The rush of information is on, and the hunt for beta keys begins!
Last night, Blizzard made two huge announcements: first, that the NDA over Cataclysm and the Friends-and-Family Alpha have been lifted, and people who have been participating up to this point are free to discuss their experiences and the development of the game up to this point. Second, Blizzard announced that the closed beta for Cataclysm has officially begun, and that Battle.net account-holders who have signed up for the beta will begin getting their invites as the beta pool is defined and slowly expanded over time.
Here’s the official word, from this Blizzard press release:
BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT BEGINS CLOSED BETA TEST
FOR WORLD OF WARCRAFT®: CATACLYSM™
IRVINE, Calif. – June 30, 2010 – Blizzard Entertainment announced today that the closed beta test for Cataclysm™, its highly anticipated new expansion for World of Warcraft®, has begun. The company has started issuing invitations to participate in the testing process to a wide range of players from around the world who signed up via their Battle.net® accounts. While enjoying an early look at the game, beta testers will provide valuable feedback to help Blizzard Entertainment find bugs, address balance issues, and polish the new content.
“Our focus with Cataclysm has been to build on the knowledge we’ve gained through the previous expansions to deliver the best, most compelling World of Warcraft content for our players to date,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “Gathering focused feedback during the beta test will go a long way in helping us reach that goal when we launch Cataclysm later this year.”
Cataclysm is the third expansion for World of Warcraft, the most popular subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game in the world. The first two expansions, The Burning Crusade® and Wrath of the Lich King®, each shattered PC game sales records upon their release. In Cataclysm, the face of Azeroth will be forever altered by the return of the corrupted Dragon Aspect Deathwing. Players will explore once-familiar areas of the world that have now been reshaped by the devastation and filled with new adventures. In an effort to survive the planet-shattering cataclysm, two new playable races — worgen and goblins — will join the struggle between the Alliance and the Horde. As players journey to the new level cap of 85, they’ll discover newly revealed locations, acquire new levels of power, and come face to face with Deathwing in a battle to determine the fate of the world.
For more information on World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, please visit the official website at http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/cataclysm. To set up a Battle.net account and sign up for a chance to participate in the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm beta test, please visit the official Battle.net website at http://www.battle.net.
About Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.
Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft® and the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® series, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. (www.blizzard.com), a division of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI), is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry’s most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard Entertainment’s track record includes eleven #1-selling games and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company’s online-gaming service, Battle.net®, is one of the largest in the world, with millions of active players.
It’s on now, kiddies! With the drop of the NDA, we’re sure to see a rush of information about the items in the game and the features that have already been rolled in, and with the opening of the beta to select users, we’ll start seeing invite horsetrading begin and more people posting their opinions, sights, sounds, and thoughts about the game, the new zones, and the dungeons. Just as a teaser, WoWhead has already unveiled their Cataclysm database of items, quests, NPCs, and zones! Granted, it’s by no means complete, since beta invites just started flowing, but expect it to grow soon!
Stay tuned! We’ll try to get our hands on beta invites so we can bring you first-hand screenshots and analysis from the beta!