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World of Warcraft game 'delayed'

Fans of World of Warcraft will have to wait a little longer to get their hands on the long-awaited expansion of the hugely popular game. Blizzard has announced the release of the Burning Crusade expansion pack is now being delayed until January 2007. The expansion, which gives players new races, territories and more powerful characters, was scheduled to appear in late 2006. But Blizzard said more time was needed to "further refine" the extras. Since it launched in 2004, the massively-multiplayer online fantasy role-playing game has proved a huge hit. Now more than six million people have signed up to play the game and send their warriors, warlocks, rogues and other characters questing in Azeroth.

The Burning Crusade is the first big expansion of World of Warcraft that makes a variety of changes to the game. It was due to appear before Christmas 2006, but Blizzard said it was delaying this launch date by a "few extra weeks".

Providing feedback

In a statement, Mike Morhaime, president and co-founder of Blizzard, said: "We feel confident that the extra time spent polishing the game will result in the high-quality experience that our players expect and deserve." In mid-October, Blizzard began a closed trial test of the Burning Crusade in which a few players got the chance to try out the new races, places and abilities in the expansion. Blizzard said the few extra weeks would give those taking part in the test more time to "participate in the final stages of development and continue providing valuable feedback".

Blizzard has yet to give details of exact worldwide launch dates or how much the expansion will cost.

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