Blizzard Entertainment has revealed that World of Warcraft will make its highly anticipated European debut next Friday, 11th February, in regular and special collector's edition versions.
Both versions will be fully localised in English, French and German, with localised packaging for Spanish and Italian players. Localised in-game support will also be available thanks to English, French and German speaking "game masters" and web support.
Inside the regular edition box - which will be available with either Alliance or Horde cover artwork - players will find a copy of the game on four CD-ROMs, one month's free subscription, and the usual hunky manual. The regular version will cost £29.99.
The collector's edition, meanwhile, will cost £44.99, but the list of extras is convincing. As well as getting the game on both CD-ROM and DVD-ROM, with the expected one month sub, players will also receive a behind-the-scenes DVD in English, an exclusive in-game pet, a cloth map of the game world, a soundtrack CD, an Art of the World of Warcraft book for the coffee table (your table may vary) and a commemorative manual signed by the development team.
The previously announced ongoing subscription costs will be £8.99 per month with three and six month plans working out at £8.39 and £7.69 per month respectively. Players will also be able to buy pre-paid game time cards through high street retailers.
And Blizzard is also keen to reiterate that WOW is the first non-licensed MMORPG in Europe to have a dedicated local team in place with 24/7 support. Servers are based in Paris and Frankfurt, too, so there's no dodgy transatlantic issue.
The launch of the game in Europe is the last stage of Blizzard's launch plans for the moment. 400,000 people are already said to be on the European beta, while the game's success in North America (240k sold in 24 hours, 600k total so far, 200k playing simultaneously over Christmas) and Korea (100k concurrent sessions within 24 hours of launch) has only been marred by ongoing server troubles that led to a great deal of anger amongst hardcore followers of the game denied the chance to enjoy it relentlessly.
Post launch, we can expect more in the way of content updates - with Blizzard's Battlegrounds stuff still to come - and, given its popularity, there's obvious potential for expansions down the line too.
For more on World of Warcraft, check out our extensive giddy hands-off warbling in preview form here (plus now-slightly-outdated interview), our recent post-US-launch Q&A here and Kieron's excitable this-isn't-a-review-but-you-know-it-sort-of-is-really here.