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'Wrath of the Lich King' release date announced

Blizzard Entertainment announces a release date for World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King.

Blizzard Entertainment

As a part of my morning routine, I do a little Web surfing before leaving the house. One of the pages I read is, a World of Warcraft database. When I opened the page Monday morning, instead of the usual plain black background, I was treated to a Wrath of the Lich King graphic. In oversize font at the bottom of the page were the letters "In Stores 11.13.08."

After taking a second to confirm that today was not April 1, I quickly went to the official WoW page and, sure enough, there was the announcement that the game would be in U.S. stores on November 13, 2008.

On that same date, Blizzard Entertainment will also release the game in Europe, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Russia. On November 14, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand will get the game. On November 18, the game comes to Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. Blizzard added that information on Wrath of the Lich King's debut in China would be released later.

About two weeks ago, the company announced that it would be releasing a "prepatch" for the current version of WoW, to bridge the gap between it and the expansion. No word yet on when this patch will be released; however, Blizzard commenced public testing on it this past weekend.

The expansion will be offered in two packages: a standard edition for $39.99 and for all the uber-geeks, like me, whose money is apparently burning a hole in their pocket even as the economy as we know it is collapsing before our eyes, the Collector's Edition for $69.99.

The Collector's Edition includes the following:

  • The Art of World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, a 208-page book featuring never-before-seen images from the game.
  • An exclusive in-game pet: Frosty, the baby frost wyrm.
  • A behind-the-scenes DVD containing more than an hour of developer interviews, the Wrath of the Lich King introduction cinematic with director's commentary and more.
  • The official soundtrack CD, containing 21 epic tracks from the game, along with exclusive bonus tracks.
  • A mouse pad featuring a map of the newly opened continent of Northrend.
  • Two World of Warcraft Trading Card Game March of the Legion, starter decks, along with two exclusive cards available only in the Collector's Edition.

Well there you have it. Confirmation on when we can expect the lives of 10 million people the world over to come to a screeching halt. Now, to put in that vacation time request...