Blizzard Entertainment said on Wednesday that Diablo 3 was the biggest launch in PC gaming history, with more than 4.7 million gamers around the world poised and ready to storm the gates of Sanctuary on day one.
According to Blizzard, more than 3.5 million copies of Diablo 3 were sold within the first 24 hours of the game's release. An additional 1.2 million plus fans also received the long-awaited PC game as part of signing up for the World of Warcraft Annual Pass promotion. That's a total of over 4.7 million gamers on day one.
By the end of the first week, the number of Diablo 3 units sold grew to more than 6.3 million. Excluded from that total are players in Korean Internet game rooms where Diablo 3 has become the top-played game, achieving a record share of more than 39-percent as of May 22, Blizzard said.
Amazon saw a little green too on Diablo Day. "Not only did Diablo 3 break the record for most pre-ordered PC game of all-time on Amazon.com, but it also shattered the record for best day-one sales for any PC game ever on Amazon.com," said John Love, director of video games at Amazon.com.
"Diablo 3 was one of our biggest PC launches ever and will help make this a record year for Blizzard at GameStop," added Bob McKenzie, senior vice president of merchandising at GameStop.
Despite the technical problems that have plagued the action-RPG game since its launch, Diablo 3 has received a decent review average from critics, with a current 89 out of 100 on Metacritic and an 89.56-percent on GameRankings. User reviews have been less than stellar, with a current average score of only 4.1 out of 10.
"Regarding today's announcement, we recognize that setting a new launch record is a big achievement," said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "However, we're especially proud of the gameplay feedback we've received from players worldwide. We're pleased that Diablo 3 has lived up to players' high expectations, and we're looking forward to welcoming more players into Sanctuary in the days ahead."
What's the story here? Despite its launch-related problems, there's an awesome game at the heart of Diablo 3, and Blizzard has once again given birth to a highly lucrative cash cow.