This is a little old, but since I was gone this weekend its worth the post!
Artifact Entertainment announced the official release date today - December 9, 2003.
LOS ANGELES – Oct. 24, 2003 – Atari and Artifact Entertainment today announced that Horizons: Empire of Istaria will ship to retail outlets nationwide on December 9th. The highly anticipated massively multiplayer online (MMO) role-playing game was previously scheduled to release in November. The extra time will allow Artifact Entertainment to continue to make optimizations and improvements to the game in order to provide one of the most compelling MMO experiences this holiday season. Available for PC CD-ROM, Horizons: Empire of Istaria will allow players to experience online gaming like never before in a single massive online world primed for exploration, brimming with adventure and rife with danger.
View: Press Release