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Wrath of the Lich King breaks day one sales records

When it comes to the world of video games on the PC, some of the most popular games available are MMORPG titles. These same titles also offer the most profitability for the game studios thanks to monthly subscriptions and intense fan bases for the titles.

Blizzard recently launched the second expansion pack for the wildly popular World of Warcraft MMO called Wrath of the Lich King. Blizzard officially acknowledged this week that Lich King has broken the sales record to become the top selling PC game ever in its first 24 hours of release.

Lich King sold a whopping 2.8 million copies in its first 24 hours of availability. Interestingly, the previous first place for day one sales was the first expansion pack for World of Warcraft called The Burning Crusade.

The subscriber base for World of Warcraft is massive at 11 million players globally making the title the crown jewel in the Blizzard games catalog. Blizzard says that over 15,000 stores opened at midnight globally to participate in the launch of Wrath of the Lich King.

Unlike some popular midnight launch events, there are no reports of anyone being shot waiting to get a copy of the game. However, one boy in Europe did collapse after playing the expansion for 24 hours straight without taking a break or eating. Some UK officials and parents fear that the game is too addictive for young players to handle.

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RE: First
By superkdogg on 11/21/2008 1:37:33 PM , Rating: 5
Really though, the amazing thing about this expansion and its success is the lack of content that is really added.

For $40 you get: one new class that many, many others are all leveling at the same time as you, one new profession that makes gold but the fun of it is subjectively pretty low, and you get 10 more levels, a couple dungeons, and some new items.

Now, that's a pretty good amount, don't get me wrong, but that is being sold for the same price as the whole original game. It's also being sold to players who already pay $15 per month, and only available to players who already have The Burning Crusade.

Personally, I just started WoW a couple months ago. I have no toons at 60 let alone 70, and have not bought TBC yet. For a player like me, WotLK is a relative rip-off. It costs me $60 plus my monthly subscription for a very small portion relative to what I already have.

This a classic example of a luxury item behaving independent of the supply/demand dynamics. You don't get anywhere near $40 of relative value (could by a complete game for that instead) but since some people have extra money and want to be 'leet' they will pay for it.

RE: First
By Ammohunt on 11/21/2008 2:00:53 PM , Rating: 4
Not to mention WoW is for am MMORPG is dated and the gameplay extremely boring not to mention the endless hordes of pre-pubes waving their epeen around.

RE: First
By Suntan on 11/21/2008 2:09:34 PM , Rating: 4
In which case, it would seem pre-pubes with epeens is a rather lucrative market.

Are you guys suggesting Blizzard is wrong for wanting to make money by selling what its customers want to buy?


RE: First
By Ammohunt on 11/21/2008 2:22:58 PM , Rating: 5
No, but they have watered down a genre that was originally fun to play and challenging. Now most of the new MMORPG's try and emulate WoW in some way and fail to inovate and advance MMO's past the same inane game play with zero risk vs reward.

RE: First
By xti on 11/21/2008 3:22:21 PM , Rating: 3
apparently "gold farmers" and only about 2.5 million US players" think otherwise...

RE: First
By Myg on 11/21/2008 4:45:03 PM , Rating: 5
Tthe only real Gold farmers here are Blizzard.

They have taken a past-time that we grew up with, distilled it to its most addictive form and packaged it in a fimilar setting.

It is the ultimate technological addiction; UO was pretty bad back in the day also, but atleast you got angry when someone killed you/robbed you blind/ hijacked your house and that may of saved you the agony of playing any longer. WOW and other MMORPGs are a magical fantasy land of fairies and butterflies that makes you feel like your high all the time and that your actually acheiving something, while in reality; your just plodding around like a gob pressing buttons repeatively.

The worst part is, those people who are actually closer to reality are the ones using it to make money off all the poor deluded saps. Though, I would spare a thought that alot of them are sucked into it themselves...

Poor buggers.

