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'Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne' Goes Gold

by Thomas on May 29, 2003 @ 5:37 a.m. PDT

Blizzard Entertainment announced today that Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, the eagerly awaited expansion set to the fastest-selling PC game ever(a), has gone gold. With initial orders of over 2.5 million copies, the game will be available at retail outlets worldwide in multiple languages beginning on July 1, 2003.

"We're very excited to announce that development on Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne has been completed," said Mike Morhaime, Blizzard Entertainment president and co-founder. "When we set out to create the next installment of the Warcraft series, we wanted to increase the strategic gameplay possibilities and depth of the Warcraft universe by introducing a wide array of new Heroes and units specifically designed to enhance each race. We're extremely proud of these new additions, and we look forward to sharing them with players."

Following in the tradition of previous Blizzard expansion sets, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne provides gamers with a vast new chapter in the epic Warcraft saga. In the single-player campaign, players revisit the war-torn world of Azeroth. Several months have passed since Archimonde and the Burning Legion were defeated at the battle of Mount Hyjal, yet a new threat has arisen throughout the land.

The evil Lich King Ner'zhul has been imprisoned inside the Icecrown glacier, deep within the arctic continent of Northrend. Although the former Orc Shaman lacks physical form, his soul lives on, forever seeking a means to escape his icy prison. As the saga continues, it is revealed that both the Night Elf renegade, Illidan, and the traitorous Death Knight, Arthas, seek the Icecrown glacier and the mysterious powers found inside. To save all of Azeroth from the forces of darkness, players must traverse uncharted lands and battle treacherous new enemies while uncovering the schemes of these nefarious beings.

Key features include:

4 single-player campaigns, including a bonus RPG-style mini-campaign designed to demonstrate the power of the world editor

4 new race-specific Heroes, each with a complementary set of powerful spells and abilities

2 new units per race, adding depth to the strategies and tactics that players can employ

3 new tilesets, featuring new lands to explore and numerous new creeps and critters

Player-built shops, equipped with items uniquely designed for each race

5 neutral Heroes that players can recruit to strengthen their armies, such as the Dark Ranger and the Pandaren Brewmaster, each with unique spells and abilities

New neutral buildings that provide players with additional units, new magical items, and a new mode of transportation

Expanded multiplayer options over Battle.net®, including clan and tournament support

Numerous new multiplayer maps

An enhanced world editor that allows players to create and connect their own custom campaigns, complete with cut-scenes and voiceovers
Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne will bring all of these new features and enhancements to the fastest-selling PC game ever(a), Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos(TM). To date, Reign of Chaos has sold well over 3 million copies worldwide(a). Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne will be available at retail chains worldwide for Windows® 98/ME/2000/XP and Macintosh® formats, at a price of approximately $35.00. The game will also be available directly from Blizzard at (800) 953-SNOW and www.blizzard.com. Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne has received a Teen rating from the ESRB.

Since its debut in 1994, the #1-selling Warcraft series has won industry acclaim and has shattered sales records worldwide with over 8 million copies sold(a). In 1995, Blizzard followed the well-received Warcraft: Orcs and Humans(TM) with the highly acclaimed Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness(TM), considered by many critics to be one of the best games ever made. In 2002, Blizzard expanded the boundaries of the epic Warcraft universe with the release of Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos(TM). This third chapter in the legendary saga quickly reached the #1 position on sales charts around the world and has since garnered numerous Game of the Year awards.

Best known for blockbuster hits including the Warcraft, StarCraft®, and Diablo®series, Blizzard Entertainment (www.blizzard.com), a division of Vivendi Universal Games, is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating many of the industry's most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard's track record includes seven #1-selling games and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company's free Internet gaming service Battle.net reigns as the largest in the world, with millions of active users.

(a)Based on EDI sell-through, internal company records, and reports from key distribution partners around the world

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