Blizzard has finally unveiled the new release date for World of Warcraft’s latest expansion after postponing its original launch on Oct. 26.
WoW fans can now expect Shadowlands to begin on Nov. 23 at 5pm CT, Blizzard announced today.
“On behalf of the entire World of Warcraft team, I’d like to extend a heartfelt thank-you for your patience as we’ve continued to work on Shadowlands,” WoW executive producer John Hight said. “And for all off the words of support after we made the tough decision to delay the game.”
Blizzard originally intended to make sure that Shadowlands was released before the end of 2020, but work-from-home policies that were implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic appeared to put that goal in jeopardy. Despite numerous questions from streamers and fans, Blizzard execs like Ion Hazzikostas continued to reiterate the developer’s plan to get the game out before the end of the year.
With an alpha that started in April, Shadowlands began beta testing in July and Blizzard has continued beta testing since. In August, Blizzard revealed that the game would be coming out on Oct. 26. But at the beginning of October, Blizzard said that it wouldn’t be able to meet that deadline.
As a way to give players hope for the new content, Blizzard announced some plans for pre-patch Shadowlands content, including a level squish that’s turned all max-level characters to level 50, down from level 120.
For some WoW players, the biggest concern is that Shadowlands will come out too early without the proper vetting and testing necessary. Some players, like top WoW Twitch streamer Asmongold, believe that the current expansion, Battle for Azeroth, was rushed into consumers’ hands before it was ready. For that reason, players like Asmon have deemed the expansion a failure.
With Shadowlands representing a new horizon, the hope for critical WoW veterans is that Blizzard will learn from its attempts at rushing an expansion and take whatever time is necessary to give gamers a quality game.