World of Warcraft Digital Download Q&A

We received word earlier on the World of Warcraft expansion excluding cinematics, but now Blizzard has sent out a Q&A and one of the first things they address is the cinematics, which informs us all WoW cinematics are being released in patch format and will be automatically downloaded.
Cataclysm Direct Download and Game Cinematics

We'd like to take a moment to clarify how we'll be delivering World of Warcraft: Cataclysm cinematics to players who purchase the expansion digitally through or download the installer from the web in the future.

Prior to the December 7 launch of Cataclysm, all current World of Warcraft players will receive the Cataclysm intro cinematic as part of an upcoming patch. In addition, all other in-game cinematics (including previous ones such as the Wrathgate movie) will be available for download to players who have not previously installed them. These cinematics will be automatically downloaded in the background while you play the game, after other critical game data has been received.

Cataclysm Realm Launch Time Information

Wondering exactly what time you'll be able to begin playing your goblin or worgen or making your way to level 85? On all North American realms, World of Warcraft players who upgrade to Cataclysm will be able to begin experiencing the new content at 12 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (3 a.m. Eastern Standard Time) on December 7, whether they purchase the digital download through or buy a physical retail boxed version in stores. Players will not be able to access Cataclysm expansion content prior to 12 a.m. PST, regardless of how they upgrade or what time zone they're located in.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. When will my credit card (or other payment method) be charged?
A. You will be charged on the day that you place your pre-order for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.

Q. Why do I need to log in to the game once after I've upgraded?
A. The first time you log in after pre-ordering, your account will become eligible to begin receiving the Cataclysm data when it's available. The data will automatically download in the background while you play World of Warcraft or while you have the Launcher window open.

Q. Can I pre-order a physical copy of Cataclysm and have it shipped?
A. Not from Blizzard Entertainment, but many retailers offer pre-orders of physical boxes and Collector's Editions.

Q. In what regions is the Cataclysm pre-sale available? What day/time is Cataclysm launching in my region?
The pre-sale is available in the following regions, with realms scheduled to launch at the following times:
Americas, Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia - December 7 at 12:01 a.m. PST
Europe and Russia - December 7 at 12:01 a.m. CET

Q. Will a digital version of the Collector's Edition, with the exclusive pet, be available?
A. No. The World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Collector's Edition is exclusive to physical retail copies. The digital version consists of the standard edition.