World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, the second expansion to the mega-popular online game, sold 2.8 million copies in its first 24 hours last week, setting what its publisher said is an all-time record for PC games.
According to Blizzard Entertainment,, broke the one-day PC game sales record of 2.4 million copies, which was set 22 months earlier by The Burning Crusade, the first WoW expansion.
The new expansion was launched simultaneously in North America, Europe, Chile, Argentina, and Russia.
And at $40 a copy, the game would have brought in $112 million on its first day, though Blizzard would get somewhat less than that given that retailers pay the publisher less than full sticker price.
There are currently more than 11 million WoW players worldwide, and some analysts had predicted that as many as half might upgrade to Lich King. Given that, to play Lich King, players would have had to also upgrade from the original WoW to Burning Crusade, and that they pay a $15-a-month subscription fee, many have estimated that WoW is at least a $1 billion-a-year franchise.
And since the economy is heading into a serious worldwide recession, it is notable that the new WoW expansion has done so well out of the gate. Many are worried that retail sales will be down across the board. Some argue however that video games will do better than other products because people tend to want to spend money on entertainment when times are tough.