KEY POINTS

  • "World of Warcraft: Shadowlands" was originally scheduled for an Oct. 27 release
  • Blizzard is polishing the title and will instead release "Shadowlands" later this year
  • The developer will drop a pre-patch on Oct. 13 that will lay the groundwork for the expansion 

The “World of Warcraft: Shadowlands” expansion, which was originally scheduled for an Oct. 27 release, needs more time to be ready for launch, Blizzard has announced.

In a statement on the “World of Warcraft” website, Blizzard revealed its decision to delay “World of Warcraft: Shadowlands” until sometime later this year, saying that the title was not going to be rushed just to meet the previously announced date. The developer has not announced a new release date for the expansion.

“This was an incredibly difficult decision for the team, as we’re as eager to get the expansion into your hands as you are to play it — but ultimately, we feel it’s the right decision for the game — and for our players,” the studio said.

Blizzard emphasized that it has made “significant progress” in ironing out the kinks of the expansion's core features and gameplay over the past several months.

“We’re at a point where the zones, the campaign, the level-up questing experience, and the story we have to tell are essentially ready to share,” the developer continued. “We’re excited by the Covenants at the heart of the expansion, and it’s been a thrill to see Torghast take shape into a fun new kind of 'WoW' experience, thanks in no small part to your input.”

Despite the progress, however, Blizzard's work on “Shadowlands,” which the studio described as “one of the most intricate expansions” it has created, was hampered by the team working from home amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Blizzard has a commitment to quality. We believe 'Shadowlands' will be something special, and we’ve heard from many of you who feel the same. We need this extra time to ensure that ‘Shadowlands’ lives up to its full potential,” the developer said.

Before dropping “World of Warcraft: Shadowlands,” Blizzard is releasing a pre-patch on Oct. 13 that will include the revamped character leveling system as well as new character customization options.

First released in 2004 to mark the 10th anniversary of the “Warcraft” franchise, “World of Warcraft” takes place within the world of Azeroth and has become one of the highest-grossing video game franchises of all time.

The most recent expansion pack prior to “Shadowlands” was “World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth,” which was released in 2018.

In July, Blizzard shut down rumors that there are plans to bring the franchise to the coming Xbox Series X.

‘World of Warcraft’ The film adaptation of Activision Blizzard’s video game “World of Warcraft” will be directed by "Moon" director Duncan Jones. Photo: Reuters