IRVINE, Calif. - November 20, 2008 -- Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced that World of Warcraft®’s second expansion, Wrath of the Lich King™, has sold more than 2.8 million copies in its first 24 hours of availability*, making it the fastest-selling PC game of all time. This eclipses the previous record of nearly 2.4 million copies sold in 24 hours, set in January 2007 by Blizzard’s first World of Warcraft expansion, The Burning Crusade®. Wrath of the Lich King was simultaneously released in North America, Europe, Chile, Argentina, and Russia on November 13; Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand on November 14; and South Korea and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau on November 18.
In celebration of the launch, more than 15,000 stores throughout the world had their doors open at midnight to welcome thousands of expectant players. Several of these locations were attended by Blizzard Entertainment representatives, who met players and signed copies of the game.
“We’re grateful for the incredible support that players around the world have continued to show for World of Warcraft,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “Wrath of the Lich King contains some of the best content we’ve created for the game so far, and we look forward to seeing even more players log in to experience it in the days ahead.”
“World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King surpassed all sales expectations, with 100 Gamestation stores opening at midnight to cater for a high level of demand,” said Andrew Thompson, product director, Gamestation UK. “Players queued for hours -- some dressed as characters from the game -- proving that enthusiasm for Blizzard Entertainment’s latest installment is at its highest level to date."
Prior to the launch of Wrath of the Lich King, World of Warcraft’s subscriber population had grown to more than 11 million players, further strengthening its position as the world’s most popular subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game. More information about the new expansion can be found at the official Wrath of the Lich King website: www.wow-europe.com/wrath.
About Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.
Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft® and the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® series, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. ( http://eu.blizzard.com/en), a division of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI), is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry’s most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard Entertainment’s track record includes ten #1-selling games and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company’s online-gaming service, Battle.net®, is one of the largest in the world, with millions of active users.
*Based on internal company records and reports from key distribution partners.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in this press release that involves Blizzard Entertainment’s expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Blizzard Entertainment generally uses words such as “outlook,” “will,” “could,” “would,” “might,” “remains,” “to be,” “plans,” “believes,” “may,” “expects,” “intends,” “anticipates,” “estimate,” future,” “plan,” “positioned,” “potential,” “project,” “remain,” “scheduled,” “set to,” “subject to,” “upcoming,” and similar expressions to help identify forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause Blizzard Entertainment’s actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements set forth in this release include, but are not limited to, sales of Blizzard Entertainment’s titles, shifts in consumer spending trends, the seasonal and cyclical nature of the interactive game market, Blizzard Entertainment’s ability to predict consumer preferences among competing hardware platforms (including next-generation hardware), declines in software pricing, product returns and price protection, product delays, retail acceptance of Blizzard Entertainment’s products, adoption rate and availability of new hardware and related software, industry competition, rapid changes in technology and industry standards, protection of proprietary rights, litigation against Blizzard Entertainment, maintenance of relationships with key personnel, customers, vendors and third-party developers, domestic and international economic, financial and political conditions and policies, foreign exchange rates, integration of recent acquisitions and the identification of suitable future acquisition opportunities, Activision Blizzard’s success in integrating the operations of Activision Publishing and Vivendi Games in a timely manner, or at all, and the combined company’s ability to realize the anticipated benefits and synergies of the transaction to the extent, or in the timeframe, anticipated. Other such factors include additional risk factors identified in Activision Blizzard’s most recent annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information available to Blizzard Entertainment and Activision Blizzard as of the date of this release, and neither Blizzard Entertainment nor Activision Blizzard assumes any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements believed to be true when made may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of the future performance of Blizzard Entertainment or Activision Blizzard and are subject to risks, uncertainties, and other factors, some of which are beyond its control and may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.
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