World of Warcraft: Dragonflight launches this year, Blizzard says

Pre-orders for World of Warcraft: Dragonflight went live today with a promise that the expansion will launch sometime this year.

Blizzard’s store page (opens in new tab) for Dragonflight says that “World of Warcraft: Dragonflight will be available on or before December 31, 2022.” The developer had not previously announced any specific release window for the upcoming expansion. As Wowhead (opens in new tab) notes, this matches with Blizzard’s previous notice that Shadowlands Season 4 would have a shorter runtime.

Many players had not expected Dragonflight to launch until 2023, and are now divided on whether or not this is good news. “I am now worried about short beta cycles and how much there will be to do,” Reddit (opens in new tab) user Prubably writes. In response, fellow Redditor DenseDistrict3 says “I am worried about yet another rushed expansion.”

The skepticism comes in the wake of the last expansion, Shadowlands, which received a fairly negative response after launch (opens in new tab), owing to long droughts between updates and a lack of compelling long-term content.

World of Warcraft expansions are typically announced one year before their eventual release date, and Dragonflight was revealed in April. The announcement timing was always sure to be a little off, however, with BlizzCon canceled for the year.

Pre-orders for Dragonflight start at $49.99. That’s pricier than the previous expansion, Shadowlands, at $39.99, but it’s not an unprecedented ask for a WoW add-on. Legion and Battle for Azeroth both launched at $49.99.

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