Wishmaster peaked at No. 1 in the official Finnish charts; the album also debuted in the European charts at No. 21 in Germany and No. 66 in France.Wishmaster has sold more than 77,000 copies in Finland alone.
The writing and recording of Wishmaster was very fast and devoid of complications, in contrast with what had happened for Oceanborn. The main composer Tuomas Holopainen considers the album "the most distant and least personal (...) in the Nightwish catalogue", despite containing the "mother of all Nightwish songs - Dead Boys' Poem." The image of the dead boy would reappear in several songs of the following albums. Wishmaster was issued on 8 May 200, a few days earlier than its scheduled release, because the music had leaked onto the Internet.
The song "Wishmaster" has remained one of Nightwish's greatest hits, appearing on several best of compilations. Since its release, it has been a recurring track during live performances, and was featured on the live DVD End of an Era, recorded in 2005. As of 2013[update], it is still often performed live despite the band's change of vocalists. A new orchestral intro for the track was recorded during the orchestral recording of Dark Passion Play. Other recurring live songs from the album are "She Is My Sin", "Dead Boy's Poem" and "Come Cover Me".