The game will launch simultaneously in North America, Europe and Oceania, and will offer three subscription pricing options: Standard monthly fees will be $14.99, while a three-month subscription will cost $41.97 ($13.99 per month) and six months will go for $77.94 (12.99 per month). Collectible 30 and 60-day prepaid time cards will also be available from numerous retailers.
"The countdown has officially begun," said Mark Jacobs, general manager of Warhammer Online developer Mythic Entertainment. "Mark your calendars! September 18th is the Day of Reckoning."
"For the last three years, the entire team at Mythic has poured their hearts into making Warhammer Online the next great MMORPG," he continued. "We are so excited to open up this world and share it with the fans that will live in it, quest in it, go to war in it and make it come alive."
Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning has received numerous pre-release accolades, and Jacobs claimed the entire stock of the Collector's Edition of Warhammer Online has already been pre-sold in North America. EA is also showing a somewhat surprising willingness to go head-to-head with MMOG behemoth World of Warcraft: Warhammer Online will launch just ahead of Wrath of the Lich King, the hotly anticipated WoW expansion which is currently targeted for release in the final quarter of 2008.
However, in July it was revealed the game has also undergone serious cuts, including the reduction of Capital Cities from six - one for each race - to two, as well as the removal of four classes: The Greenskin Choppa, the Dwarf Hammerer, the Dark Elf Blackguard and the Empire's Knight of the Blazing Sun. While Jacobs claimed the reduction of Capital Cities would increase the "focus" of the player base, he wasn't so upbeat about the loss of classes, saying, "Unlike the Capital Cities, I can honestly say that I really wish we didn't have to cut them out." He added that the decision to cut the content was made "a number of months ago."
Special pre-order bonuses are being offered to gamers in North America who pre-order Warhammer Online, including admission to the open beta, a "Head Start program" that will let players begin their online adventures before the game's official release, two unique in-game items and an exclusive collectible card game from Fantasy Flight Games, available in limited quantities from "select retail partners." A European pre-order program will be unveiled in late August; a list of participating retail partners and their individual pre-order programs can be found at warhammeroline.com/preorder.