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Next World of Warcraft Expansion Will be Announced in April

Photo courtesy of Blizzard

Blizzard revealed some upcoming announcement dates for Hearthstone and World of Warcraft, the only two live service games set in the Warcraft universe. And for mobile fans, Blizzard will also share the first real news on the Warcraft Mobile game.

It's been an unusual couple of years for Blizzard fans and employees. You have the internal debacle for the past couple of years, highlighting sexual misconduct and poor working environment for the past decade or so. Then you have the poor responses to Battle for Azeroth and Shadowlands, the last two expansions. Finally, the loss of BlizzCon and work capacity because of the pandemic. All these reasons have piled up causing for a rather dismal past few years for everyone involved.

With the usual two-year setup for expansion releases, BlizzCon is the usual spot for the next announcement. And with BlizzConline being canceled. Fans have been waiting patiently for any sort of news on the next expansion. There were a few hints that it was coming soon, mostly because Shadowlands 9.2 was going to be the last content patch planned for the expansion. Blizzard needs something to keep fans hopeful for the future especially if there isn't going to be new content for the next six to eight months, and that is if the new expansion comes out this year.

But let's get to the actual news first before we start to speculate.

"On April 19, the World of Warcraft development team will reveal the next expansion.  We’re excited to show you what we've been working on and where your adventures in Azeroth will go next."

All current rumors point to the Dragon Isles of some sort, but nothing is confirmed. Blizzard has promised a return to Azeroth, but no one knows whether that means a reworked Azeroth like in Cataclysm or a brand new zone like in Pandaria. And more importantly, we don't know when it's going to come out. Most expansions come out in that August-September range, with Shadowlands being pushed back to November. Now with the delay of the announcement, it could be possible that the next expansion falls around that November-December timeline or even an early 2023 launch. This could be the first expansion since the start of the two-year cycle with Cataclysm that doesn't hit that time frame. And with everything happening at Blizzard, it's very likely 2023 is the attended launch date.

April 19 is going to be a very important day for the future of World of Warcraft and Blizzard as we know it.