World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Release Date

Both Elnia from the Pink Pigtail Inn and Tobold have been having fun guessing the release date of the Cataclysm expansion for WoW. Hoping to start a trend, I figured I’d join in.

Cataclysm Release Date: 11th November 2010

Compared to Elina’s guess of February 1st 2010 and Tobold’s guess of early summer 2010, my estimation is clearly the longest away from present day. Maybe I’m just being negative, cynical or trying on some sub-concious form of reserve psychology with Blizzard but I can’t help but feel that a winter 2010 release date is the most likely.

So what do I have to back this guess up with? Nothing really, other than a hunch. Blizzard are slow, really slow, and always take longer with than anything than we expect so I see no reason not to be pessimistic about the chances of an early or mid 2010 release.

So what are your guesses for the Cataclysm release date?

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  1. Rhii says:

    I think it’s more likely to be closer to your date than Elnia’s. Maybe it’s the pessimist in me… maybe it’s the secret, repressed urge to get caught up so I can be in the front of the wave with this expansion instead of floundering at the back never able to catch up.

    But mostly it’s that things never drop as quickly as I think they should, and it’s a little too optimistic to be looking for this spring. We’d have a release date announcement very very soon, and preorders would be available for Christmas shoppers if it were going to be a February release. You can’t not take advantage of the holiday season like that…

    I think it’s just too soon to expect it.

  2. xXJayeDuBXx says:

    I agree, I think your guess is best, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it January of February 2011 either.

  3. @Rhii– I am agree with you. that Its very hard to take advantage of the holidays season.

  4. I think it’s a fair guess. They’ve said two Blizzard titles are coming out next year, and they said Starcraft 2 will be released Q1-2010 (and Diablo 3 won’t be until 2011), so I wouldn’t suspect Cataclysm any time soon around SC2. Keeping in mind that all their other expansion releases have been holiday season-ish too.

    • Gordon says:

      I agree. Considering that D3 has been delayed until 2011 – and how polished it currently looks and how long ago it was announced – there’s absolutely no reason to not think that Cataclysm will be the end of 2010.

  5. Naithin says:

    Sorry everyone else – but I hope that you’re right, Gordon! I do however fear, that Elnia might be on the money with it.

    I hope that you’re right for purely selfish reasons though. You see, over here in New Zealand, we have our awesomely huge holidays (from Uni) from Mid Nov through to beginning of March. So if Elnia is right, I’m screeewed. If you’re right, and it releases at a similar date to Wrath, then Yaaay! :P

  6. Dickie says:

    I have to agree with Gordon on this. Holiday sales are huge, and I just think Activision/Blizzard will make Cataclysm a part of their Holiday strategy.

  7. Rivs says:

    I was thinking November too, but they might do something to protect WoW from the Summer Duldrums.

  8. Rob says:

    The Mayans predict that Cataclysm will see a winter 2012 release.

    • Tesh says:

      My thoughts exactly, posted as such at Tobold’s place. Of course, the 11/11/11 date sounds good, too. If Blizzard were *really* nice, they would announce that the Old World of Azeroth (pre-expansions) were completely free to play four days later. ‘Twould be a nice birthday gift to me.

  9. [...] Gordon over at We Fly Spitfires says the release date will be 11th November, 2009. His reasoning? The simplest of all: a [...]

  10. Bronte says:

    Hey Gordon, I have made a post on my new blog about the inevitable release dates speculations. I also juxtaposed the comments from Elnia, Tobold and this post against some empirical data.

    Take a look and tell me what you think:

  11. [...] all the talk and speculation of the next World of Warcraft expansion release date, here, here, and here, I would like not to speculate a release date, but an event never done before in a orgasmic way. [...]

  12. To release Cataclysm that far from patch 3.3 they would have to add atleast one more major content patch. Or have a really long pre release world event.

    I think WoW will lose a large number of people if it takes that long to release Cataclysm.

