Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Burning Crusade Release Estimate Changes to January 2007

I have to mention this. I first saw it on WoW Insider this morning. Burning Crusade release date was previously Q4 2006. Now it's January 2007.

The link they provided is this post from Eyonix (emphasis is mine):

IRVINE, Calif. -- Blizzard Entertainment® today announced that the release date for World of Warcraft®: The Burning Crusade™, the highly anticipated expansion for World of Warcraft, will be in January 2007. By adding a few extra weeks to the development cycle beyond its original target date, Blizzard will be able to extend the closed beta test and further refine the new content that will ship with the game.

“We appreciate the enthusiasm surrounding World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, and we’re excited about putting the finishing touches on all of the new content,” said Mike Morhaime, president and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We feel confident that the extra time spent polishing the game will result in the high-quality experience that our players expect and deserve.”

Blizzard began the closed-beta phase of testing on World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade earlier this month. The January 2007 release window will allow extra time for current beta testers to participate in the final stages of development and continue providing valuable feedback.

Further information on specific worldwide release dates, pricing, and other details will be announced in the near future.

I was surprised Amazon responded so quickly - here's their message as of today:

Note on release date: Blizzard has officially announced that The Burning Crusade expansion has been delayed until January 2007, and no other information is available at this time. Our listed release date of January 30 is an estimate and not official information. Please check this page later for updated information.

I wonder how this decision impacts Blizzard's earnings. Is it better to have the influx of cash in 2007 vs. 2006? Does it squeeze out another few months of same ol' content from people who have time off at the holidays? Or does this risk players' giving up altogether for something unpredictable and too far away? And do they lose income from students who might have played it during their holiday but now can't?

Was the lack of a Non-Disclosure agreement on the beta intentional to keep the excitement up?

What will be on everyone's Christmas list now?



Anonymous said...

I don't know if it will really affect their overall revenue since I think that the people who would have bought the expansion would have done so regardless of when it was released. It may affect Blizzards end of year figures, but since they are owned by a European company this may not be important either.

Delaney said...

I agree, I don't think that many people are going to abandon all hope (although there will be some). They will still get the revenue. Only now it will be wholly 2007 rather than split 2006/2007. And I forgot Vivendi is based in EU. I wonder how that impacts it.

Doeg said...

The WoW BC release slip is the top Technology story on the BBC News website today (10/26/06).