World of Warcraft (WOW) has been a mainstay of gaming for over 15 years, being the godfather of MMORPG’s if you will, with the franchise continuing strongly to this day. Unfortunately, the latest expansion to World of Warcraft – Shadowlands – has recently been delayed by Blizzard.
The delay was announced by John Hight via a Tweet from the official World of Warcraft account. According to the statement, the delay will allow time for some “additional polish,” and “balancing”, with the endgame also posing some further development issues, stated as being “…one of the most intricate expansions we’ve yet created”.
There is also hints towards the current COVID-19 pandemic causing delays with the knowledge of “…the team having to work from home”.
— World of Warcraft (@Warcraft) October 1, 2020
Shadowlands was originally planned for release on October 27; there is now no official release date, but a tentative window of late 2020. Not that this is the only game to be delayed this year, with the reveal that Cyberpunk 2077 will implement “crunch” to release in 2020 after several delays, and Halo: Infinite also being delayed into 2021 for further development, just to name a couple.
There will be a pre-patch for Shadowlands starting from October 13th, which will lay the groundwork for the expansion and add revamped character-levelling, new customisation options, and a new experience on Exile’s Reach.
Whilst WOW has continued to be a mainstay of gaming since it’s release in 2004, there has been a reduction in the number of active users, most likely due to the age of the game, the many other competitors that have entered the arena since it’s original launch, and overall franchise fatigue. As of November 2014, the game had over 10 million active subscribers, with the latest estimates putting the player count south of 5 million. Whilst that is still a large number, it is far from the number of subscribers that WOW had in its glory days.