You guys, I forgot how much fun a good old fashioned MMO release date war can be.
TESO played their hand well in advance and announced their April launch earlier this year. That left two big players — WildStar, and WoW’s Warlords of Draenor expansion.
Yesterday WoD went up for pre-sale* and the announcement included the slightly daunting sentence “Game is expected to release on or before 12/20/2014.” It seems pretty likely that this is more of a worst case scenario date than an actual launch, but it still caused a lot of people to suddenly realize that their dreams of a summer launch are pretty unlikely.
Honestly I think anyone who has watched WoW’s expansion releases in the past knew to expect Fall 2014 at the earliest. Blizzard has repeatedly promised summer releases and has never, ever delivered. Yes, this means over a year of Siege of Orgrimmar and patch 5.4. Yes, this sucks, particularly for players who stayed up-to-date on the latest content or who do progression raiding.
Heck, I’m currently so causal that my idea of progression is working on the achievement to hug critters — learn to /love, noob! — and even I find myself slightly concerned about whether I’ll get bored before the end of the year.
Meanwhile Carbine seems to have learned a trick or two from Blizzard’s marketing team because in the wake of yesterday’s drama today there was a “slip” and, oopsie, someone has accidentally released WildStar’s launch date (Google cache) and pre-order details!
It looks like pre-orders will open up on March 19th, and the game will launch on June 3rd. This hasn’t been officially confirmed yet, but after Carbine’s hints last week about press junkets and big news coming soon this seems pretty set.
And it’s a smart date too! June 3rd is roughly two months after TESO’s launch, which means folks who are MMO tourists or just didn’t take to the game will be looking for something new to play. It will likely be 3+ months before the launch of Warlords of Draenor, which is plenty of time to hook bored WoW players into a game that is being pitched as essentially Burning Crusade 2.0.
I am not pre-ordering anything until closer to their launch dates, but I definitely see some WildStar in my future this summer.
* No, I still haven’t decided which class to boost. Paladin (years of being a clothie makes me yearn for plate) or Warlock (finally I can be a real dot damage class)?