BlizzCon is exactly one month away, slated to run from November 3 – 4, and anticipation is, as usual, sky-high. Fans are clamoring for rumors and leaks, with speculation abound as to what the future of the titanic developer’s franchises will look like. For at least one of the cherished universes, it seems we’ll be getting quite a few ideas.
In response to Twitter (I’m not calling it anything else) user SaltySlickrock bemoaning Warcraft’s place in a graphic displaying the event’s franchise lineup, Blizzard president Mike Ybarra assured that “Warcraft, and WoW, have the most news this year.”
With the return of Chris Metzen as Warcraft’s Executive Creative Director, there’s plenty of reason to be optimistic about a strong showing at BlizzCon this year. A pessimistic view is that a bulk of the announcements and trailers will pertain to the Warcraft mobile game, Warcraft Rumble, but you have to imagine that after Diablo Immortal’s immortally-meme’d announcement we can look forward to something a little juicier as well.
The new World of Warcraft expansion is all but guaranteed to be shown off, along with the aforementioned mobile game, but my money is on something new as well. My bet? A new RTS, or even that much-buzzed-about Valheim-esque survival game that was being alpha tested last year (if it ends up being Warcraft-themed, of course).
As a Warcraft fan, there’s a lot to be hyped about, but sudden layoffs impacting employees at Blizzard throughout the year, particularly the Hearthstone team and esports divison, give an indication of a company in a state of strained transition. With the Microsoft acquisition closing this month, this is a critically important BlizzCon for both companies, so we can probably expect at least a little more pizazz than usual. If not, they can always wheel Metzen out on stage for a bit. That always gets the crowd going.