How to gain early access to The War Within WoW expansion & controversy explained

How to gain early access to The War Within WoW expansion & controversy explained
Images via Blizzard

Written by 

Dave McAdam


18th Apr 2024 12:49

World of Warcraft's next expansion, The War Within, is coming soon - but not without a little controversy. World of Warcraft is 20 years old this year, and in that time the game has evolved many times.

Blizzard's approach to the release of The War Within is a bit different from previous expansions, giving players a chance to play early. Not everyone is happy about this, so let's discuss this early access feature, and why it might be a problem.

How to play The War Within early

To get early access to The War Within, you'll need to pre-order the Epic Edition of the expansion for $90/£75. This is an extra $40/£35 on top of the Base Edition at $50/£40 and includes several in-game items like pets and transmog sets.

However, the main draw of the Epic Edition is that it grants access to the beta and three days of early access to the expansion itself

Why players aren't happy with this

A table showing what is included in each edition of The War Within expansion, highlighting the early access period included in the Epic Edition
Click to enlarge

By charging a steep premium for early access, Blizzard is incentivising dedicated players to hand out more money upfront. Hardcore players who like to hit the ground running with a new expansion are more or less being penalized for not purchasing the much more expensive edition.

Fans have been up in arms about this issue since it was announced, heavily criticising the move as a blatant money grab. In response, Game Director Ion Hazzikostas referred to the early access period as 'a bit of an experiment' with regards to maximising the value of different expansion tiers.

Whether this experiment will be deemed a success is yet to be seen. Sentiment among fans would tell you it isn't a welcome change, and while we can hope that the voices of the consumers will be heard, Blizzard has a track record of putting profits before people.

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That is it for how to gain early access to The War Within expansion, and why it has upset so many fans. For more news and info, head to our World of Warcraft homepage, where we have guides like our race tier list, a rundown of the expansions in the Worldsoul Saga, how to use the ping system, and all of the expansions so far.

Dave McAdam
About the author
Dave McAdam
Dave is a Senior Guides Writer at GGRecon, after several years of freelancing across the industry. He covers a wide range of games, with particular focus on shooters like Destiny 2, RPGs like Baldur's Gate 3 and Cyberpunk 2077, and fighting games like Street Fighter 6 and Tekken 8.
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