The folks at Blizzard Entertainment have announced that their first MMORPG World of Warcraft has gone gold. It’ll hit stores in North America on November 23, 2004 with Australia and New Zealand to follow shortly. There’s a standard and a collector’s edition being released and three different monthly pricing levels:
World of Warcraft will be available for Windows® 98/ME/2000/XP and Macintosh® formats at a suggested retail price of $49.99 in the U.S., and will include a free one-month subscription to the game. The special collector’s edition of World of Warcraft will also be available at release for a suggested retail price of $79.99 and will include the World of Warcraft game on both CD-ROM and DVD, a free one-month subscription, a World of Warcraft behind-the-scenes DVD, an exclusive in-game pet, a cloth map of the game world, a soundtrack CD, an Art of the World of Warcraft coffee table book, and a commemorative game manual signed by the development team.
After the initial free one-month subscription ends, players of World of Warcraft will be able to continue playing under one of three different subscription plans. The month-to-month subscription plan costs $14.99 per month, the three-month plan costs $13.99 per month, and the six-month plan costs $12.99 per month. World of Warcraft subscription fees can be paid by major credit card, PayPal, and pre-paid game cards, which will be available in stores where World of Warcraft is sold. World of Warcraft has received a Teen rating from the ESRB.
Awhile back I posted some screen shots from my time in the stress test and I have to say that I liked the game a lot even at that stage. Due to tight finances I probably won’t be picking this game up right away—especially considering that both Anne and Courtney would want to play as well requiring three copies—but once we make it to better times then this will probably be high on my list of games to pick up.
If you’d like to check it out prior to buying it you’ll have two opportunities to do so. First if you’re currently a paying subscriber to FilePlanet then you can get in on the final stress test taking place right now by simply going out and downloading the client. The rest of us will have to wait until the final open beta test which will take place immediately after the stress test ends. You’ll probably need a good broadband connection if you want to participate, though, as the client is a couple of hundred megs in size as I recall.