World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, the third expansion for Blizzard's hugely successful MMO, has sold through more than 3.3 million copies as of its first 24 hours of release.

The figure eclipses the 2.8 million sales record set by World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, making Eclipse the fastest-selling PC game of all time. The figure includes digital pre-sales.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm was simultaneously released in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Europe, Russia, Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand on December 7, and became available in Korea and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau on December 9.

"We had to bring Azeroth to the brink of destruction in Cataclysm, but the result was our best expansion yet," said Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment. "We want to thank all of our new, existing, and returning players throughout the world for their incredible enthusiasm and support, and we look forward to hearing what they think about all the new content."

With a subscriber base in excess of 12 million people, it's hardly a surprise to see the expansion break PC sales records, but 3.3 million units in just 24 hours is a massive figure.

Blizzard's own StarCraft II launched to sales of around one million in 24 hours, taking a month to surpass three million units.

Despite the record-breaking sales, Cataclysm was unable to capture the No.1 spot in the UK video game chart, though this is likely down to the untracked download sales - Blizzard hasn't said how sales were split between retail and digital.