It’s no secret that this autumn is going to be absolutely packed with new games. A new generation in console gaming combined with countless releases to coincide with those new consoles is going to keep gamers’ schedules lined across the board. 

But as titanic releases like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, and Cyberpunk 2077 draw the eyes of the gaming community, Blizzard is prepared to take on all of the other Triple-A developers in the industry with a release of its own: World of Warcraft Shadowlands

While Shadowlands might not hold up to many of the other games in terms of standalone style, it’s still a comparable venture when it comes to ambition . The ninth installment in a 16 year-old franchise certainly might turn potential customers off when compared to a brand new IP from a major studio, but there’s definitely something intriguing about the idea of Blizzard feeling comfortable enough to announce a release date for the expansion that coincides directly with the release of some of the year’s biggest titles.

Releasing Shadowlands on November 23 in the US is a bold move on Blizzard’s part, as the game is set to hit live servers just 11 days after the launch of the PlayStation 5 and 13 days after the launch of the Xbox Series X. 

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

And with Nintendo set to release one of its biggest games of the year, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, on November 20, Blizzard is essentially throwing WoW to the wolves in hopes that it will stand toe-to-toe with some of the most anticipated games of the year. 

And while it’s certainly exciting to see that Blizzard has enough confidence in its product to put it up directly against other big names in the gaming industry, it’s still a point of concern, from the lens of a WoW player at least, that the expansion is being released the week of a major holiday in the United States. If Blizzard is banking on capitalizing on a literal holiday market, the company will certainly have to hope that it can retain a playerbase in the US over the course of a traditional point of downtime for the game. 

If nothing else, Blizzard’s willingness to throw its hat in the ring against other companies like Nintendo, Ubisoft, and Sony is commendable at best. 

Just over three weeks remain between now and the Shadowlands release date, which definitely feels like something we’ve said before, but the hype train feels for real this time. Blizzard is dead set on barreling straight into a loaded holiday market with an expansion that the company is clearly confident in. After several delays and countless question marks, Shadowlands is on a crash course with a very crowded horizon. 


Daily Quest is Michael Kelly’s not-so-daily World of Warcraft column on picksandbans.net. You can follow him on TwitterWordPress, and Youtube for more content, opinions, and musings.

Featured image via Blizzard Entertainment.