World of Warcraft: Shadowlands delayed to later this year

WoW Shadowlands
(Image credit: Blizzard Entertinment)

Blizzard announced today that World of Warcraft: Shadowlands won't make its October 27 release date. The developer still plans to release the expansion sometime before the end of 2020, but doesn't have a new release date to announce yet.

According to a statement from WoW executive producer John Hight, the delay will allow time for "additional polish," balancing, and work on the endgame, which he says has been a challenge in part because Shadowlands is "one of the most intricate expansions" in WoW history, and in part because the developers have had to work from home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Hight also announced that the Shadowlands pre-patch, which will set the stage for the expansion's release, will be pushed out to players on October 13. That patch will include "revamped character leveling," the new Exile's Reach starting zone, and "a host of new character customization options."

There'll also be a pre-launch defense against the undead Scourge, but that won't happen until we're closer to the new Shadowlands release date, whatever it ends up being.

Tyler Wilde
Executive Editor

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley during the '80s and '90s, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on early PCs. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now, and PS1 classic Bushido Blade (that's right: he had Bleem!). Tyler joined PC Gamer in 2011, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. His hobbies include amateur boxing and adding to his 1,200-plus hours in Rocket League.