WoW Legion to Ship 22 Days Before Summer Ends

It looks like August 30, 2016 will be the ship date for the WoW Legion Expansion.

WoW Legion coming to a server near you

WoW Legion; coming to a server near you

People have been asking the “when” question about the expansion since it was announced, myself included.  Look at the poll on that post.  I thought dates past July 2016 were not even worth mentioning.  Eventually we got the target window of summer, which using the calendar they have on the wall down in Anaheim, meant as late as September 21, 2016.

(Cue the inevitable comment about the dates for summer between the Arctic Circle and the Tropic of Cancer.)

Optimists felt that this left open the ability for Blizzard to ship the expansion with the Warcraft movie, which is set to hit theaters on June 10, 2016.  Others, myself included, were more inclined to believe that the release would come much closer to the end of summer.   Maybe not on the last day, but within a month would be about the norm for Blizz.

And now we have the date.  On the scale of between-expansion gaps, that puts WoW Legion at the faster end of things, with the average being about 719 days.

  • WoW Launch to The Burning Crusade – 784 days
  • The Burning Crusade to Wrath of the Lich King – 667 days
  • Wrath of the Lich King to Cataclysm – 754 days
  • Cataclysm to Mists of Pandaria – 658 days
  • Mists of Pandaria to Warlords of Draenor – 778 days
  • Warlords of Draenor to Legion – 670 days

Of course, it isn’t the gap between expansions that hurts Blizz so much as the inevitable year long dry spell when no new content is introduced before the next expansion hits.

With the expansion date now out and about there are two additional things I am waiting to hear about.

The first is when the pre-launch patch is going to hit, as that usually ushers in the story and often includes limited time events.  True believers will resubscribe for that.

And the second is somebody complaining that Blizzard has deliberately chosen the date to mess up some other game’s launch.  It really isn’t a WoW expansion without that.

8 thoughts on “WoW Legion to Ship 22 Days Before Summer Ends

  1. bhagpuss

    I do wonder why, if it takes Blizzard two years to finish an expansion but they run out of content for the game a year after each one launches, they don’t just make expansions half the size and launch them annually? They could charge 75% of the current price each time and come out well ahead and they’d have a much better chance of holding onto subscribers during the shorter content droughts.

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  2. splatus

    Not sure Blizzard is really hurting their business anymore with the dry spells between expansions. The company created several franchises that easily take the slack. I wish CCP could copy that model….

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  3. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @splatus – I am not sure why so many people are ready to believe that Blizz doesn’t really care about or doesn’t need WoW any more. Even a million subs at a conservative $12 month to allow for the multi-month purchasing discount is $144,000,000 million if they could keep them subscribed for that down-side drought. That is a lot of money to be casually dismissive of.

    CCP is branching out, betting on the VR thing, but it is a double edged blade. It may be hazardous to put all your eggs in one basket, but it is also a hazard to not tend to the cow that is feeding your whole family as well, just to abuse a couple of farm metaphors.

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  4. jarhead

    WoW is dead. There is a portion of the player base that will never unsub. The sub cost is irrelevant to them. Blizzard stopped reporting subscription numbers. They have hit their baseline and its about 1 – 1.5 million EU/US plus another couple million “subs” in China.

    Personally I was a newbie for the start of the AQ war event. I was 60 by the time the gates opened. I semi casually raided everything from ZG to Icecrown. I subbed for about 6 months of Cata and 4 months around SOO launch in MOP. i had 1.5 mil gold by the end of wrath and after WoW went F2P i subbed for about 4 months of WOD which was long enough to get 7 toons to 100 and finish tourist mode with all of them. I have just under 2 years of tokens on my two accounts as well as goldcap in the bank and still the current game isnt worth my time to play for free.

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  5. Matt

    “don’t care about WoW” is pretty strong, but Blizzard definitely believes, given their cancellation of Titan and no further MMO plans, that the MMO’s day is done and further investment in the genre is unwarranted.

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  6. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Matt – Not being interested in new MMOs or expanding the genre is different from having an MMO that brought in nearly a billion dollars last year, down from over a billion the year before. That is still a garden to be tended and which will pay off for years to come.

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  7. Matt

    I’d assume that Blizzard is tending the garden as well as their business case on WoW says they ought to.

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