We knew Diablo 3 was big, but we probably wouldn't have estimated Day 1 sales would be this ridiculously high. Sure, Blizzard isn't exactly challenging Call of Duty, but it's a tremendous show of force for the PC platform, showing that the PC can also have juggernaut exclusives that make every other platform jealous.
The announcement today came from Activision Blizzard who revealed that Diablo 3 is now in the hands of 4.7 million gamers. So far, 3.5 million of those come from traditional sales, while another 1.2 million are from free copies Blizzard included in the World of Warcraft Annual Pass subscription. By the end of the first week, Blizz says total sales ballooned to 6.3 million.
This number soars above the predictions of some analysts, who honestly look a little silly right now. Last week, we wrote a story about Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia who predicted Diablo 3 would sell 3.5 million copies in its first year, and 4 million lifetime. For the record, we said it was a drastic understatement at the time, but even we didn't expect the reality to surpass the prediction by this much.
The most interesting part is going to be seeing how well Diablo 3 continues to sell post-launch. As has been the case with Diablo 2, WoW, and StarCraft 1/2, we expect Diablo 3 will have a long life-time of strong sales ahead of it. Blizzard games have enormous staying power. That is, unless, Torchlight 2 manages to steal its thunder. Check out our Diablo III review to get our final verdict on the long-awaited game.