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Blizzard bows to fans and announces World of Warcraft Classic

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For years there's been friction between World of Warcraft players wanting access to classic, "vanilla" servers (without all those later expansions and upgrades), and Blizzard, which preferred everyone to be using newer versions of the game, thank you very much.

Well, Blizzard has relented: at the annual BlizzCon event in California, which is taking place this weekend, WoW executive producer J. Allen Brack told the crowd that classic servers are making a comeback. There's even a trailer (opens in new tab) and everything, so we know it's official.

"Fans of World of Warcraft around the world, we hear you," said Brack at the event, as Ars Technica reports (opens in new tab). "I am pleased and also a little bit nervous to announce the development of a classic server option for World of Warcraft. This is a larger endeavor than you might imagine, but we are committed to making an authentic, Blizzard-quality classic experience."

As those comments suggest, it might be a while before this actually appears - we don't have any kind of launch date yet, or even a hint at one, and we haven't seen any fresh gameplay footage or been given any other details about the new (or rather old) project. Get settled in for the long haul, in other words.

At least it means players don't have to spend time creating and maintaining their own vanilla servers, something Blizzard has taken a dim view of in the past. It's possible the developer will announce more details at BlizzCon, which we'll add here as we get them.

In other World of Warcraft news, Blizzard also showed off the game's seventh expansion pack, Battle for Azeroth, via a trailer (opens in new tab). The upgrade brings with it two new continents, a new level gap, and a bunch of other features (you can find more details on the pack here (opens in new tab)).

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.