Blizzard has committed to shipping the newest World of Warcraft expansion Shadowlands "this fall". The update comes amid coronavirus uncertainty and after today's livestream was moved from June because of the Black Lives Matter protests.
"You have our commitment that we will be releasing Shadowlands this fall," executive producer John Hight announced today, "even if we end up shipping it from our homes."
He added that the Shadowlands beta will launch next week. Lots more invites are going to be sent out for it over the rest of the summer. Go to your account settings and check that you have opted in to betas and "be patient", game director Ion Hazzikostas mentioned.
Beta, by the way, means the game is feature complete but much work remains to be done. For beta, the level cap will go up to 60 and we will get our first glimpse at endgame content.
If you're confused about the level-60 remark, by the way, remember that Shadowlands will squash the out-of-control World of Warcraft levels back down to a manageable number, but this will not mean you have fewer abilities to use. I spoke to Blizzard about the Shadowlands level squash last year.
Blizzard concluded its livestream today with a remark about the Black Lives Matter movement.
"We'd originally planned on doing this stream a month ago and back then we'd have had somewhat different material," Ion Hazzikostas said. "But we postponed it then to avoid distracting from a more important conversation. But of course that conversation is still happening. Injustice doesn't cease just because we look away. Black lives mattered a month ago, black lives matter today. And if that phrase is difficult to hear, know that I and others who speak those words aren't saying that your life has any less worth, we're only calling attention to the ways in which our societies seem to need a reminder that black lives matter.
"As John [Hight] said, these are extraordinarily difficult times and we can often help by simply listening with open hearts, so be kind to one another, stay safe, and we'll see you in Azeroth and the Shadowlands beyond."