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Posts with tag fourth-quarter

Blizzard: Wrath will be out in Q4 2008

In an uncharacteristic display of candor, Blizzard CEO and co-founder Mike Morhaime confirmed during a conference call that the much-anticipated Wrath of the Lich King expansion will be released between October to December of this year. Shacknews quotes Morhaime saying, "we have said that it will be coming out this year," referring to earlier speculation stemming from a Vivendi press release. "I can tell you it's not coming in the July to September quarter," Morhaime states, and mentions that Beta testing "is going very well".

The confirmation of any release date is uncommon practice for Blizzard, whose common response to such questions is "when it's ready." Apparently, Blizzard is confident that Wrath of the Lich King will be ready within the year. From the polish that can be seen in the current Beta, this doesn't seem far from the truth. In the same conference call, Morhaime also discussed competing MMOs, the status of ongoing development (that is to say, very little information), and how World of Warcraft has been refined as a game over the past four years.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

Analyst: The9 did very well last quarter

Chinese company The9 (which is the licensee for World of Warcraft in China) saw their stock rise after an analyst posted higher-than-expected estimates of their fourth-quarter profits. In short, more people are playing WoW in China than ever before. Which isn't surprising at all, given that right before the fourth quarter started, The9 released Burning Crusade over there. And we all know what kind of effect that had on the game on this side of the world.

However, there may still be dark clouds on the horizon for The9. As you probably know, Blizzard recently merged (along with its parent company, Vivendi) with Activision. And Activision is a competitor with EA... which owns a 15 percent stake in The9. So while The9 currently licenses WoW from Blizzard to sell and service in China, that relationship may be short-lived. And you can bet that will have an effect on the stock, if and when that deal ends.

But for now, The9 is going gangbusters, and Chinese players are enjoying Outland as much as we did last summer.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, The Burning Crusade

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