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Blizzard dates Cataclysm launch as December 7

Latest addition to World of Warcraft universe to ship in standard and Collector's editions

Blizzard Entertainment has finally lifted the lid on plans for the launch of World of Warcraft's latest expansion - Cataclysm - with December 7 the day now inked in for release.

The new content, which will see large portions of the original land of Azeroth reshaped by the eponymous devastation, has been in beta for several months, and previous speculation had pointed towards early November for a launch window.

But the company - well-known for taking as much time as needed in order to apply the desired amount of polish - has now confirmed the precise date, and also revealed that a Collector's Edition will also be available.

The expansion itself will cost $39.99 in the US, while the Collector's Edition has been priced at $79.99 - UK or European price points are yet to be unveiled.

"Cataclysm includes the best content we've ever created for World of Warcraft," said CEO and co-founder Mike Morhaime. "It's not just an expansion, but a re-creation of much of the original Azeroth, complete with epic new high-level adventures for current players and a redesigned leveling experience for those just starting out.

"With the help of our beta testers, we're putting on the final polish, and we look forward to welcoming gamers around the world to enjoy it in just a couple of months."

World of Warcraft has become the standard by which most people now judge the success or failure of MMO titles, with none managing to top the 12.1 million peak subscriber levels for a Western game so far.

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