Blizzard Entertainment reported Wednesday that its expansion pack to the hit game World of Warcraft, The Burning Crusade, had sold through about 3.5 million copies in its first month of release, from mid-January to mid-February. That translates into a total of 8.5 million World of Warcraft players worldwide.
World of Warcraft is Blizzard’s entry into the subscription-based massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) market. It brings players to an online world where they can communicate, collaborate with or fight each other as they explore the fantasy world of Azeroth, populated by beings fantastic and magical, as they go on quests, receive magic items, build experience and develop their own personal characters.
The game was released simultaneously for the Mac and PC, and has been kept developmentally in lock-step on both platforms since its release. Likewise, the expansion pack was a hybrid release — both platforms are supported using a single game disc. Blizzard has continued to refine the program to take advantage of key benefits in the Mac architecture including Intel processor support and multithreaded OpenGL, which improves graphics performance on multicore and multiprocessor Intel-based Macs.
The Burning Crusade, the first expansion pack to the game since its release in 2004, adds new features and capabilities, including two new playable races, new level cap, a new profession, new items, monsters and dungeons to explore, and an entirely new continent called Outland — a place where high-level characters can compete and quest for even more powerful items than before.
Amazon.com reported it received more preorders for The Burning Crusade than any other PC or console game in its history, and Wal-Mart said that the game had the best day-one sales of any PC game launch in its history.