Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Predicting Cataclysm's Release Date

Ok, so I took a few minutes to gather some rough data about how long the previous expansions were in the different stages of release, and I think it's interesting to look at. 

So lets take a look and see if we can't draw some parallels from the context of these charts.  See what I did there?  Oh man I love cheezy jokes.

First up is the Burning Crusade.
From this we can tell the release took about five months of additional development from the release of the Friends and Family closed Alpha build.

Next up is Wrath of the Lich King.
Here again we see the additional development time was roughly 5 months after the closed Alpha began.  This and the Burning Crusade graphs look pretty similar.

And here we are with Cataclysm.  I'm taking a rough guess as to the release time here, seeing as the two previous expansion packs required 5 months of development after the Alpha.

Now, assuming the time until release is correct we notice a sharp incline in that slope.  This could mean a few things...  Blizz is actually getting the Beta tester into content much faster (one month as opposed to the previous where Burning took 3 months, and Wrath took two months), and as a result has a lot of the development done by the time Beta testers are in game.  Which would lead to more of the "oooh, lookie that - Aaaaah lookie that" sorta posts by the blogging community that is in Beta, and thusly generate more discussion / publicity / positive feedback / hype for the upcoming release.

Or, this could mean that Blizz is actually getting the Beta testers in there so they can actually get feedback on things sooner (something tells me this is probably not the case).

The data seems to boil down to this: Cataclysm will more than likely be released after the 5 months of additional development, which happens to coincide with Blizzcon (Surprise!).  They'll use Blizzcon to hype the crap out of the game and release it right afterwards and sales will skyrocket (as usual with Blizzard products).

So here's my prediction: Cataclysm will be released on October 26th.


  1. The one thing that might throw a monkey wrench into the works is the first month or two of Starcraft II. The launch for SC2 guaranteed that there would be no realm downtime last week or this week, and I don't think that's a coincidence. If issues arise with the new SC2 servers, then we're going to see the Cat release date pushed out a bit farther.

  2. So, when are you going to work on your other post?

  3. Graphs aren't enough for you!?

    I'm workin on it! Very slowly...

  4. Interesting post! If they do not make a late October deadline, maybe they will push for a November anniversary launch!