    I mean 11 months without a content patch? I know that would make me quit.

    • Gordon says:

      Why couldn’t release more content patches in between?

      • For one Blizzard said that 3.3 would be the last major content patch.

        Two… I don’t see how they could tie anything into WotLK after defeating Arthas. I suppose you could say the same about Sunwell but that ties into the vials of eternity and Illidan. All of WotLK has been about defeating Arthas… after he is dead I don’t see how they could have another being upstage him in this expansion.

        A new content patch would have to be something directly leading up to Cataclysm… but then they may as well just release Cat.

        Not to say that they couldn’t… but I think the development time is focused on Cat… not putting out another content patch so they can delay Cat by 8-9 months.

  13. I expect it to be either Nov 2010 or Jan/Feb 2011, with one more major content patch between Icecrown and Cataclysm, like the Sunwell was for TBC.

  14. Explicit says:

    The only problem I have with Blizz waiting until Christmas is the fact that no matter when they release it they will top sale charts for week. They could release in march or april and have the same sales they would have at Christmas. I just dont want another BC fiasco with every copy being sold out for 2 weeks :P

  15. Ren says:

    The Feb 1st prediction seems massively unlikely. I can’t imagine blizz pushing people away from the final battle of wotlk and into cata so quickly. That would only leave about 2 months for anyone to complete it on the hardest setting. Plus, from a sales point of view it would be silly to release just after the holiday period. I would say it would be at least april before they released any additional content. And I would expect this to be similar to the addition of achievements/inscription etc before wotlk. Just a little something extra to do before the next major release and to get the buzz going, maybe with a couple more ony/voa type encounters. I think a June/July release would probably be the most ideal and probably what blizzard are aiming for. This would also fall in line with statements they’ve made concerning releasing expansions more regularly.

  16. Seth says:

    I wish it would come out soon early 2010 probably not. The reason being its too soon after a major content patch, I think they’ll probably milk 3.3 for a couple months. Sucks too cuz after all the updates and super fun changes and especially the graphics updates i’ve seen, i’m going to re-subscribe for sure. just waiting on cata to do it :/

  17. Matt- Rydaer Frostmourne says:

    Well my pallys just hit the BIG 80.. i dont c the point in gearing if its march 2010 but blizz cant hold attention 4 a year.

  18. Ubarl33thax says:

    I’m thinking it’ll either be Autumn or Winter 2010. Winter is for obvious reasons, but the fact is that during the summer, people will be off on holiday, and since most people play WoW on a computer as opposed to a laptop, and holidays aren’t exactly about playing WoW anyway, it probably won’t come out in the summer. However, it might come out directly after. Remember Arkham Asylum’s sales? And that was just after the summer. I mainly agree with Explicit, except that, as I said, sales probably wouldn’t be great during the summer. I know that I probably wouldn’t get it, because where I get my games they only have the US versions, and I go to Cyprus every year, so they’ll only have the European one which won’t work. Now, I doubt Blizzard will say, “some people will go to Cyprus and get the European one, which won’t work if they have the US one,” but you get what I’m saying. Now, release date aside… Goblins or Worgen? In my opinion: Goblins FTW!

  19. Fstodian says:

    No need to guess… when it’s anounced we will all know it

  20. Kristie says:

    My pick is the June 2010 for their anniversary.

  21. Rob says:

    Actually, I think it might be a Halloween release, mainly because Wrath came out in the winter, which makes since because its mainly ice related. Cat is going to have werewolves and Goblins, so it makes since to me that it would be mid to late October

  22. MentalDragon says:

    I’m thinking it will be between October and December 2010 because they still have one more wing of Ice Crown to open and then they have to give people the chance to get all the loot from there and revel in the shiny newness of it before blasting them with new races and everything although it would be UBER cool to be released say in June (most likely not as there would probably be an announcement already) for my birthday.