The Chinese were right to call it on this one and limit exposure, atleast thats a few thousand marriages and relationships saved, and thousands more kids who have parents who arnt zombies infront of a screen.

On with the mindless nonsense, and the destruction of our social abilities!

RE: First
By Tamale on 11/21/2008 7:01:01 PM , Rating: 2
while I agree with you for the most part, lots of relationships have STARTED because of WoW.

yeah, scary I know, but true.

RE: First
By Myg on 11/21/08, Rating: -1
RE: First
By Myg on 11/21/2008 7:19:10 PM , Rating: 1
IF that, on 2nd thought; probably maybe 1 in 5000

RE: First
By jeff834 on 11/21/2008 11:58:08 PM , Rating: 4
As opposed to the many healthy relationships started via one night stands from bars or clubs. To each his or her own really. I didn't personally meet anyone from playing WoW, but I have friends who have, as well as married couples who play together, whole families who play together, and people who have made great friends. If I had kids I would much rather play WoW with them than bring them to a football game where they can see fat retards get drunk off $9 beers and scream obscenities. People always say games like this ruin people's social skills, but I've always seen it as a way for some of the socially inept to have better social experiences. Sometimes there are some epeens waved around, but such is every experience on the internet, including here. Everyone is so quick to judge as if all of your lives were perfect.

RE: First
By poohbear on 11/22/2008 6:25:15 AM , Rating: 2
very good points. i agree, different strokes for different folks, but WoW doesnt have any face to face social interaction and is a very sedentary form of hobby. Sure u can type your way through a conversation, but how beneficial is that to the advancement of a young persons daily social skills? Not that being a couch potatoe is any better, again WoW is just one form of sedantary lifestyles among many, but the attention it garners is ridiculous.

And on a sidenote, its very true that $40 is a rip off considering how little it adds compared to WoW vanilla, but if so many customers are buying it then blizzard has no incentive to lower the price.

RE: First
By ShaolinSoccer on 11/22/08, Rating: 0
RE: First
By jeff834 on 11/23/2008 1:19:26 AM , Rating: 3
Do you have links to news stories backing this claim up or are you just assuming this? If you wanted to be anti social you wouldn't play an MMORPG it's actually the exact opposite of the point behind the game. In the 4 years or so the game has been around I have met hundreds of players and not one of them was the least bit anti social. Seriously, it's like saying lots of people became arsons because the boy scouts taught them how to light fires.

RE: First
By Pavelyoung on 11/23/2008 9:51:30 PM , Rating: 3
Not one report of someone commiting suicide has ever been reported. If you have some conflicting information please provide it.

RE: First
By ICE1966 on 11/23/08, Rating: 0
RE: First
By Natfly on 11/21/2008 2:39:04 PM , Rating: 2
I dunno, it depends on what keeps people interested.

I spent probably more than my fair share of time playing. I was probably just as addicted as some with over 200 days /played.

It depends on your style/time I guess. Raids can be fun, especially if you like the group of people. But for people with a limited amount of time, it does tend to get boring, plus you get stuck in pickup groups which usually suck. If you play a lot you get involved in the community and it gets better.

Once I stopped playing so much, I quickly got bored and quit altogether. I resubscribed once the first expansion came out and got 2 of my characters to level 70, on the 3rd character I got bored and quit at 60 something.

I don't think I'm going to play the new expansion though, I think I've already wasted enough time. 200 days, wonder what I could have done with 200 days...

RE: First
By afkrotch on 11/21/2008 2:46:04 PM , Rating: 2
That's why you set a schedule. I don't play WoW. I play RFO. I play during weekdays, as I get off at 2200 and nothing's open at that time, cept the occassional bar/club. Not like anyone goes to them on weekdays anyways.

On the weekends I don't play at all, unless I feel lazy and don't want to go somewhere at all. Can't always be driving 100+ km away to somewhere interesting.

