While the public still does not know what the official release date will be for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, online retailer Amazon indicated overnight a belief that the anticipated game expansion will be released in January.
We've collected several e-mail tips from readers who report receiving e-mails from the online retailer in the last several hours, all of the notes indicating that Amazon now estimates delivery of the game as soon as January 4, 2011 or as late as January 18.
Cataclysm, which is currently in beta, has been expected for a 2010 release and we expect an official release date to be given during October's annual Blizzcon convention, which celebrates all the games from the makers of WoW.
We've reached out to World of Warcraft maker Blizzard Entertainment for comment and will update this story if we hear back.
UPDATE: A Blizzard spokesperson declined to comment, noting the company does not comment on "rumors and speculation."
The Amazon e-mails were sent to people who tell Kotaku they pre-ordered the Collector's Edition of the game, many of them back in August. An example of the succinct note:
Hello from Amazon.com.
We now have delivery date(s) for the order you placed on August 17 2010 (Order# xxx-xxxxxxx-xxxxxxx):
"World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Collector's Edition"
Estimated arrival date: January 05 2011
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is the third major expansion to the massively multiplayer hit World of Warcraft. Like the Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King, it is expected to be an enormous hit whenever it is released on PC and Mac. Blizzard plans for Cataclysm to not just add content to the game but to transform the terrain of the virtual land in which it is played, making the familiar lands of Azeroth seem new again.
Thanks to everyone who e-mailed this in.
UPDATE: After Blizzard later revealed that Cataclysm will be released on December 7, Amazon contacts us to confirm that they will release the game then as well.