Dear Alliance and Horde: I hope you’re vaccinated. Z-Man Games and Blizzard Entertainment have unveiled a new Pandemic tabletop game based on the Wrath of the Lich King expansion from World of Warcraft. There may be no escaping the Corrupted Blood plague this time.
Z-Man Games released a teaser trailer to officially announce World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, a cooperative board game where players team up against the Lich King’s undead invasion. It’s the first officially licensed release in the Pandemic System category, which are games that use the Pandemic engine but aren’t necessarily set in the world of the Pandemic and Pandemic Legacy series. Previous releases have included a Lovecraftian game called Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu, and the historical tale Pandemic: Fall of Rome. The teaser, which you can watch below, is slight on details but gives a taste of what fans can expect with the gameplay and miniatures.
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King was a massively popular expansion from 2008, all about the Lich King and his army of zombified Scourge trying to take over Azeroth. The expansion started off with a bang, or should I say a bug — as it resulted in the infamous Corrupted Blood plague that forced thousands of players to battle for their very lives… lest they contract the disease and join the Lich King’s undead army. The digital plague was such a good representation of how diseases spread that it was used and referenced in scientific models for tracking pandemics. It also recently returned to World of Warcraft in the Shadowlands’ pre-expansion event, “Death’s Rising.” However, as my colleague James Whitbrook put it, the whole thing took on a more uncomfortable tone during an actual global pandemic.
That’s been an ongoing challenge for Z-Man Games. Pandemic is, by far, their most popular franchise but the company paused all releases for Pandemic and Pandemic System games last March during the height of the covid-19 pandemic “out of respect for those affected by the current situation.” They’ve only recently started advertising new releases again, including Pandemic: Hot Spot — Europe. This one looks to be the biggest announcement in a while, so it makes sense that it would be for a fake plague from a popular video game franchise. But just because it’s not real doesn’t make experiencing it any easier.
Z-Man Games is expected to release more information about World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King in the coming weeks, including the price and expected release date.