RE: First
By blazeoptimus on 11/21/2008 4:22:01 PM , Rating: 2
the gameplay extremely boring

There's 11 million people out there that would disagree with you. And no, the majority are not pre-pubes (Although there is enough to be noticeable)

RE: First
By walk2k on 11/21/2008 5:18:15 PM , Rating: 1
No actually, pretty much all the WOW players I knew complained about how boring it was constantly.... then they re-upped for the next month anyway. They are addicts.

RE: First
By aharris on 11/21/2008 6:34:12 PM , Rating: 3
No, really. You're making a fallacious sweeping generalization when you make that kind of claim about the WoW population. The majority of the WoW community I know and/or play with consist of professionals, college students, and gamers who actually enjoy the game in their free time. I know a few who genuinely don't, but they have real life issues of their own that can't be attributed to the game.

Despite what the Wachowski Brothers would have you believe, ignorance is truly crass. Don't perpetuate it.

RE: First
By walk2k on 11/22/2008 2:02:19 PM , Rating: 1
No I'm not. Go into any of the major game cities and read the general chat, everyone complains about everything constantly. It says more about how people just like to complain than about any real flaws in the game, but it's hardly a " fallacious sweeping generalization "

RE: First
By Pavelyoung on 11/23/2008 9:57:39 PM , Rating: 2
Odd, the only real complaints I have seen have been about gold farmers and the slow pace at which expansions are released.

RE: First
By Entropy42 on 11/24/2008 11:36:01 AM , Rating: 2
Using "everyone" makes it a sweeping generalization. If "everyone" truly was complaining in general chat, you would not even be able to read the comments because they would scroll by instantaneously.

If you enjoy WoW, it is a great value in terms of hours of entertainment / dollar. Same with a lot of first person shooters with good online play. If you don't like either type of game, don't play them. I don't see why anyone has to be so upset about the fact that millions of other people enjoy playing the game and are ok with paying a monthly fee to do so.

RE: First
By Bonesdad on 11/22/2008 10:03:37 AM , Rating: 2
well, here's another that believes it to be one of the most boring games out there. The only reason I kept playing was to get one character to level 60, just cuz I felt like I had spent the money, so I should have something to show for it. All I had to show for it after I did was a bunch of wasted time.

RE: First
By Digimonkey on 11/21/2008 2:12:24 PM , Rating: 5
Video games in general are luxury items. Every time I hear someone negatively describe the expansion pack they mention that it only adds 10 more levels and a couple dungeons, but never that it adds a new continent which includes new mobs, cities, lands, battlegrounds for pvp, and quests which progress the main story line. Which is everything a expansion normally does on a MMORPG. TBC never even added a new class, so that's something this one has above the earlier expansion.

I do agree $40 is a bit greedy on Blizzard's part though, however, it doesn't seem to hinder sales any.

RE: First
By Quiescent on 11/21/2008 6:00:14 PM , Rating: 2
I believe there was a new continent and more dungeons and stuff in this one. Afterall, they needed to expand for that extra 10 levels. Of course they're edging people on, but the great thing is, if you utilize the game properly, it's really a whole lot like Morrowind The Elder Scrolls III. You have lots to do even after you hit level 80. Hell, you can get another character to have fun on. And further more, hordes are fun, especially Britney Spears (Female Blood elf).

I just started playing the game, but I believe it is a whole lot funner than Runescape, Conquer Online, Rappelz, and Tibia.

RE: First
By Quiescent on 11/21/2008 6:05:43 PM , Rating: 2
Another thing: You get what you pay for. Those games generally have laggy server response, terrible graphics or a lot of issues with the graphics patch after patch after patch, and I have not seen any of the likes on WoW.

However, I'm a very dynamic person. I get bored of things easily, and I can't say that I won't get bored of WoW, and I suppose I'd never get addicted to it then. Hahaha.

RE: First
By eqsonic on 11/21/08, Rating: -1
RE: First
By superkdogg on 11/23/2008 9:45:17 PM , Rating: 1
Dude if you're serious, you need to get a life.

