Europe WOWs Blizzard with Warcraft MMO uptake

Blizzard's first MMORPG sells more units on its first day on sale here than it did on day-one in the USA, with sales rising to 380,000 units by the end of the weekend.

(Well, it's a better headline than "World of Warcraft Euro sales trump American success", isn't it? Anyway...)

Blizzard was able to crack open the champagne again this weekend after World of Warcraft emulated its Stateside success with massive first-day sales in Europe.

According to figures released by the developer, the subscription-based MMORPG sold more than 280,000 units on day one - more than it sold on its first day in the States - before sales rose to 380,000 by the end of its first weekend on sale.

According to Blizzard, 280,000 units is "what was previously thought to be the overall cumulative size of the European MMORPG market". Clearly not; the game continues to sell well, and as well as creating more than 290,000 accounts over the weekend, the MMO faithful also packed out servers with more than 100,000 people playing concurrently on day one - a figure comparable to the game's early success in Korea, where it launched this time last month - and 180,000 concurrent users over the weekend.

That's on more than 80 servers at WOW data centres in Paris and Frankfurt, where it seems the worker-peons pleased their masters, and where additional servers are also on standby to handle any increase in load.

The game's success in Europe - where more than 400,000 people signed up for the beta test prior to launch - is comparable and arguably superior to its appeal in the States, where it sold 240,000 units on day one before going on to sell more than 600,000 units by the start of February with 200,000 concurrent players toward the end of last year.

"Our experience of launching World of Warcraft in North America last year has helped us to prepare for Europe by providing more boxes at launch than we had previously planned and deploying more servers from the start, which we hope will allow us to provide a smooth and fun game experience from the outset for everyone playing," Blizzard president Mike Morhaime commented. Blizzard apparently supplied 560,000 boxes to its retail partners for launch, 559,999 of which are not in the possession of this grateful scribe...

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