Issued under cloak of the night, early this morning, an important MEDIA ALERT from Castle Blizzard:

IRVINE, Calif. — Blizzard Entertainment® today announced that the release date for World of Warcraft®: The Burning Crusadeâ„¢, the highly anticipated expansion for World of Warcraft, will be in January 2007. By adding a few extra weeks to the development cycle beyond its original target date, Blizzard will be able to extend the closed beta test and further refine the new content that will ship with the game.

“We appreciate the enthusiasm surrounding World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, and we’re excited about putting the finishing touches on all of the new content,” said Mike Morhaime, president and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We feel confident that the extra time spent polishing the game will result in the high-quality experience that our players expect and deserve.”

Blizzard began the closed-beta phase of testing on World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade earlier this month. The January 2007 release window will allow extra time for current beta testers to participate in the final stages of development and continue providing valuable feedback.

Further information on specific worldwide release dates, pricing, and other details will be announced in the near future.

They need time to nerf a bunch of stuff. (Oh, I’m kidding!)

I’ve only run around in the beta a few days, but I haven’t noticed much of anything that’s buggy, broken or largely incomplete. Sure, there’s stuff to fix, didn’t seem like two additional months’ worth of work to me.

This expansion is really quite nice. That’s me being understated. I really mean, it’s incredible and worth skipping guild raids to play (not to mention skipping work, but that would be very irresponsible of you).

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