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World of Warcraft Classic launches next summer

The original Azeroth will return in 2019, but there's a demo launching this week.


A year ago, Blizzard explained why it had been closing down fan-made "classic" servers created to recreate World of Warcraft as it was at launch: because they were making an official retro server.

World of Warcraft Classic promised to give players the "vanilla" experience that the MMO offered at launch. It was a big announcement. It was nostalgic. It was exciting. It was all we heard for a long, long time.

Now, the company has announced fans will be able to return to the original version of Azeroth summer 2019.

No, that's not as soon as some players were hoping, but fans won't have to wait until summer to get a taste: Blizzcon attendees will be able to play a demo of WOW Classic at the event. The demo will also be made available to digital ticket holders through Blizzard's app. 

Unfortunately, the demo isn't exactly an early beta of the MMO -- players will be limited to 60-minute play sessions with a 90-minute cool-down. There's no limit to how many times you can play it, but you can only play it for an hour at a time. That's not enough for a marathon MMO session, but it's enough to help you figure out if you want to return to the Azeroth of old.

If you do? You'll still need to pay a monthly fee: WOW Classic is included with every standard WOW subscription.

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