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European launch details announced for World of Warcraft

Californian developer Blizzard's hugely anticipated massively multiplayer title World of Warcraft has shipped to stores in the USA this week, with the company simultaneously revealing details of its plans for the European launch of the game.

A final date still hasn't been decided, with "early 2005" as accurate as publisher Vivendi is willing to get, but the company has confirmed subscription costs, pre-order details and information about the various different packs which will be available.

The game is available to pre-order in Europe from this Friday, and anyone who pre-orders will be able to take part in the final European beta test, which is scheduled to kick off in December.

The basic edition of the game will cost UKP 29.99, including a one month subscription, while a Collector's Edition will be priced at UKP 44.99 and will include a DVD version of the game (as well as the 4-CD version from the standard edition) and a host of goodies such as an artbook, a soundtrack, a cloth map, a "Behind the Scenes" DVD and an exclusive in-game "pet".

Subscription costs will amount to UKP 8.99 on a month to month basis, or UKP 8.39 per month for a three month subscription, with the lowest cost being UKP 7.69 per month for a six month subscription.

The firm has also promised that a system will be put into place to allow European gamers to play on American servers if they wish - but this is not expected to be implemented until after the launch of the game here.

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Rob Fahey: Rob Fahey is a former editor of who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.
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