When did World of Warcraft release? All WoW expansions & Classic

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When did World of Warcraft release, and how many WoW expansions are there? Here’s a rundown of everything you need to know.

As World of Warcraft’s universe continues to expand, there is a whole slew of stories yet to be told and vistas that remain shrouded in shadow.

Building upon the age-old tales of Blizzard’s Warcraft franchise, WoW allows players to explore the plains of Azeroth in style, carving their own PvP and PvE destinies.

As one of the oldest MMORPGs out there, you may be wondering just when World of Warcraft actually released, and the timeline for all of its numerous expansions. Here’s everything you need to know, from WoW’s initial release date, to the dates that each new installment dropped.


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Home to a whole plethora of iconic characters, World of Warcraft is an ever-expanding world.

WoW release date

World of Warcraft was released in 2004, following on from Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. With Guild Wars arriving in 2005, this makes WoW one of the oldest MMORPGs out there.

All WoW expansions: From Legion to Dragonflight

WoW has nine different expansions, with the most recent being Shadowlands. As we close the book on this divisive chapter of the WoW story, Blizzard have announced that we will return to Azeroth in Dragonflight, the next installment in the Warcraft series.

For now, though, here are all of the current expansions, listed chronologically by release date:

Expansion Release Date
The Burning Crusade 2007
Wrath of the Lich King 2008
Cataclysm 2010
Mists of Pandaria 2012
Warlords of Draenor 2014
Legion 2016
Battle for Azeroth 2018
Shadowlands 2020
Dragonflight N/A

What is WoW Classic? Release date & info

Released in 2019, WoW Classic effectively recreates the Azeroth of old. While it originally recreated the WoW universe before any of the expansions, this changed in 2020 with the release of The Burning Crusade Classic.

Bringing the Twisted Nether back to life in style and reimagining some of the game’s most iconic dungeons and raids, players can dive into the action all over again and take down Illidan once more.

Following on from this, we’ll also see the return of Arthas in Wrath of the Lich King Classic, set to make its debut in 2022.

So that’s everything you need to know about when World of Warcraft released, as well as all of the different expansions and DLCs that it has spawned.

Looking to learn more about all things Azeroth? Be sure to check out our other World of Warcraft guides:

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