  23. Z says:

    Blizzard stated that we would be “complaining” about Goblin and Worgen Rogues BEFORE the next blizzcon (Which is Aug. 21, 2010). Also, Cataclysm has been in the works since mid-production of wrath meaning they started making Cataclysm in the middle of making Wrath. We also need to keep in mind that Blizzard released BC in winter, wrath in the fall, so why not make this a summer release? It’s the perfect time, they have already been working on the game for almost 3 years and it’s been rumored that they recently released the alpha which means beta in 2 – 3 months and game 4 – 5 months after beta so around July – August. Also, have you heard the reports of “earthquakes” around Azeroth? This could be the beginning of the pre expansion world event. My guess is August 15, 2009.

  24. hellomynameis says:

    When you view at the history of when expansions have been announced and released, you can clearly see that they mean for Cataclysm to get out November 2010.

    The Burning Crusade was officially announced on October 28th, 2005
    The Burning Crusade was released on January 16th, 2007
    (=1 year 2 months 14days)

    Wrath of the Lich King was officially announced on August 3rd, 2007
    Wrath of the Lich King was released on November 13th, 2008
    (=1 year 3 months 10days)

    Cataclysm was officially announced on August 21th, 2009
    Cataclysm WILL BE released BETWEEN November 7th AND November 31th, 2010

    so ye, winter 2010, or more accurate November 2010 is my guesstimate.

    • Gordon says:

      Honestly, I could see any date happening although I would say that I don’t think Blizzard have some highly organised, grand plan for it all. I think they just “want” to get it out ASAP but will happily sit on it until whenever they’re satisfied it’s done.

  25. hellomynameis says:

    Gordon: Every big company has a grand plan for it all. Thats how it works. They have annual budgets, they have promotion departements. Its not good business releasing a game in the summertime. So Q4 2010 or Q1 2011 is most likely to be the release. And since they said 2010, then Q4 = Oct-Dec 2010. So I feel fairly confident when I predict November 2010. What will Sept 2010, then they will most likely let us know the real date.

    • Gordon says:

      I think I predicted a late 2010 release in other of my posts so I can’t really argue with you here :) I guess I’m just hoping we’ll both be wrong! 10 months is a long time to wait :(

      • hellomynameis says:

        Yupp, I know, just backup up your “hunch” with facts :) ..I hope we’re wrong aswell. But hey, isnt it always like this.. the last couple of months before an expansion is painfully long?

      • hellomynameis says:

        here is some more backing up of your hunch btw:

        ALPHA TBC August 2006 (2months of testing)
        BETA TBC October 2006 (3months of testing)
        GOLD TBC January 2007 (5months after alpha)

        ALPHA WOTLK April 2008 (3months of testing)
        BETA WOTLK July 2008 (4months of testing)
        GOLD WOTLK November 2008 (7months after alpha)

        ALPHA CATACLYSM January 2010 (possibly 3-4 months of testing)
        BETA CATACLYSM May 2010 (possibly 4-5months of testing)
        GOLD CATACLYSM Ocktober 2010 (9months after alpha)

        lvl60-70 = 5months of testing
        lvl70-80 = 7 months of testing
        lvl1-60 + 80-85 = 9-10months of testing..not highly unlikely imho :)

  26. Jake says:

    I would say no earlier than Summer 2011, Blizzard is always known for really testing things out like expansions and I don’t think it will be any different here.

  27. hellomynameis says:

    3.3.5 patch news is out, and I still stand by my original comment; Q4 = Oct-Dec 2010 ;)

  28. luvy duvy says:

    i agree with hellomynameisF.U. the release will be a month before or Dec 2010 they will take the advantage of selling there product to the max due to christmas season the item will probably be the next elmo where people will selll the thing on ebay for like 1000s of $$

    they just announced it recently so they can get everyone to hunger for the game

    last time i bought wotlk by the time i got it only a week later everyone could just download it from to upgrade account and play it so i’m just gonna wait to download it no need to wait on a long line to buy a game where you can be in the comfort of your own home and just get it with a click of a mouse

  29. Sebation says:

    I hear from an employee of Game Stop it will be released August 2010.