Secondly, if I really want WotLK, I can play for free elsewhere. Free expansion, no subscriptions. F-r-e-e. That, combined with the fact that the expansion costs as much as the whole 0-60 game means it is irrefutably not as good a value.

You can pay for it, that's great. I'll probably pay for it later too. I'd actually already own it if you didn't have to buy TBC for WotLK to work-that's my real problem here is anybody who didn't own TBC (relatively small number) has to spend $20 extra to get the new expansion, and I don't like it. That's life, and I'll eventually pony up the greenbacks, I just don't like it.

You probably should take the advice that your therapist gives and take yourself and your role in WoW a little less seriously.

RE: First
By ThePooBurner on 11/25/2008 2:41:33 PM , Rating: 2
For most people the following is true.
Original game: 0-60 = 9 days /played.
TBC: 60-70 =~9days /played
WotLK: 70-80 = ~9days /played

Sounds like the same amount of play for the money to me. Northrend is actually a pretty big place. Much bigger than outland was. Something i also think about when i buy a game like WotLK is a comparison to the next book in a series. There is more story for me to read and i get to find out how the overall plot ends. My point is there are just as many, if not more, ways to find the value of the purchase as their are to find reasons to not buy it.

RE: First
By rdeegvainl on 11/21/2008 3:12:57 PM , Rating: 2
Personally, I just started WoW a couple months ago. I have no toons at 60 let alone 70, and have not bought TBC yet. For a player like me, WotLK is a relative rip-off. It costs me $60 plus my monthly subscription for a very small portion relative to what I already have.

Well that just means you don't have to buy it. You can wait, till either it comes down in price, or never get it at all. It's not like you have to buy it to continue playing your regular content.

The other thing is, the value is subjective. Making say 5 bucks an hour, you have to work 8 hours to be able to afford the expansion. If you like the game, it offers maybe 100 hours or more of entertainment. You could spend that 40 bucks on about 5 movie tickets, and only get 15 hours of entertainment(LONG MOVIES), or similarly have the same effects in other entertainment venues. I've also seen many video games that you only get about 20 hours of content in that sell for 50-60 dollars.

RE: First
By jeff834 on 11/22/2008 12:03:04 AM , Rating: 2
100 HOURS? Try 100 DAYS. If you only play WoW 100 hours you won't even get to 70 let alone 80 and 90% of the game is after that.

RE: First
By Quiescent on 11/22/2008 3:17:53 AM , Rating: 2
eh maybe more like 14 hours to level 80, on a draenei shaman no less.

RE: First
By jeff834 on 11/23/2008 1:23:05 AM , Rating: 2
You can't possibly level a character from 1-80 in 14 hours, it took the best levelers around 30 hours to get from 70-80. Anyone who claims to get to 80 in 14 hours is flat out lying, or using some kind of ridiculous exploit.

RE: First
By cochy on 11/21/2008 3:35:06 PM , Rating: 4
Ah yes. You want to know what it's called?

CASH COW. A big fat one Blizzard is milking dry.

RE: First
By StevoLincolnite on 11/22/2008 9:31:43 AM , Rating: 3
When it runs dry they have the StarCraft and Diablo Franchises to utilize to its full potential in a Massively Online Role Playing game! :)

RE: First
By Aikouka on 11/21/2008 5:48:33 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think you really have a grasp on the differences between the content areas. Frankly, story/lore-wise, Northrend is miles above Vanilla WoW and trounces The Burning Crusade by far. In fact, Vanilla WoW was horrible when it came to having a good enveloping story. I think about way back when... did we have a reason to go into Molten Core? Blackwing Lair? I mean sure, we knew who was the boss at the end and said boss was surely not a good person... so we must slay him!?

But in comparison, there was very little interaction with them outside of the raid dungeon story-wise. The Burning Crusade wasn't much better and Blizzard even admitted this. They initially set Illidan up to be the "big bad meanie" yet, he never showed up until you fight him in the Black Temple.

