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Monday, January 15 12:00 AM ET

Blizzard Selling LifePacks for Scheduled Downtime of World of Warcraft

By Brian Briggs

Irvine, CA - Blizzard Entertainment has begun selling LifePacks before the release of the World of Warcraft expansion The Burning Crusade.  LifePacks give the player a chance to experience life away from the World of Warcraft by buying scheduled downtime for accounts. 

"We expect most LifePacks will be bought by someone other than the player, spouses, parents, girlfriends. To get some time with the player outside Azeroth," said Blizzard Entertainment representative Paul Vinton

Vinton explained that "to the player it will look like a standard server outage. We don't want to cause any conflicts and since server outages are common the player won't suspect anything."

"I was beginning to wonder why the server always went down when we had to go to Aunt Doreen's, now I know my parent's have been buying LifePacks for me," said Chad Binghamton a player on the Arthas server.

Grace Blankenship bought a LifePack for her boyfriend on their three-month anniversary, "I didn't want my boyfriend to spend the entire day on the computer killing basilisks, so I bought a LifePack for then.  It was my anniversary present to me."

Not all LifePacks will be purchased by people other than the player.  "We expect some players to buy the cards," said Vinton.  "Say you've got a big test coming up and want to make sure that you've got time to study for it.  Purchase a LifePack and the server will be down giving you time to study."

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Gaming reporter Brian Keith said, "This is a genius marketing ploy by Blizzard, not only do you have to pay them to play the game, but now they'll be getting money for you to not play the game.

LifePacks can be purchased online from the Blizzard website in one hour increments.  Buyers must know the player's username and the server they play on then they can schedule the times they want the server to be "down."

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