The game’s executive producer John Hight announced the delay with a statement on the official World Of Warcraft Twitter account. He said that the decision was “incredibly difficult” for the team to make but ultimately the right one, citing the need for “a little more time for additional polish”.
“Over the past several months of testing, we’ve made significant progress iterating on and polishing the core features and gameplay of Shadowlands. […] However, as everything started coming together and we’ve been listening to and building upon your feedback, it’s become clear we need a little more time for additional polish, and to balance and iterate on some interlocking pieces – particularly those related to the endgame,” Hight explained.
The exec added that Blizzard has a “commitment to quality” and that the postponement will allow the expansion to “[live] up to its full potential”. Shadowlands will launch “later this year,” according to the statement, but a specific date is still currently being determined.
Read Hight’s full statement below.
— World of Warcraft (@Warcraft) October 1, 2020
However, the Shadowlands pre-patch will still be released later this month, on October 13. It will lay the groundwork for the upcoming expansion, with revamped character leveling, new customisation options and a revamped new-player experience on starting area Exile’s Reach.
World Of Warcraft: Shadowlands was set to be released on October 27. The upcoming expansion is also set to drop fees if players decide to change the gender of their characters.
Blizzard Entertainment previously announced that it will host the first-ever BlizzConline convention in February 2021. It will be an online-only convention in place of its annual physical BlizzCon event.