Here's a notice from Blizzard about the status of their European WoW plans!
22 November, 2004 Paris, France: Blizzard Entertainment® today announced the launch plans in Europe for World of Warcraft®, its highly anticipated massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG). Blizzard also confirmed that the game will release in Europe in early 2005. Pre-orders for World of Warcraft will be available at retail on November 26, 2004.
Leading up to the release, the current closed beta will be followed by a final beta test when thousands of additional players, including those who have pre-ordered the game, will be able to adventure in Blizzards epic world. Further details regarding the Final Beta Test, currently scheduled for December 2004, will be announced in the weeks ahead.
Were extremely proud of World of Warcraft, and in particular, its accessibility to players of all abilities, from hardcore to casual gamers, said Mike Morhaime, president and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment. We are confident that the commitment were making with regard to local European servers and support staff will create an unprecedented gaming experience for the thousands of gamers who will come to experience and enjoy World of Warcraft.
European Product Packaging and Pricing
The special collectors edition of World of Warcraft will also be available at launch, in limited quantities, for a suggested retail price of 69.99. The game, box and manual will be available in English, French and German; the box and manual will also be localised into Spanish and Italian. The special collectors edition will include the World of Warcraft game on both CD-ROM and DVD, a free one-month subscription, a World of Warcraft behind-the-scenes DVD in English, an exclusive in-game pet, a cloth map of the game world, a soundtrack CD, an Art of the World of Warcraft coffee table book, and a commemorative game manual signed by the development team.
After the initial free one-month subscription ends, players of World of Warcraft will be able to continue playing under one of three different subscription plans. The month-to-month subscription plan will cost 12.99* per month, the three-month plan will cost 11.99 per month, and the six-month plan will cost 10.99 per month.
Local Support in Europe
Following the huge worldwide demand for World of Warcraft evidenced in recent Beta Tests, Blizzard will establish regional servers specific to each geographical location to increase performance and support for World of Warcraft worldwide. European players will therefore initially play on any of the European servers in English, French or German. Retaining players on their own geographical servers at release will ensure the stability of the technical infrastructure installed in each territory, and will allow for the best possible customer support for players in their local language at the local time.
The regionally specific servers will start with the North American launch. Blizzard is therefore strongly advising European players not to buy the North American version of the game, as access to North American servers will be limited to residents of North America, Australia and New Zealand. Alternatively, players are recommended to pre-order the European version of the game to guarantee a box copy on the day of launchas well as guaranteed access to the European Final Beta Test.
For those European gamers still wishing to play with their American friends on the North American servers, and vice versa, Blizzard will provide a means to make this possible after the European launch.
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