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Velizy, France - 1st September, 2004 - Today at Games Stars Live, London, Blizzard Entertainment® showcased World of WarcraftTM, its upcoming massively multiplayer online role-playing game set in the rich fiction of the Warcraft® universe. Additionally, visitors to the show had the opportunity to play the critically-acclaimed US closed-beta version of the game and experience the vibrant world of Azeroth firsthand.

In World of Warcraft, players assume the roles of legendary Heroes and interact with thousands of other players online as they explore, adventure, and quest across a vast world. Whether journeying together or fighting against each other in epic battles, players will form friendships, forge alliances, and compete with enemies for power and glory.

"We're pleased to announce that World of Warcraft is nearing completion," said Mike Morhaime, Blizzard Entertainment president and co-founder. "When we set out to create a massively multiplayer online role-playing game, our goal was to give players an incredibly dynamic online gaming experience filled with endless possibilities while expanding the scope of the Warcraft universe. We look forward to accomplishing this goal with the release of World of Warcraft."

Building on the success of the Warcraft series, Blizzard hopes to expand the MMORPG genre by creating a deep, immersive, user-friendly experience that will appeal to both veteran gamers and casual players alike. World of Warcraft takes place three years following the aftermath of Warcraft III: The Frozen ThroneTM, when a great tension has settled over the ravaged world of Azeroth. As the various races begin to rebuild their shattered kingdoms, new threats, both ancient and terrifying, have arisen to plague the world once again.

Key features in the game include:

  • Immense, detailed world spanning miles of terrain and featuring hundreds of familiar locations throughout the rich Warcraft universe, as well as all-new, uncharted territories.
  • Thousands of quests that drive gameplay and provide countless opportunities for adventure and heroism.
  • Regular content updates created by an ongoing live development team that continuously designs new lands, quests, and monsters.
  • Thousands of items, including rare and unique weapons and armor with which to customize your character's appearance and abilities.
  • Numerous character classes, each with its own distinctive style of play and multiple paths for development.
  • A revolutionary secondary-skill system that allows players to create truly original characters with unique combinations of abilities.
  • Multiple races to choose from, including Night Elves, Humans, Orcs, Tauren, Dwarves, Undead, Trolls, and Gnomes.
  • Several personal modes of transportation, including horses, wolves, and more.
  • Quick and easy travel throughout the world aboard Gryphons, Wyverns, Ships, and Zeppelins.
  • Instanced zones that create personal combat and adventure experiences for you and your companions.

In Europe, Blizzard plans to host the game on local servers, with pan-European network management. Additionally, the game will be fully supported by Blizzard's local World of WarcraftTM team, making it the first non-licensed MMORPG in Europe to have a dedicated regional team in place. The local team will be responsible for all aspects of game operation, including localized offline customer support, in-game support through game masters and community management for the game. With this team, Blizzard intends to affirm its commitment to the European game community by delivering an unparalleled massively multiplayer experience. World of WarcraftTM will be fully localized into French, German, and English in Europe.

Best known for blockbuster hits including the Warcraft , StarCraft , and Diablo series, Blizzard Entertainment® (, a division of Vivendi Universal Games, is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating many of the industry's most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard's track record includes eight #1-selling games and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company's free Internet gaming service® reigns as the largest in the world, with millions of active users.

For Further information:

Julia Gastaldi

European Director of Communications and Community

Blizzard Entertainment

Cat Channon

Senior PR Manager

Vivendi Universal Games UK

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