In a move that I'm sure is in no way related to the launch announcement for the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm expansion, Sony Online Entertainment announced that its upcoming comic book MMO, DC Universe Online, has been delayed. The game was originally planned for a November release but will now be arriving some time in early 2011.

Okay, so maybe it's not all related to World of Warcraft. According to SOE president John Smedley, the development team still needs to take some time to polish the game with help from the beta:

"As the game heads into external beta testing, this extra time will allow us to address community feedback in a meaningful way. When we get deeper into external beta, we'll be able to share more information regarding the new launch date."

Speaking of the beta, SOE is saying that access and invites will be handed out "as early as next week." Anyone who has pre-ordered DC Universe Online or does so by November 15 will be guaranteed beta access by November 30. Pre-orders will also unlock a headstart to check out the game a week before it launches.

Personally, I've already had to play enough mediocre MMOs this year, and I was very concerned about the quality of DCUO. Hopefully the extra time helps them create an MMO of the quality that a DC Comics fan such as myself wants from this property. I'll be reporting more info from the beta as soon as I can get in.