World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade Classic (opens in new tab)'s return to Outland will begin on June 1, according to leaked Battle.net screenshots surfaced this week.
Appearing on Reddit (opens in new tab) and spotted by Wowhead (opens in new tab), a number of players have reportedly been served notices announcing The Burning Crusade's launch date this summer. That tracks with existing news that the expansion would arrive this year (opens in new tab), following a currently-ongoing beta (opens in new tab).
The announcement was quickly pulled, and while multiple variations of the image were spotted, it appears nobody was able to get into the post itself (images quickly disappearing on refresh or scrolling). While this could mean the leaks were a forgery, it's also possible Blizzard fired the news early—if it's the latter, I'd expect an official announcement sooner than later.
While launching as an expansion to WoW Classic, The Burning Crusade won't completely replace existing Vanilla servers. Players who want to remain with Classic as-is will be moved to these Classic-only realms, while existing servers move forwards into the bold future of 2007. For a fee, Blizz will also let you clone a character, letting you keep both a Classic and TBC version of your favourite adventurer.
Ahead of the Dark Portal opening, thousands of WoW Classic players are restarting the levelling climb from scratch (opens in new tab) on a low-population realm—partly to help new players jump aboard ahead of TBC, but also as an attempt to reboot a game that's become plagued by botters and an inflated economy.