Wrath of the Lich King changes that dramatically as you'll interact with the Lich King or visions of Arthas in almost every zone. Although some of the scripted events are more meaningful than others. It's still nice to see some cohesion between zones, rather than a zone mostly having its own little sub-plot.

Now, to address the issue of the price of the content... well, that's simply subjective. It's no different than the price that TBC launched at and WotLK is by far better. The only complaint I would bring up about content is how almost all items look the same. It seems they spent a majority of the time on everything else and just rehashed the same models (no re-colorings either) over and over again. I don't think it's a big deal, but it's rather easy to notice and it seems much more prevalent to me than it did in TBC. Others may complain about the lack of difficulty in end-game content.

Now, your comment of $60 threw me off for a second, but then I realized you were referring to the fact that you need to buy TBC to be able to play WotLK. That is true, but then you're forgetting the fact that all of the content in Outland and Northrend combined is actually fairly large. I would say that the two combined actually provide around as many quests as you get in Vanilla WoW. You also get quite a few dungeons and raid instances with the two combined.

To give you some quest numbers (for Alliance) using achievements:

Vanilla WoW - EK + Kalimdor: 700 + 730 = 1430 quests
The Burning Crusade: 568 quests
Wrath of the Lich King: 875 quests
Expansions combined: 1443 quests

RE: First
By dragonbif on 11/21/2008 6:35:34 PM , Rating: 2
The funny thing is MC had to do with why the dark iron dwarfs were doing what they were doing.

BWL had to do with his big plans to take over and what got you there was this little quest line that you did at 28 to find the king of stormwind that ony and kidnapped. When never did save the king, he just poped up one day after a patch with no reason why. Prodmore told you at the end of the quest line that she would let you know if they found anything else out where the king is being held but that never happend. Blizzard did this on a few quests lines that you started but they never finished them and do not plan to. They lost their first main story writer.

RE: First
By dragonbif on 11/21/2008 6:43:29 PM , Rating: 2
Ack! thats what I get for doing this fast at work =(

RE: First
By ThePooBurner on 11/25/2008 2:58:58 PM , Rating: 2
In patch 2.3 they actually added on some more to the story line quests when they revamped dustwallow. It still dead ended but it gave you more clues as to who was behind the disappearance of the king and what not. It looked like they were going to continue it, but after 3.0 they changed the quest text on the last 2 quests in the new line from 2.3 to say "we figured it out totally, go tell bolvar" and "that's great that we know for sure now. we already kicked her out of town, but now we know who to take full retribution against. Tell jaina we'll kill everyone" and then "ok" from jaina. So that is how the line ends now. Kind of anti climactic, and i wonder what they will do for the Ony key quest (if it is even still in the game) now, but such is the way of things.

RE: First
By meepstone on 11/21/2008 11:33:31 PM , Rating: 1
They do call it an expansion for a reason. anyways, most of the time people expect way too much and think ill go to this MMO its better then just stop playing all together when they realize they are morons for trying to think at all.

RE: First
By Nik00117 on 11/22/2008 2:04:10 AM , Rating: 2
It makes a lot of business sense.

In renuve they made $112 million just off game sales

Then on subrcipations they make another 165 mill

At the end of the month they've bought in $277 mill

Thats not including additonal profit for thngs like extra sales outside of the first day, it also doesn't include the other game sales nor new users coming online.

RE: First
By Apoxie on 11/22/2008 3:37:11 AM , Rating: 1
You have to be kidding?

Playing WoW has been the biggest money saver for me ever. Playing WoW for just 1 evening where i would other wise go to a bar easily saves me 100$. Just 1 evening at a cinema is more expensive then the whole months subscription (here i Denmark).

15$ a month for 20-50-100 hours of fun. Its a bargain honestly.

RE: First
By HeelyJoe on 11/23/2008 4:23:52 PM , Rating: 3
Friends are free.

