Wrath of the Lich King launch nerfs credit card systems

In the virtual world of World of Warcraft, the arrival of the Lich King can be blamed for , annoying undead attacks and general malaise for the inhabitants of Azeroth. In the real world, its fans are kind of doing the same thing.

As the game launched Thursday morning at midnight, the gathering throngs of WoW fans who lined up to get their hands on the first copies of this highly anticipated expansion were responsible for everything from noise complaints in San Francisco, to credit card reader crashes across the U.S., and even massive launch lines in the U.K.

In London, 2,000 people lined up at the Oxford Street HMV, where Blizzard's COO Paul Sams and associate producer Lee Sparks were on hand to autograph copies of the game. An HMV spokesperson said the turnout was the largest the store had ever seen, reported .

The story in San Francisco was even uglier. After two hours of loud noise from a nearby GameStop launch party, one resident had enough, and called police. This appears to be an isolated incident, however, as no other complaints of any kind were filed for the hundreds of similar launch parties that took place across the country.

Lastly, it is fitting that the launch of Lich King, which features a frozen enemy and throngs of undead for WoW players to fight, was responsible for freezing up GameStop's credit card readers. There were so many credit card requests, in fact, that as the events last night concluded, the retailer's credit system buckled under the weight. Customers at GameStop stores in Las Vegas, Kansas City, Madison and Fargo were turned away because of this issue.

We're betting those lucky blokes who got are pretty proud of themselves right about now.