World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, the eighth expansion for the all-conquering MMO World of Warcraft has been delayed. Initially slated for an October 26th release date, Shadowlands will now release sometime later this year to give the team at Blizzard time to add “additional polish, and to balance and iterate on some interlocking pieces—particularly those related to the endgame”. As with all delays announced this year, the added strain caused by COVID-19 has also played a large part in the game being pushed back.
In a post on Blizzard’s official site, Executive Producer of World of Warcraft, John Hight goes into further detail regarding the difficult decision to push the expansion back to a yet to be known date.
“Over the past several months of testing, we’ve made significant progress iterating on and polishing the core features and gameplay of Shadowlands. 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. 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”.
“However, as everything started coming together and we’ve been listening to and building upon your feedback, it’s become clear we need a little more time for additional polish, and to balance and iterate on some interlocking pieces—particularly those related to the endgame. Shadowlands is one of the most intricate expansions we’ve yet created, and while we’ve made great progress, the challenge of tuning the endgame was compounded by the team having to work from home.”
“And once we get closer to Shadowlands’ release, you’ll be called upon to defend Azeroth against a resurgence of the Scourge during our pre-launch event”.
Many fans have applauded the move to delay the game, as opposed to Blizzard forcing its developers and staff into a period of crunch. Remember, a delayed game is always better than a rushed game!
For those disappointed fans who need something to satiate their hunger for new content, the Shadowlands pre-patch will still be available from October 13th. The pre-patch will lay the groundwork for the expansion and add “revamped character levelling, new-player experience on Exile’s Reach, and a host of new character customisation options”.