Blizzard have announced that its subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game will be available throughout Europe on 11 February, 2005.
At launch the game will be available in 2 versions. The regular version, costing £29.99, will include one-months free subscription to the game whilst the collector's edition, costing £49.99, will include the 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.
For the initial shipment, the standard edition of World of Warcraft will be available in the aforementioned languages in two unique box covers representing the major factions of the world, Alliance and Horde. Both boxes will include the full version of the game on four CD-ROM disks.
The game and packaging have been fully localised in English, French and German; a localised box and manual will be available for Spanish and Italian players.
"We are thrilled to welcome European players into the World of Warcraft," said Mike Morhaime, president and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment. "It's been exciting to see so many people playing the game in North America and Korea, and we hope that European players will enjoy World of Warcraft just as much."
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 basic month-to-month subscription plan costs £8.99 per month, while the three-month plan costs £8.39 per month, and the six-month plan £7.69 per month. World of Warcraft subscription fees can be paid with all major credit cards, many local cards, direct debit and pre-paid game cards, the latter of which will be available in retail outlets where World of Warcraft is sold.
World of Warcraft has already shown strong consumer demand in Europe with beta registrations topping 400,000 subscribers and retail pre-orders exceeding 110,000 units. In North America, World of Warcraft sold through over 240,000 copies to customers during its first 24 hours of availability. The game has since sold over 600,000 copies in the region and has also shattered all previous North American concurrency records, achieving over 200,000 simultaneous players during the 2004 holiday season.