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World of Warcraft(R): The Burning Crusade(TM) in Stores January 16, 2007.

Street Date Set for the Expansion to Blizzard Entertainment([R])'s Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game as Subscriber Base Reaches 7.5 Million Players Worldwide

IRVINE, Calif. -- Blizzard Entertainment([R]) announced today that World of Warcraft([R]): The Burning Crusade([TM]), the highly anticipated expansion to the world's leading subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game, World of Warcraft, will be in stores on January 16th in North America and Europe. The expansion will be available in a similar time frame in Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore as well, and availability for mainland China and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau will be announced in the near future. In addition, Blizzard today announced that the subscriber base for World of Warcraft has reached a new milestone, with 7.5 million players worldwide.

"While World of Warcraft has continued to grow rapidly along with its player population, The Burning Crusade will represent our single largest addition of new game content and new features to date," said Mike Morhaime, president and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "With this expansion, we're looking forward to offering the same level of quality that players have experienced in World of Warcraft so far, and we'll continue balancing and play-testing up until launch to ensure that The Burning Crusade achieves that goal."

In World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, players will be able to advance their characters up to level 70, unlocking a world of power and possibilities along the way. Additional features coming in The Burning Crusade include two new playable races (the Blood Elves and the Draenei), flying mounts, new talents and abilities for all character classes, the new jewelcrafting profession, new magical weapons and armor, and many enhancements to player-vs.-player action. The expansion will also lead veteran players through the fabled Dark Portal and into Outland, former homeworld of the Orcs and site of a series of cataclysmic events that helped shape the history of the Warcraft([R]) universe. In this shattered world, players will encounter new challenges and dangers in the form of new outdoor zones, quests, dungeons, never-before-seen monsters, and much more. Over the course of their new adventures in The Burning Crusade, players will grow in experience and power as they uncover the rich lore and mysteries of Outland and do battle with the demonic forces of The Burning Legion.

World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade will be available at retail stores nationwide for Windows([R]) 2000/XP and Macintosh([R]) formats at a suggested retail price of $39.99. A special Collector's Edition of the expansion will also be available, at a suggested retail price of $69.99. This limited-edition package will include the expansion on both CD-ROM and DVD, the Art of the Burning Crusade coffee table book, an exclusive in-game pet, a behind-the-scenes DVD, a World of Warcraft Trading Card Game starter deck and exclusive cards, a map of Outland mouse pad, and the official soundtrack CD. The World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade expansion requires the original World of Warcraft game, which is now selling for a suggested retail price of $19.99. World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade has received a Teen rating from the ESRB.

For more information on World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, please visit the official website for the expansion at www.worldofwarcraft.com/burningcrusade.

World of Warcraft's Customer Definition

World of Warcraft customers include individuals who have paid a subscription fee or purchased a prepaid card to play World of Warcraft, as well as those who have purchased the installation box bundled with one free month access. Internet Game Room players who have accessed the game over the last thirty days are also counted as customers. The above definition excludes all players under free promotional subscriptions, expired or cancelled subscriptions, and expired prepaid cards. Customers in licensees' territories are defined along the same rules.

About Blizzard Entertainment

Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft and the Warcraft, StarCraft([R]), and Diablo([R]) series, Blizzard Entertainment (www.blizzard.com), a division of Vivendi Games, is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating many of the industry's most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard's track record includes nine #1-selling games and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company's free Internet gaming service, Battle.net([R]), reigns as the largest in the world, with millions of active users.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Nov 9, 2006
Words:731
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