World of Warcraft: Dragonflight expansion set for 2022 release

Taking flight?

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

When Blizzard originally announced the upcoming expansion for World of Warcraft, the publisher didn’t tell fans when exactly it’d be coming out—and it didn’t even give a general timeline, either. The reveal for the Dragonflight expansion appeared to focus less on when exactly the content would be available and more on what the content would be.

But today, the beginning of pre-orders for Dragonflight on the Blizzard shop has indicated a general timeline for the game’s release.

On the webpage where gamers can pre-order the expansion, a piece of subtext indicates the game will be “available on or before December 31, 2022.” This is the first time Blizzard has given players any indication of when the game might be available.

Unlike most expansions, Blizzard refrained from making pre-orders available to consumers upon the reveal of the expansion. In the past, Blizzard has used expansion reveal events and BlizzCon to promote pre-orders for upcoming expansions.

The change of strategy from Blizzard comes amid a long-running attempt to strike a balance between getting gamers content quickly and making sure the content is quality. The release of the game’s current expansion, Shadowlands, was delayed in 2020 due partially to the pandemic. But since then, the developer has been slightly more cautious about its practices for giving release dates.

After the reveal stream for Dragonflight, Blizzard suggested that its release might not happen for a while by announcing that there would be another season (season four) in Shadowlands for keystones and PvP. Unlike most seasons, this next one will not coincide with a raid release. Instead, Blizzard will add dungeons from previous expansions to the keystone pool to give players some retro content to sink their teeth into.