RE: First
By rdeegvainl on 11/24/2008 4:56:09 AM , Rating: 2
they are not mutually exclusive

RE: First
By jrb531 on 11/22/2008 11:57:44 AM , Rating: 3
What is really amazing is that WoW should be giving these expansions away for free... yes free!

Hear me out a sec...

1. It takes the same amount of $$$ to develope an expansion for a game with a player base of 50,000 as it does for a player base of 50,000,000

2. If it costs $5,000,000 to make an expansion it would cost a company with 500,000 subscribers $10 per subscriber to produce an expansion... with 5,000,000 subscribers it would cost them $1 each, 10,000,000 and it costs them 50 cents each.

Now the numbers above are just for demonstrative purposes but you can see my point... with WoW and people paying anywhere from $10-$15 each month to play and Blizzard cannot afford every two years to give up 50 cents from each subscriber?


Yes businesses are there to make a profit but this is borderline silly. Yes Sony and EQ2 charged $40 for their recent expansion (with about the same content) but you can at least understand that with a player population of 300,000 that they need to at lease break even but when we read that WoW have a population of at least 10 million paying subscribers and you tell me why they need to charge $40 a copy?

Because they can will be what some people say. Well I guess that is the answer and it's also why I do not play WoW.

It's a game for the masses. Well polished, stable and tuned so that every computer from the C64 through Hal 2000 can play it :)

I don't knock WoW aside from one factor... it's ruining every other current and potential MMORPG because the business end of gaming (which does not care about innovation and only $$$) want other MMORPG's to measure up to the success of WoW. This kills off risk takers who may want to move MMORPG's from the tired old mold that we have been stuck with for years.

RE: First
By Solandri on 11/23/2008 4:32:39 AM , Rating: 2
You're making a common mistake. The market price is not production costs plus a fixed percentage profit. The market price is the balance point between how much Blizzard wants to charge and how little people want to pay. In other words, the high cost is as much a result of people feeling the game is worth $10-$15/mo as it is Blizzard's desire to make money. People seem to feel it's worth $10-$15/mo, so your desire for a lower price is actually more indicative of your greed than Blizzard's..

The (IMHO) more important point you make is that it costs the same to develop an expansion for 50,000 players as for 50,000,000 players. This is true not just of games, but software and media (e.g. books, music, and movies) in general. Unlike manufacturing where you have R&D costs and then a per item production cost, these items have nearly zero production cost. The debate over who should benefit from that zero (re)production cost (content creators, end users, or both) is central to the debate on piracy and copyright, and was the inspiration for open source software. Our eventual answer to it will have an even greater impact should Star Trek-style replicators ever become real. Then it won't be about just intellectual property, it'll also be about physical property.

RE: First
By ICE1966 on 11/23/2008 5:28:51 PM , Rating: 2
People seem to feel it's worth $10-$15/mo, so your desire for a lower price is actually more indicative of your greed than Blizzard's..

Man, are really serious about that statement, because if you are then you have issues. It's not greed that makes people want this game cheaper, its the fact that the game play is so lame. If someone wants real value for thier money then they are not greedy. I have played WOW simply because someone else wanted me to play so bad that they payed for it. After about 6-7 weeks and obtaining a level 60 with a warrior I quit playing. I got really tired of feeling like I had just watched a marathon of the teletubbies every time I play it. I can tell you that if anyone here is greedy, it's Blizzard and this person you said this too. I don't usually say this to people but I just have to now because I think your comment deserves it, you have to be an idiot to think this person is greedy for wanting this subpar expansion cheaper. For me its not a matter of the money, hell if it cost $100 a month, which I can afford without thinking about, the game is still not worth it.

RE: First
By ICE1966 on 11/23/2008 5:33:24 PM , Rating: 2
I can tell you that if anyone here is greedy, it's Blizzard and this person you said this too.

man, I hate that we do not have an edit button here. that should read like this : if anyone here is greedy, it's Blizzard and NOT the person you said this too.

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton

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