Activision Blizzard announced on Thursday that the fifth expansion to World of Warcraft, Warlords of Draenor, will be released on November 13, 2014.
Gamers who pre-purchase the expansion now, whether it's the digital Standard Edition for $49.99 or the $69.99 Digital Deluxe Edition, will be able to instantly advance one character to level 90. However, the fine print states that gamers moving up from the Starter Edition won't be able to level up their character to 90 until the trial restrictions are removed, which could take 72 hours.
"Players will encounter an epic cast of legendary characters and a huge amount of content to explore in Warlords of Draenor," said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "The countdown to the arrival of one of the greatest threats in Warcraft history has begun. We can't wait to send everyone through the Dark Portal this November."
Serving as the fifth expansion pack, Warlords of Draenor follows Mists of Panderia, which was launched back in September 2012. Other expansions include Cataclysm (December 2010), Wrath of the Litch King (November 2008), and The Burning Crusade (January 2007).
The new expansion requires that customers have Mists of Pandaria already installed.
Statista reports that World of Warcraft had 6.8 million subscribers in Q2 2014, a slight drop from the 7.6 million subscribers in Q1 2014. The company saw its biggest peak in subscriptions during Q3 2010 and Q4 2010 with 12 million. Around 10.3 million subscribers were reported in Q3 2011, which stayed rather level until Q3 2012. Subscriptions are expected to rise later this year when the new expansion is finally released.
In addition to the two digital-only versions, Blizzard will also offer an $89.99 Collector's Edition that will be sold in retail stores. This version includes everything in the Digital Deluxe Edition plus a Warlords of Draenor mouse pad, a behind-the-scenes Blu-ray/DVD set, a CD soundtrack and a full-color art book. Supplies will be limited, the company's press release warned.