World of Warcraft expansion to miss holiday season

Posted by Mark Raby

As video game fans prepare for a massive set of releases for the holiday season, today, one anticipated title was taken off the list on games slated for a pre-Christmas launch. The first official expansion pack to the PC game World of Warcraft has been delayed a few weeks due to bugs found during its recent beta test, pushing it back to the first part of next year.

Earlier this month, the game's expansion pack, Burning Crusade, was open for select beta testing by a handful of users. During the test, multiple bug reports came through, and apparently it will take Blizzard, the game's developer, a little longer than expected to work through all of them.

As a wildly popular PC game, the holiday release was previously well known and an expected gift for many. However, it is now set for a January 2007 release. Blizzard's president Mike Morhaime is not concerned with missing the holiday season. "A huge installed fan base is buying the expansion pack regardless of when it's released," he said.

World of Warcraft, the massively multiplayer online role-playing (MMORPG) game, was released about two years ago in November 2004, and since then has amassed a subscriber base of approximately 7 million, each tapping into the $15 per month online world.

"We feel confident that the extra time spent polishing the game will result in the high-quality experience that our players expect and deserve," said Morhaime.

First impressions from the expansion of World of Warcraft:

Click here for screenshots of the new Dranei starting area...

Click here for screenshots of the new Blood Elf starting area...

Click here for screenshots of Outland and high-level character changes...