Few games enjoy the success of World of Warcraft, and even fewer enjoy the longevity. The game was released in 2004 and, in the past 13 years, has changed quite a lot. Between upgrades and expansions, the game has gotten much bigger, expanding its footprint, level caps and more. But, for those who have played the game from the beginning, there is a longing for the simpler days of the game.
One way that players have dealt with this longing is to create their own servers, running original server software. This allowed people with clean installs of the game to play the game as it was originally launched. The problem, of course, is that this is copyright infringement. Blizzard has sent cease-and-desist letters to those running the servers for years in an attempt to maintain control over their brand.
This week, at Blizzcon, Blizzard announced that the company has finally accepted that there is a subset of players who enjoy the original game, and will be releasing World of Warcraft Classic, along with classic servers. This will allow players the choice of playing the game pre-expansion - circa 2004. J. Allen Brack, Executive Producer of the game, told the crowd,
Before I get to the big news today, I want to talk about ice cream. I understand that for some of you, your favorite flavor is vanilla.
Fans of World of Warcraft around the world, we hear you. I am pleased and also a little bit nervous to announce the development of a classic server option for World of Warcraft. This is a larger endeavor than you might imagine, but we are committed to making an authentic, Blizzard-quality classic experience.
What we don't know is... any of the details. We haven't got a release date, in-game footage, or even exactly what we will see when the product hits the market. Will the game play with original assets, or will it play with more modern assets? Will it be available in 2018, 2019? Hopefully we will find out some of this information in the more near future.