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Friday, October 13, 2000

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Warcraft III Delayed Until Late 2001
3:09 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Gamecenter has reported that they have confirmed with Blizzard Entertainment that Warcraft III, a real-time 3D RTS/RPG hybrid, has indeed slipped to an expected late 2001 release. As the article notes, this news does not come as a shock -- Blizzard has a long history of delaying games and missing projected release dates. However, such delays have nothing to do with technical issues; they are almost always the result of Blizzard's obsession with detail, depth and balanced gameplay.

Even viewed in light of the massive Diablo II, WC3 is by far Blizzard's most ambitious project. The 3D RTS will feature many RPG-like elements, with small parties led by Hero characters that can gain stats and acquire better weapons during the course of the game. Players will be able to choose from one of five separate 'races'; balancing all five armies so that combat isn't unfair and yet making each race distinct and interesting is going to be a massive undertaking, but Blizzard is certainly up to the task.

Here's an excerpt from the Gamecenter article which details the delay and its effect on the Mac version of the title:

 Blizzard Entertainment has confirmed that its eagerly awaited real-time strategy game, Warcraft III, has been delayed and is now scheduled for release in the second half of 2001. When Blizzard announced the game at last year's European Computer Trade Show in London, the company stated that it planned to get the game out for a late 2000 release.

The delay is no big surprise, considering Blizzard's track record; the company has consistently been late on nearly all of its games. However, the delays haven't really mattered in the end, as almost all of Blizzard's games have had considerable critical and commercial success. Diablo II, released this year after two years of delays, shot straight to the top of the sales charts and is easily one of the most successful games of the year.

Blizzard changed the text on its Warcraft III page to say that the game would be released later next year. Although the site indicated that the Mac version would be released at the end of this year, a Blizzard spokesperson told Gamecenter that was a mistake. Blizzard's Debra Osborne told Gamecenter that the company would try to release the Mac version simultaneously with the PC version, or soon after, as it did with Diablo II.

As with Diablo II, Warcraft III will be yet another game that fans will be looking forward to for a long, long time. We've got a suspicion that it will be equally worth the wait.

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Archives  News  Warcraft III Delayed Until Late 2001