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Crowds of 2000 queue for Lich King launch

World of Warcraft's new expansion draws fans at midnight launch in London

Up to 2000 gamers descended upon HMV's Oxford Street branch in London for the midnight launch of Wrath of the Lich King, Blizzard's second expansion pack to its market-dominating MMO, World of Warcraft.

Describing the turnout as "brilliant", the UK retailer's games commercial manager, Jonathan Hayes, told GamesIndustry.biz that the event surpassed that of the previous expansion pack as HMV's biggest ever launch.

"We had the official launch [of the Burning Crusade] and that was the biggest launch ever - up to this time," Hayes said.

"Last time we had 1600 people, this time we have up to 2000... We're not sure until we see the actual figures tomorrow but it looks really good."

Large lines of determined customers formed around the flagship store, with one expectant gamer trying to take the head of the queue over 36 hours before the launch.

"It's just amazing, the community," commented Hayes. "I think it's the nature of those worlds - we had a person turn up yesterday at 6am and then this morning we already had calls in our head office saying there was already people outside."

The event saw Paul Sams, Blizzard's COO, and Lee Sparks, associate producer, take to the stage to lead the crowd, many dressed as their in-game characters.

There were cheers as the clock counted down and copies went on sale as tills opened, while an actor dressed as the games main villain, Arthas the Lich King, roamed the store pausing for photos.

A full report on the launch is available here

[Image Source: Videogaming247]

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