Thousands around the world are already grinding their way to level 70 in The Burning Crusade, and last night it was the Aussies' turn to get their hands on the first expansion pack for World of Warcraft.
More than 400 eager gamers lined up last night at Vivendi Games' official midnight launch location at EB Games in Chatswood, Sydney, to grab their copy of The Burning Crusade. While the line was long--stretching out several hundred metres from the front of the store--the mood was upbeat, with several showing up in costume to celebrate the event.
Roseville's Nick Burchell was the first in line, having showed up at EB Games at 5 p.m. yesterday afternoon to start his vigil. "I've prepared for The Burning Crusade for the last two months. I'm going to go straight home, install, and go right to the Outland," he said.
EB Games Australia and New Zealand buying director Shane Stockwell says The Burning Crusade was the biggest PC game launch the retailer has had. "The vibe all night has been awesome--we're thinking that there are at least 300 to 400 people here tonight based on preorders we had in the store," he said.
Vivendi Games Australia product marketing manager Chris Davey says World of Warcraft's wide appeal to gamers of all types was the main factor behind the expansion's strong launch. "I think we've really grown past that male 18-to-35 demographic that everyone throws around in the games industry. And I think that's why the game has been so successful--it's touched on so many different types of people," he said. "For EB Games to come out and say it's the biggest launch and had the biggest preorders they've ever received is a great tick in the box for World of Warcraft."
More than 8 million people worldwide have subscribed to World of Warcraft since the game's release in 2004. The Burning Crusade is available in Australia for A$59.95 ($47), while the World of Warcraft game itself is available for A$29.95 ($23).