World of Warcraft's Sixth Expansion to Be Announced Next Week

What are you hoping to see?

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The next expansion for genre-defining PC MMO World of Warcraft will be announced next week during Gamescom, developer Blizzard Entertainment announced on Wednesday.

The reveal will take place as part of Blizzard's briefing on Thursday, August 6, at 9 AM PDT / 12 Noon EDT. The event will be streamed live, and GameSpot will have all the news for you as it's announced.

World of Warcraft fans can also watch a special "developer chat" on Sunday, August 9, at 8 AM PDT / 11 AM EDT. During this presentation, Blizzard developers will talk more about the expansion.

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The new expansion will be World of Warcraft's sixth. The others are The Burning Crusade (2007), Wrath of the Lich King (2008), Cataclysm (2010), Mists of Pandaria (2012), and Warlords of Draenor (2014).

That World of Warcraft is getting a new expansion should come as little surprise. In 2013, before the release of Warlords of Draenor, Blizzard confirmed that a follow-up to that expansion was already in the works. At the time, Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime said regular substantial content updates are incredibly important to keeping World of Warcraft relevant.

"We view expansions as a huge opportunity to do that," he said at the time. In addition to full, paid expansions, Blizzard has continually supported World of Warcraft with major free updates.

World of Warcraft subscribers are falling, and, as history shows, expansions help bring people back. By Blizzard's latest count, World of Warcraft had 7.1 million subscribers, down 2.9 million from the 10 million subscribers it had at the end of 2014. Although subscriber numbers are falling, World of Warcraft remains the top subscription-based MMO in the world.

One other thing to note is that the new expansion will be the first since World of Warcraft introduced its Tokens system. This lets you pay for game time with Gold instead of real-world money if you want to. How this might affect subscriber levels remains to be seen.

What are you hoping to see from World of Warcraft's next expansion? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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