Industry news sources report that Blizzard is sending out "opt-in" emails for the Cataclysm closed-beta test
Several sources recently reported that Blizzard sent out an early round of email invitations for Cataclysm, World of Warcraft's upcoming expansion. Earlier this week, the editors at 1UP.com reported that they received a Cataclysm beta invitation email from Blizzard, indicating that the first round of Cataclysm's closed-beta testing phase is "starting to gear up," according to the article. This initial round of closed-beta invitations is being sent to select members of the video game/MMO press, according to the same article.
The news is corroborated by several other gaming and MMO media outlets. On the same day, GameInformer.com announced that it received a similar email, which indicated Blizzard "[does] not currently have a date to announce for the start of the beta test," but "opt-in" invitations are being accepted. The invitation notes that the Cataclysm closed-beta test won't be released with an NDA, according to GameInformer.
This news might indicate that Cataclysm's official launch will occur earlier in 2010 than the community originally expected, especially after the announcement that BlizzCon 2010 will be held in late-October this year. In addition, Blizzard's previous closed-beta testing for Wrath of the Lich King and The Burning Crusade began just a couple months prior to their respective release dates; if the past is any indication of Cataclysm's release schedule, we might be rolling up new Goblin and Worgen characters by the end of this summer. Stay tuned for more news as its announced!