Our good friends over at Joystiq are reporting the first of the Burning Crusade sales numbers: in a mere 24 hours, the WoW expansion sold 2.3 million copies on North America and Europe, and an extra .1 million to make it 2.4 million worldwide. That makes Blizzard's expansion the fastest selling PC game ever. And that's game as in game, not just expansion. The other interesting figure is that Blizzard says they have only 2 million players in North America, which is a much smaller portion than I expected of the eight million worldwide players. But of those 2 million, they say 1.2 million bought the expansion in the first day, which (just over 50%) is a huge sellthrough rate for an expansion no matter how you slice it.
Now, I thought the Walmart figures were crazy, but they said the expansion would sell 5 million in the first ten days, and considering they've sold at least half that in the first day, that means they're on pretty good track to do exactly what they thought-- at least. And they've just plain rocked the best selling expansion pack ever (Sims: Livin' Large), which sold what seemed like a whopping 700,000 copies in its first year.
Say what you want about Blizzard (the Warriors definitely do), but these guys know how to sell a game.