'World of Warcraft: Cataclysm' expansion confirmed for December 2010

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The Independent Tech

A release date for the next World of Warcraft expansion pack has now been set: December 7, 2010 will see the worldwide launch of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.

World of Warcraft is the world's most popular game of its type, a hugely participative online role-playing game, where players create one or a number of in-game characters and team up to complete quests together.

Cataclysm, which is the third expansion pack for the game, after 2007's The Burning Crusade and 2008's Wrath of the Lich King, has been undergoing a closed public beta test since June, with the almost inevitable leaks of early gameplay footage following shortly after.

Among other things, the new expansion adds new areas, quests, playable creature types, and difficulty modes. The pack is expected to cost around $40 / €40, with a special Collector's Edition running to $80, and month-to-month WoW subscriptions at $15 / €13.

World of Warcraft is widely credited with popularizing both Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games and subscription-based computer games.

It was not the first, nor shall it be the last, and there are many other worthy contenders, but many newcomers to the genre have been unable to depose WoW from its throne. That may start to shift as developers and publishers seek traction by bringing across established brands from fiction and film.

Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, which inspired much of the fantasy fiction genre as well as the MMORPG equivalent, recently re-entered the fray with a free-to-play offering, Star Trek: Online, focused on Gene Roddenberry's universe, and the upcoming Star Wars: The Old Republic promises storyline as well as social interaction.

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