Representatives from World of Warcraft
developers Blizzard Entertainment have confirmed that the MMO's latest expansion, Burning Crusade
, originally slated for a late-November release, will see a delay until January of 2007.
Though no critical reasons have been given for the delay, the statement cites a desire to add a final layer of polish to the expansion, through its recently-opened closed beta, before the expansion's final release.
"Blizzard began the closed-beta phase of testing on World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
earlier this month," the statement reads. "The January 2007 release window will allow extra time for current beta testers to participate in the final stages of development and continue providing valuable feedback."
It continues, "By adding a few extra weeks to the development cycle beyond its original target date, Blizzard will be able to extend the closed beta test and further refine the new content that will ship with the game."
"We appreciate the enthusiasm surrounding World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
, and we're excited about putting the finishing touches on all of the new content," said Mike Morhaime, president and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "We feel confident that the extra time spent polishing the game will result in the high-quality experience that our players expect and deserve."