warcraft sets new PC sales record with triple-platinum opening-day performance.

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World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade set PC sales records upon its release in January 2007, selling 2.4 million units worldwide within 24 hours. In November 2008, Blizzard Entertainment trumped its own high-water mark, when Wrath of the Lich King sold 2.8 million units in a single day.

Deathwing's opposition stands at more than 3.3 million.
Deathwing's opposition stands at more than 3.3 million.

With the third expansion to its 12-million-subscriber-strong massively multiplayer online role-playing game on store shelves last week, Blizzard has confirmed that the streak has continued. Today, the Activision sister company announced that World of Warcraft: Cataclysm sold more than 3.3 million units worldwide through both retail and digital channels within 24 hours of release. Blizzard notes that this sales pace earns Cataclysm the title of "fastest-selling PC game of all time."

The third expansion to 2004's top-rated MMORPG, Cataclysm adds a host of new features to the title. Chief among the changes is the total overhaul of the in-game environment. Azeroth has been ravaged, and popular locales have been drastically altered, making the old new again. The expansion also ups the level cap to 85 and adds two new races to the title: goblins and worgen.

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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