Wednesday, October 25, 2006

World of Warcraft:The Burning Crusade game delayed

Vivendi's Blizzard Entertainment said on Tuesday it would delay release of "World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade" until January, missing the holiday season, to give developers time to polish the much anticipated online video game.

The new title is the first expansion of the original "World of Warcraft," offering new content and game play.

"World of Warcraft" was released in November 2004. It now has more than 7 million subscribers globally and is one of the world's biggest massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG), supporting thousands of players at once.

The game has become a cultural phenomenon among young people, and recently inspired an episode of satiric U.S. cable television cartoon "South Park."

Analysts said any impact from the delay would likely be temporary since most "World of Warcraft" revenue comes from players' subscriptions, which cost about $15 per month in the United States.

Players buy game software in stores or online and then pay monthly subscription fees to compete in the online world.

"I don't think it matters much ... They'll get it back in January," said Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter. He said delaying the game could impact revenues by $50 million to $100 million in Vivendi's fourth quarter.

Blizzard spokesman Shon Damron declined comment regarding the financial impact of the delay.

Pachter forecast the new game would sell millions of units.

Blizzard has not disclosed pricing or a specific release date for the new title. The original game sells for around $20.

Your Ad Here