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Some accuse us of fanboying Blizzard, totally ignoring the fact that we criticize the company, its decisions, or the development of their games. However, Activision Blizzard itself announced that World of Warcraft Shadowlands is the fastest-selling PC game in the history of the entire market and it's impossible to pass by it indifferently. A very bold declaration, which can not be fully verified. However, let's wait until they tally up Cyberpunk 2077, shall we? :)

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Shadowlands is the best selling expansion pack for World of Warcraft
Far be it from me to high-five Blizzard and say "Shadowlands is excellent and I believe such great sales". Don't get me wrong, I'm having a pretty good time with this add-on, nevertheless I sincerely doubt that this is a historic moment for PC gaming. Activision Blizzard themselves claim that the expansion has sold like hotcakes and that no game has ever sold so well so quickly. There is a grain of truth in this statement!

We have confirmation that Shadowlands is indeed the best-selling expansion in history, but... World of Warcraft itself. Over 3.7 million copies were sold on the first day. This is an actual record and no expansion to the king of MMORPGs has sold so well on the first day:

  • The Burning Crusade - 2.4 million
  • Wrath of the Lich King - 2.8 million
  • Cataclysm - 3.3 million
  • Mists of Pandaria - 2.7 million
  • Warlords of Draenor - 3.3 million
  • Legion - 3.3 million
  • Battle For Azeroth - 3.4 million
  • Shadowlands - 3.7 million

So bravo Blizzard, Shadowlands sold brilliantly on day one. But is it the fastest selling PC game of all time? Diablo 3's first day record was 3.5 million copies, so actually, the company beat its own score.

Looking for data I found a much higher score in the form of Total War Saga: Troy, which was distributed in 7.5 million copies in the first 24 hours. However, it is worth noting that this title was given away for free. So we can assume that Blizzard took into account only paid games, so at this point it actually wins.

I looked further and in 2020 Animal Crossing: New Horizons sold over 11 million copies in its first 11 days. Pokemon Sword and Shield reached 6 million people over launch weekend and is the fastest selling game on Switch. That said, we're still talking about PC, not Switch and the FIRST DAY.

So I keep browsing and guess what? Actually, it looks like Shadowlands is the fastest selling first day game on PC. It's worth noting here that FIRST DAY, because the records for overall sales, whether sales over launch weekend or the first month, belong to other titles.

The same if we consider consoles. And don't forget that everyone's FIRST DAY sales also include pre-orders, which are available long before a game's release. So feel free to question such spectacular results, but who cares? "The numbers speak for themselves".

Blizzard also boasts that World of Warcraft has not seen so many players in a long time. The number of subscribers is the highest in 10 years, so as you can see WoW is "dying". Of course, the company didn't give exact statistics, so we don't know how many people actually play Shadowlands. Interestingly, players are also spending twice as much time in this MMORPG as they have in recent years.

I'm curious to see how Cyberpunk 2077 will fare against this backdrop, as I'd like to see this title beat Shadowlands and sell in greater numbers on day one than the add-on to the old game. Because I don't want to believe that this oldie still has something to say in the market and is still dealing cards. Even though they're completely different genres, it's definitely time to make room for the young ones!

I, in turn, would like to ask you how do you rate the latest addition to the World of Warcraft? Are you satisfied, or Shadowlands doesn't convince you?

If you haven't yet done your bit for Blizzard's success, you can get Shadowlands on DLCompare. Alternatively, you can buy Cyberpunk 2077 there if you prefer to support something domestic.