  30. CJ says:

    near the 24 of april check out look at the Blazing Hippogryph no “can only be summoned in nourthrend or outland” so maybe a bit before 24 of april or at the same time but who knows

  31. Leyly says:

    Having looked and read various info on different sites I feel that blizz will release this in the summer.

    If you look at the quote from Blizz themselves and this being the last major content before catalyscm then even though they could make you wait they also know that they will lose a lot of customers in the meantime if nothing new is put out.

    Summer is a strange time to release anything but at the same time there are also no major releases so it makes sense for a big company to throw their goods out then as the competition is small.

    All the major sellers are now selling the game on pre-order which they can do within a year of release but its normally less than 6 months once it becomes a pre-order.

    I would skip March, April and May as they would have already released a date by now, probably even June – I would go for an early August release date. I feel if they leave it too long them they could lose quite a lot of players to other games.

    I understand that in the early years of WOW then timed releases had 2 year gaps but that was a few years ago and people these days want new stuff quicker, it used to take upto a year to get your char upto the max level 60 and now you can go from 1 – 80 in a week or two, in this time of gaming people want everything yesterday and Blizz knows that.

  32. dave says:

    For everyone who thinks that bliz mainly realeses in November only Vannila and wrath launched in nov BC launched in February as well as activision is calling most of the date shots now and since they can put out games the same day 1 year apart they will not let bliz just take there time beta sign ups have already actually started as well as Bliz knows that Square is going to hurt them badly this year and they need something big to keep their pop up as at least a quarter of wow players come from FFxi and will be going to FFXIV which since alpha testing just started and beta is supposed to start in the next month or so square will prob be looking at a aug to sep launch and Bliz is probably going to try to release around then as well

  33. CanuckGamer says:

    I totally agree to a summer release. Sine Blizz has announced Beta testing to start sometime in April. I believe 3.3.5 will come out May, 3.9 will come out sometime in June or July then a month or so after Cat will come out.. That i just my speculation though (mmo-champ is my source)

  34. Zoolthemighty says:

    If like me you have preordered your copy already game told me it was officaily set for november but it could be pushed back but if you read the wow site under devolepment section there currently working on the ruby sanctum so summer won’t be boring unless its not added until towards the end and in that case blizzard are really bustin my balls on alot of the patches reasons im not going to explain

  35. Wolfshead says:

    I think a good question to ask is why is Blizzard having their BlizzCon in October? Seems a bit late. The only reason I think is that they are going to be releasing Cataclysm after and not before.

    If they release Cataclsym after BlizzCon they can use the event for more worldwide promotion. If they release it before BlizzCon I think it would be anti-climatic.

    Also they will be releasing one major title Starcraft 2 *before* BlizzCon. My money is that Cataclsym will be released after BlizzCon just in time for Christmas. Let’s not forget that redoing a large part of Azeroth plus creating brand new zones is a heck of a lot of work — not to mention Blizzard’s penchant for delivering a polished experienced.

  36. Oso says:

    Hope they release the exp soon becasue many ppl is so bored with the game, northrend is boring same things over and over, thousands, maybe millions of people dont want or need emblems of triumph so random heroics is not longer a fun entertainment, many people never go back to outland, ICC was a good game enhancement but wait one week for get in again is a another big fail of blizzard.

  37. random says:

    ive heard its going to be nov 1st plus ruby sanctum is a nice thing to do while ur waiting

  38. tesho says:

    Release date is always longer than thay say so enjoy doing some real life upgrade

  39. [...] my predicted release date of 11th November 2010 isn’t going to happen (would’ve been pretty awesome if I’d been right) but at [...]

  40. Rob says:

    wow, I was way off! Apparently, the release date for Cat is gonna be December 7th… Of this year, of course.

    I found this out at

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