Straight from the Mike Morhaime's mouth during opening ceremonies -- Cataclysm will be available for digital download at midnight Pacific Standard Time of December 7, 2010. For the first time in the game's history, the game will be available for purchase online at the same time as it launches in retail stores. Pre-orders for Cataclysm digital downloads will be available on the Blizzard site soon. Players eager to play the game right away but don't have the endurance (or geographical proximity) to attend a midnight launch can simply sit in the comfort of their homes and enter a broken Azeroth as the game goes live on launch day. CLARIFICATION: Morhaime mentioned that the game should be available for digital download ahead of the launch date, allowing players to have the full game when Cataclysm goes live.

This article was originally published on WoW Insider.

BlizzCon 2010 Opening Ceremonies liveblog at Joystiq