I was at Fry’s the other day looking for, among other things, a copy of The Burning Crusade expansion for World of Warcraft for my daughter’s account. She decided she likes blood elves during the 10 day trial of the expansion.
In the past Fry’s has had stacks of the expansion on the shelves, including collector’s editions.
But there was not a copy of The Burning Crusade to be found.
This is an unusual state of affairs at Fry’s. The shelves still have several old EverQuest and EverQuest II expansions despite the fact that later cumulative expansions are next to them on the shelf. Fry’s is the only place I know where you can still find a copy of Total Annihilation: Kingdoms on the shelf. I was frankly surprised not to find a copy or two of Tabula Rasa. They have a lot of shelf space and an aversion to throwing anything away.
But no Burning Crusade.
Which strikes me as a bit odd. You cannot use Wrath of the Lich King unless you have Burning Crusade already. You can get BC as part of a World of Warcraft Battle Chest, but if you have the original box (which is still on the shelf) your options are somewhat limited. I ended up just upgrading her account via the account management page, since the iMac she plays on already has both expansions installed. (If your account has one of both of the expansions you cannot play on a machine that lacks them.)
Now, I did not go out and scour local electronics stores to see if anybody else was stocking Burning Crusade. But, as I pointed out, Fry’s does not pull anything off their shelves unless somebody gives them a refund, so I suspect that I would find the same situation at other major chains.
I cannot decide if this is a serious blunder or a very shrewd move on the part of Blizzard.
It seems awkward, not being able to just buy the first expansion off the shelf since you must have it for the second one. On the other hand, more cash probably goes into Blizzard’s pocket if people upgrade via the account management page, and if you’re buying the expansion but don’t want the Warchest version, you probably already have an account.
Part of me suspects that Blizzard isn’t quite sure what to do with a game with more than their usual single expansion.