World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade takes up where World of Warcraft left off, with the races of the Horde and the Alliance continuing to rebuild their lives among the shattered lands of Azeroth. Amid the fragile peace that exists between the factions come rumors that the Burning Legion’s age-old war against Azeroth – the so-called Burning Crusade – has been rekindled and threatens to consume the world in another firestorm of war and strife. Old allegiances fall and new ones rise as both the Horde and Alliance look to new friends in this time of need.
Blizzard had supplied more than 4 million game boxes to retailers worldwide, and more than 5,000 stores throughout the world had their doors open at midnight to welcome thousands of expectant players.
Day-one sales totals on both continents were similar, with an estimated total of nearly 1.2 million copies sold on the first day in North America and an estimated total of more than 1.1 million copies sold in Europe within the first 24 hours of launch(a). By the end of the first day of availability on both continents, a total of more than 1.7 million players had already logged in and upgraded World of Warcraft to play The Burning Crusade.
"The Burning Crusade has already exceeded even our most ambitious expectations," said Mike Morhaime, president and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "We're pleased that so many players are eager to see all of the new content that the expansion has to offer, and we look forward to seeing everyone online as additional players continue to upgrade in the days ahead."
Retailers are continuing to report sustained demand, so if players have not yet purchased their copy of The Burning Crusade, they are advised to call ahead to make sure their store has copies on hand. Additional shipments of the expansion have been routed to retailers to help maintain stock levels.
"The immediate popularity of The Burning Crusade once again shows that Blizzard consistently delivers what gamers want," said Robert McKenzie, senior vice president of merchandising at GameStop Corp. "In addition to setting a new day-one PC-game sales record at our GameStop and EB Games stores, the expansion garnered more online pre-orders than any other PC game in our company's history."
Several years have passed since the Burning Legion's defeat at Mount Hyjal and the races of Azeroth have continued to rebuild their once shattered lives. With renewed strength, the heroes of the Horde and Alliance have begun to explore new lands and broken through the Dark Portal to investigate the realms beyond the known world. Will these heroes find friends or foes? What dangers and rewards lie in wait beyond the Dark Portal? And what will they do when they discover that the demons they thought vanquished have returned to renew their terrible Burning Crusade?
Here is just a partial list of what you can expect from the World of Warcraft expansion:
- An increase in the level cap to 70
- Two new playable races, including the magical Blood Elves
- New starting zones in Quel'Thalas and beyond
- The entire new continent of Outland, reachable through the
- Dark Portal
- Many new high-level dungeons to explore in Azeroth,
- Outland, and elsewhere
- New flying mounts in Outland
- Many new and dangerous monsters, including epic world
- Hundreds of new quests
- Hundreds of new items
- A new profession: Jewelcrafting
- Socketed items
- And much, much more...
The Burning Crusade, the first expansion set for World of Warcraft, was simultaneously released in North America, Europe, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia on January 16, and on January 17 in Australia and New Zealand.