As the latest expansion for Blizzard’s unstoppable MMORPG, World Of Warcraft: Shadowlands seems to have gone down quite well. So well, in fact, that the publishers have declared it the fastest-selling PC game ever released with 3.7 million first day sales, beating out the company’s own previous record-holder, Diablo 3, beating out its 3.5 million day one sales high set all the way back in 2012.
Blizzard made that lofty claim in a press release posted earlier today, reporting that – based on internal records and those from “key distributors” – the afterlife-heavy Warcraft expansion is the fastest-selling game both in the company’s history and in PC gaming as a whole.
It’s surprising, right? That even out of all the high-profile releases this year, a 16-year-old MMO would be the one to clear proverbial shelves the fastest. But I s’pose it does make some sort of sense, considering. Blizzard may not post subscriber counts like they used to, but the game still commands a sizeable playerbase, with Blizzard reporting 5.5 million subs when they finally canned the practice in 2015 – and that was after the relatively underwhelming Warlords Of Draenor expansion.
Warcraft has had a few highs since then, and that popularity seems to have only surged in the months ahead of Shadowlands’ launch. Blizzard’s release notes that there have been more active subscriptions in the run-up to this expansion than any before it, with folks spending more time online so far this year than over similar period in the game’s history. It’s not too shocking that, out of all those players, at least a few million would be picking up the new expansion on release.
While I’m long burned out of Warcraft myself, it does also feel like there was a good deal of hope for this expansion. Where Battle For Azeroth slowly turned out to be a let-down, Shadowlands made sweeping changes both in its new content and dramatic restructuring of the game’s existing bloat. We never ended up reviewing it, but in a preview, our on-call WoW expert Christos reckoned it may be the most new-player-friendly expansion in the game’s history.