World of Warcraft Classic, the retro re-release of WoW in its near-original state, will launch on August 27, 2019. Blizzard announced the release date alongside a nifty collector’s edition, but you may not have to wait until the summer to try out the game. A closed beta is starting this week.
The closed beta will begin on May 15. Participants will be selected from a small pool of existing WoW players. Subsequent stress tests will run regularly from May through July. You can opt in through the official site.
Blizzard also announced a boxed Collector’s Edition for World of Warcraft to ring in the game’s 15th anniversary. It includes a Onyxia pin, map of Azeroth mouse pad, art prints, special anniversary mounts, and a large black-and-gold statue of Ragnaros the Firelord. It will release on October 8 for $100, and you can pre-purchase from the Blizzard store.
World of Warcraft Classic lets you play the game as it existed almost 15 years ago, upon the release of the 1.12 “Drums of War” update. Blizzard says it considers that era to be the correct balance of the game resembling its original launch state while also having ironed out some of the rough spots of launch. This version is also including some updates under the hood, like modern server infrastructure and Battle.net social features.
If you’re already a WoW subscriber, you get access to Classic as well at no extra cost. WoW Classic will also be releasing content in phases, following the original order of content releases.