Blizzard Entertainment has delayed the release of World of Warcraft‘s Shadowlands expansion due to working from home conditions caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. A new release date has not been determined, but the studio said Shadowlands will still release later this year.
In a blog post announcing the delay, executive producer John Hight said it wasn’t an easy decision to make but one that was necessary for the expansion and for World of Warcraft players. Hight also said the additional development time will allow the team to add extra polish to Shadowlands’ endgame.
“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,” Hight said. “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.
“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.”
Despite the setback, the studio still plans to release the Shadowlands pre-patch on October 13. This update lays the foundation for the expansion, replete with a revamped character leveling system, new-player experience on Exile’s Reach, and a bevy of additional character customization options.
Blizzard previously announced back in July 2020 that the Shadowlands expansion would launch in Fall 2020, with Hight saying it will happen “even if we end up shipping it from our homes.”
The Shadowlands expansion will make a number of adjustments and changes to World of Warcraft, including reducing the level cap from 120 to 60 and adding controller support. Shadowlands will also allow players to align themselves with a Covenant, a new kind of in-game faction system that teaches new abilities and assigns quests. Additionally, the expansion will no longer charge players for changing genders.
Now Playing: World of Warcraft: ShadowlandsTrailer | Gamescom 2020