IRVINE, Calif. - October 28, 2008 - Blizzard Entertainment® today announced plans for special midnight signing events at retail locations around the country to commemorate the launch of World of Warcraft®: Wrath of the Lich King™ on November 13. Each location will open its doors at 12:00 a.m. local time, allowing attendees to be among the first to get their copies of the highly anticipated World of Warcraft expansion. Blizzard Entertainment developers and executives will be in attendance to meet players and sign copies of the game, and increased quantities of the Collector’s Edition will be on hand for purchase. Official launch events will be held in the following locations:
In addition to these four US locations, similar events will be held internationally in Paris, London, Berlin, Madrid, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Mexico City, Taipei, and Seoul. Full details on the specific locations and plans for each of these events can be found at www.worldofwarcraft.com/midnight.
The January 2007 launch events for the first World of Warcraft expansion, The Burning Crusade®, drew thousands of attendees around the world. The Burning Crusade went on to sell nearly 2.4 million copies within its first 24 hours of availability, and approximately 3.5 million within its first month. Indicating that anticipation is equally high for the new expansion, Walmart.com has stated that Wrath of the Lich King has already achieved among the highest number of preorders ever sold on their site.
For those unable to attend the official launch events, thousands of stores around the world will be open at midnight to celebrate the launch. Players should check with local retailers for their midnight opening plans.
“We’ve been looking forward to these launch events all year,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “This is one of the few opportunities we get to meet with players in person, and we can’t wait to celebrate the release of Wrath of the Lich King with them.”
“GameStop expects World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King to be one of the biggest launches of the holiday season,” stated Bob McKenzie, senior vice president of merchandising, GameStop. “In fact, nationwide we are celebrating the release with GameStop ‘Lunar Fests’ at over 3,000 of our stores at midnight on November 13, so players can purchase the expansion and start exploring the new content right away.”
“In a year of record-breaking releases, Wrath of the Lich King is generating great excitement and will be another significant release,” said Jill Hamburger, Best Buy vice president games & movies. “Blizzard Entertainment titles have had tremendous success in our stores. We are excited about bringing gamers a great experience at the New York City launch event and providing them first access to Wrath of the Lich King at midnight openings at Best Buy locations across the country.”
With more than 11 million players worldwide, World of Warcraft has become the most popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game to date. World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King sends players to the cold, forbidding continent of Northrend, where the fearsome Lich King Arthas Menethil, last seen in Warcraft® III: The Frozen Throne®, works from his secluded citadel to bring all of Azeroth under his twisted dominion. Players will battle the Lich King’s undead army from the shores of Howling Fjord and Borean Tundra to the seat of his unholy power in Icecrown Glacier. In addition, players will be able to advance characters to level 80 and gain powerful new abilities while exploring several new zones and dungeons. The expansion also introduces a number of exciting new features, including an achievement system, expanded player-vs.-player combat options such as siege weapons and destructible buildings, and the game’s first Hero class -- the necromantic death knight.
For more information on World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, visit the official website at www.worldofwarcraft.com/wrath. With multiple games in development, Blizzard Entertainment has numerous positions currently available. Visit www.blizzard.com/jobs for more information and to learn how to apply.
World of Warcraft subscribers include individuals who have paid a subscription fee or have an active prepaid card to play World of Warcraft, as well as those who have purchased the game and are within their free month of access. Internet Game Room players who have accessed the game over the last thirty days are also counted as subscribers. The above definition excludes all players under free promotional subscriptions, expired or cancelled subscriptions, and expired prepaid cards. Subscribers in licensees' territories are defined along the same rules.
Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft® and the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® franchises, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. (www.blizzard.com), a division of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI), is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry's most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard Entertainment’s track record includes sixteen #1-selling games and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company's online-gaming service, Battle.net®, is one of the largest in the world, with millions of active players.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in this press release that involves Blizzard Entertainment’s expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Blizzard Entertainment generally uses words such as “outlook,” “will,” “could,” “would,” “might,” “remains,” “to be,” “plans,” “believes,” “may,” “expects,” “intends,” “anticipates,” “estimate,” “future,” “plan,” “positioned,” “potential,” “project,” “remain,” “scheduled,” “set to,” “subject to,” “upcoming” and similar expressions to identify forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause Blizzard Entertainment’s actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements set forth in this release include, but are not limited to, sales levels of Blizzard Entertainment’s titles, shifts in consumer spending trends, the impact of the current macroeconomic environment, the seasonal and cyclical nature of the interactive game market, declines in software pricing, product returns and price protection, product delays, retail acceptance of Blizzard Entertainment’s products, competition from the used game market, industry competition and competition from other forms of entertainment, rapid changes in technology, industry standards and consumer preferences, including interest in specific genres such as real-time strategy, action–role-playing and massively multiplayer online games, protection of proprietary rights, litigation against Blizzard Entertainment, maintenance of relationships with key personnel, customers, licensees, licensors, vendors and third-party developers, including the ability to attract, retain and develop key personnel and developers who can create high quality “hit” titles, counterparty risks relating to customers, licensees, licensors and manufacturers, domestic and international economic, financial and political conditions and policies, foreign exchange rates and tax rates, and the identification of suitable future acquisition opportunities, and the other factors identified in the risk factors section of Activision Blizzard’s most recent annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information available to Blizzard Entertainment and Activision Blizzard as of the date of this release, and neither Blizzard Entertainment nor Activision Blizzard assumes any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements believed to be true when made may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of the future performance of Blizzard Entertainment or Activision Blizzard and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond its control and may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.