Paris, France– October 30, 2008– Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. announced today a series of European events for the upcoming launch of Wrath of the Lich King™, the latest expansion to its highly acclaimed massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), World of Warcraft®. At midnight on the 13th of November, 2008, key retailers will open their doors to players wanting to be the first to purchase and play the next installment in the World of Warcraft series.
“We’ve been looking forward to these launch events all year,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment.“This is one of the few opportunities we get to meet with players in person, and we can’t wait to celebrate the release of Wrath of the Lich King with them.”
Here in the UK, the launch event will take place at HMV in London at 150 Oxford Street, London, W1D 1DJ, with doors opening at 00:01 on the night of the 12th/13th. As well as being among the first to acquire the expansion, attendees will have an opportunity to meet with COO Paul Sams and associate producer Lee Sparks, who will be present to welcome players and sign their copies. Similar launch events will be held internationally in North America, Taipei, and Seoul. Full details on the specific locations and plans for each of these events can be found at www.wow-europe.com/midnight.
Attendees will have the opportunity to purchase the standard edition of the game as well as the limited Collector’s Edition, which contains The Art of World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King hardback book; Frosty, an exclusive in-game frost wyrm pet; a behind-the-scenes DVD; the official soundtrack containing 21 tracks; an exclusive mouse pad displaying a map of the newly opened continent of Northrend; and two World of Warcraft Trading Card Game starter decks with two exclusive cards available only in the Collector’s Edition.
For those unable to attend the official launch events, hundreds of stores across Europe will open at midnight to celebrate the launch. Players should check with local retailers for their midnight opening plans.
The January 2007 launch of the first World of Warcraft expansion, The Burning Crusade®, saw thousands of players attend the European midnight opening events. The Burning Crusade went on to sell nearly 2.4 million copies worldwide within its first 24 hours of availability, and approximately 3.5 million within its first month.
With more than 11 million players worldwide, World of Warcraft has become the most popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game to date. World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King sends players to the cold, forbidding continent of Northrend, where the fearsome Lich King Arthas Menethil, last seen in Warcraft® III: The Frozen Throne®, works from his secluded citadel to bring all of Azeroth under his twisted dominion. Players will battle the Lich King’s undead army from the shores of Howling Fjord and Borean Tundra to the seat of his unholy power in Icecrown Glacier. In addition, players will be able to advance characters to level 80 and gain powerful new abilities while exploring several new zones and dungeons. The expansion also introduces a number of exciting new features, including an achievement system, expanded player-vs.-player combat options such as siege weapons and destructible buildings, and the game’s first Hero class -- the necromantic death knight.
For more information on World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, visit the official website at www.wow-europe.com/wrath. With multiple games in development, Blizzard Entertainment has numerous positions currently available. Visit http://eu.blizzard.com/en/jobs for more information and to learn how to apply.
World of Warcraft’s Subscriber Definition
World of Warcraft subscribers include individuals who have paid a subscription fee or have an active prepaid card to play World of Warcraft, as well as those who have purchased the game and are within their free month of access. Internet Game Room players who have accessed the game over the last thirty days are also counted as subscribers. The above definition excludes all players under free promotional subscriptions, expired or cancelled subscriptions, and expired prepaid cards. Subscribers in licensees’ territories are defined along the same rules.
About Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.
Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft® and the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® series, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. ( www.blizzard.com), a division of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI), is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry’s most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard Entertainment’s track record includes ten #1-selling games and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company’s online-gaming service, Battle.net®, is one of the largest in the world, with millions of active users.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in this press release that involves Blizzard Entertainment’s expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Blizzard Entertainment generally uses words such as“outlook,”“will,”“could,”“would,”“might,”“remains,”“to be,”“plans,”“believes,”“may,”“expects,”“intends,”“anticipates,”“estimate,” future,”“plan,”“positioned,”“potential,”“project,”“remain,”“scheduled,”“set to,”“subject to,”“upcoming,” and similar expressions to help identify forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause Blizzard Entertainment’s actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements set forth in this release include, but are not limited to, sales of Blizzard Entertainment’s titles, shifts in consumer spending trends, the seasonal and cyclical nature of the interactive game market, Blizzard Entertainment’s ability to predict consumer preferences among competing hardware platforms (including next-generation hardware), declines in software pricing, product returns and price protection, product delays, retail acceptance of Blizzard Entertainment’s products, adoption rate and availability of new hardware and related software, industry competition, rapid changes in technology and industry standards, protection of proprietary rights, litigation against Blizzard Entertainment, maintenance of relationships with key personnel, customers, vendors and third-party developers, domestic and international economic, financial and political conditions and policies, foreign exchange rates, integration of recent acquisitions and the identification of suitable future acquisition opportunities, Activision Blizzard’s success in integrating the operations of Activision Publishing and Vivendi Games in a timely manner, or at all, and the combined company’s ability to realize the anticipated benefits and synergies of the transaction to the extent, or in the timeframe, anticipated. Other such factors include additional risk factors identified in Activision Blizzard’s most recent annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information available to Blizzard Entertainment and Activision Blizzard as of the date of this release, and neither Blizzard Entertainment nor Activision Blizzard assumes any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements believed to be true when made may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of the future performance of Blizzard Entertainment or Activision Blizzard and are subject to risks, uncertainties, and other factors, some of which are beyond its control and may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.