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Shadowlands has secured more pre-sales than any other World of Warcraft expansion in history

WoW Shadowlands
(Image credit: Blizzard)

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands has become the game's most anticipated expansion to date, securing more pre-sales than any other expansion in the game's storied history.

According to our pals at PC Gamer (opens in new tab), Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said: "We've seen unprecedented engagement trends since the [World of Warcraft] subscriber base doubled following the launch of Classic last year. Pre-sales of the upcoming Shadowlands expansion are the highest we've seen at this stage ahead of any release." 

Kotick reportedly added that World of Warcraft is one of the few franchises that generates "over $1 billion" in annual net bookings, alongside its other fan-favourite series, Call of Duty.

"Franchise engagement is at its highest level for this stage ahead of an expansion in a decade," added Activision Blizzard COO Daniel Alegre.

This doesn't, of course, make it the most successful or the most profitable of all time – we'll have to wait to see how sales continue after launch for that.

As we reported earlier this week, Blizzard has now confirmed that the new expansion World of Warcraft: Shadowlands will be available from November 23, 2020 (opens in new tab) at 3pm PST (that's 10pm UK time). The pre-launch event will take place on November 10, and the expansion's first raid, Castle Nathria, is expected to roll out on December 8.

The expansion was initially announced in November 2019 and was first slated for a late October release, but was subsequently delayed. The World of Warcraft team took the time to thank the WoW community, including the beta testers and players who have been leveling up in the Shadowlands pre-patch. 

The announcement stated that the extra time has been used "to further polish the expansion and shore up the endgame, including overhauling the combat and rewards in the Maw, and reworking the Covenant systems to make your choice more immediately helpful and have clearer long-term goals".

Find out about all the changes to character classes and levelling (opens in new tab) in Shadowlands.

Vikki Blake
Vikki Blake

Vikki Blake is GamesRadar+'s Weekend Reporter. Vikki works tirelessly to ensure that you have something to read on the days of the week beginning with 'S', and can also be found contributing to outlets including the BBC, Eurogamer, and Vikki also runs a weekly games column at NME, and can be frequently found talking about Destiny 2 and Silent Hill on Twitter.