Blizzard Entertainment executive producer John Hight announced that the World of Warcraft: Shadowlands expansion has been delayed for later this year.

Instead, the pre-expansion patch will be released in October 13th while the developers polish the Shadowlands endgame content.

Updat: Added the Press Release, and the Newsletter. The Newsletter gives you a link to request a Refund if you wish that option.

Letter from John Hight

To the WoW community,

I wanted to let you know that we’re delaying the release of Shadowlands to later this year—and while we’re still in the process of determining the right new date to launch, we felt it was important to let you know about this change in plans as soon as we could. 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.

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.

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.

In the meantime, we’re excited to announce that beginning October 13 we will be releasing the Shadowlands pre-patch, which lays a lot of the groundwork for the expansion and includes our revamped character leveling, new-player experience on Exile’s Reach, and a host of new character customization options. 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.

Thanks for your support and passion, and for your continued help and feedback as we head toward the finish line.

We’ll see you in the Shadowlands soon,

John Hight, Executive Producer of World of Warcraft

Press Release

World of Warcraft®: Shadowlands Delayed to Later This Year

Updates to Blizzard’s acclaimed MMORPG in preparation for the expansion will begin going live for players with a substantial pre-release patch on October 13

IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Oct. 1, 2020– Blizzard Entertainment today announced that World of Warcraft®: Shadowlands, the highly anticipated new expansion for the company’s acclaimed massively multiplayer online role-playing game, will be released later this year. Activision Blizzard’s business momentum continues to be strong and the Company does not expect the change to have a material impact on its financial results for the year 2020.

“The anticipation and demand for Shadowlands is the highest it’s ever been for a World of Warcraft expansion, and it is important for us to deliver an experience that meets our highest expectations and those of our players,” said John Hight, executive producer for World of Warcraft. “With that in mind, we made the decision to do what’s right for the game and take the extra time, and we think players will enjoy this expansion even more as a result of the additional work.”

Originally slated for release at the end of October, the expansion is currently in public beta testing. Blizzard is extending the beta test and iterating based on great input from players, focusing on endgame-related tuning and polishing efforts that have been partially slowed due to the team working from home during the ongoing pandemic.

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands takes players into the wondrous depths of Azeroth’s afterlife, where four ruling Covenants hold dominion over the realms. As they journey through the beyond, players will come face-to-face with legendary souls, create their own powerful gear through the ever-shifting trials of the roguelike Tower of the Damned, and face game-changing decisions about the closest-held beliefs of their characters. Beginning Oct. 13, Blizzard will roll out a substantial patch for World of Warcraft players in preparation for Shadowlands that will include fully revamped character leveling and other updates—and will culminate with a pre-launch event that will send players into battle with the army of the undead Scourge.


Note: Blizzard Entertainment released a newsletter around 9:33pm EST to all World of Warcraft subscribers to notify about the Shadowlands delay, but also added a link to request a Refund if you wish that option. In order to request a Refund, you should let the page fully load. On my end, via Firefox, the options were visible after waiting about 20 seconds after the page loaded. Just leave it open until it appears.


Blizzplanet, thank you for pre-purchasing World of Warcraft®: Shadowlands. We wanted to let you know that we’ve made the difficult decision to delay the release of the expansion to later this year.

During this additional time, we’ll be focusing on further polishing the overall experience, as well as fine-tuning and balancing aspects of the endgame—helping ensure what’s waiting for you on your journey into the Shadowlands meets our high standards and your high expectations. We think you’ll enjoy this expansion even more as a result of the extra work, but we understand if you’re disappointed by the wait—if you’d prefer a refund*, please visit our Customer Support site.

Learn more about this decision in a message from John Hight, executive producer of World of Warcraft, on the WoW website.

In the meantime, we’ve also announced that starting on October 13 in the Americas, we’ll be releasing the Shadowlands pre-patch , which lays a lot of the groundwork for the expansion. Thank you for your passion, support, and continued feedback, and we’ll see you in the Shadowlands later this year.

– The World of Warcraft Team
*If you do not request a refund prior to launch, your pre-purchase will remain active and no further action is required.

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