We’re less than a couple weeks away from BlizzCon 2019, and to say that the anticipation for this one is at an all time high is an understatement. With everything that the company has been going through this month, they now have a chance, albeit a small one, to show the gaming community that they can still masterfully craft excellent gameplay with immersive storytelling. Blizzard has released the official schedule for the event, and from the looks of it, they’re not messing around with the reveals.
— Blizzard Entertainment (@Blizzard_Ent) October 22, 2019
As always, we’ll begin the convention with the traditional Opening Ceremony which will probably be presented by the President of Blizzard Entertainment, J. Allen Brack at 11:00 am PST/2:00 pm EST on November 1. It’s during this presentation that he, along with many others, will announce brand new IP’s, updates to existing ones, and more surprises. Immediately following this is a panel that doesn’t exactly have any specific details. In fact, there are six panels that are all pretty vague, four of them on November 1, and the other two on November 2, which we’ll list here.
- Coming Soon! 12:30 pm-1:15 pm Hall D
- Coming Soon! 1:30 pm-2:15 pm Hall D
- Coming Soon! 2:30 pm-3:15 pm Hall D
- Coming Soon! 3:30 pm-4:15 pm Hall D
- Coming Soon! 12:15 pm-1:00 pm Hall D
- Coming Soon! 3:15 pm-4:00 pm Hall D
It’s more than likely that these are meant for those surprises we mentioned, but the real question is, what will they be? We already have some good guesses, especially after some rumors from last week. The biggest one is without a doubt Diablo IV, and at this point Blizzard probably needs to at least announce the game. Even just showing the title, and nothing else, would be something for the fans to celebrate.
Speaking of Diablo, there’s a strong possibility that Diablo II Remaster will be revealed, which would be a another huge win for the company as well as the fans. Diablo II is one of the most popular, and most critically acclaimed PC games of all time, and with the success of StarCraft Remastered a couple of years ago, it’s almost a certainty that we’ll be seeing this one in Anaheim. Another possibility is a title that has been a somewhat well kept secret is Overwatch 2, which is rumored to have PvE mechanics and co-exist alongside the current Overwatch as an alternative.
Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV were actually mentioned earlier this year when Blizzard’s decided to cancel what would’ve been a first person StarCraft game in favor of focusing on the two titles. Not too many people were happy with that choice, but time will let us know if it was validated or not. While we’re on the subject, it’s been too long since we’ve had any real major development on the StarCraft universe. While we aren’t expecting anything major like StarCraft III, we’ll more than likely get yet another update for multiplayer in StarCraft II, and maybe even in StarCraft Remastered.
World of Warcraft has been floundering a bit so we could get another expansion announcement, as it has been a few years since the last one. However the biggest achievement for Blizzard this year so far has been the successful launch of WoW Classic. In fact, it was so crowded that the team already needed to make new servers for players to enter the game. They’ll probably build upon this with their roadmap, and hopefully announce the Burning Crusade Classic expansion at BlizzCon, revealing when we’ll get all of those updates.
As for HearthStone and Overwatch, we’ll more than likely see another expansion and hero respectively with a release date further down the road. We know that’s a lot to take in, but this is how Blizzard runs their show, with an over the top, grandiose, epic presentation. They’ll need it too, maybe more than they’ve ever needed it before, as the company has been embroiled in a serious political situation since they now infamously suspended HearthStone Grandmaster player Chung “blitzchung” Ng Wai for one year and taking away his prize money for showing support of the protests in his native Hong Kong.
The company has since responded and reduced the suspension to six months as well as giving back the prize money, but the damage was already done. The community almost entirely revolted against Blizzard, and even though blitzchung has made his own positive statement on the punishment he received, the backlash was, and still is, so immense that it has brought about even more scenarios. This includes a planned protests at BlizzCon 2019 and the company canceling an Overwatch launch event in New York for the Nintendo Switch.
Most recently, our own members of Congress actually sent a full Bipartisan Letter to Bobby Kotick, the CEO of Activision Blizzard, requesting a complete reversal of the suspension given to blitzchung. With all of this going on, it’s safe to say that BlizzCon 2019 is going to be more than just video games. It will be about how the company faces this high level of anger against their recent actions, and how they might be able to make it up to the their fanbase, if they can even make it up to them. Hopefully, not with another announcement like this.
BlizzCon 2019 will go from November 1, Friday through November 2, Saturday at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim California. You can check out the full schedule here, as well as the full map of the convention here. We’ll be attending BlizzCon and reporting on all of the reveals and announcements directly, so keep an eye out for that when the convention starts!