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Blizzcon 2019 Expectations

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First, let me thank all who have asked for my thoughts, predictions, or hopes for Blizzcon. You've given me reason to think about it and to write up something to share.

I'm going to share my expectations of Blizzcon 2019, which at this point is only two days away. I'm sharing expectations rather than predictions because these are things I feel Blizzard should and will do -- and I'd be confused if they didn't go this direction. 

Warcraft 3 Reforged Release Date

I bought the special edition of those a year ago, and not a month has gone by when I haven't longed to play my favorite RTS of all time with newer graphics. The Blizzard launcher has always shown the "Expected by 12/31/2019" release date. Looks like they weren't kidding. I think we'll get a release date during Blizzcon, and it'll be mid-late December. Beta invites have already gone out to some, and will roll out this week to preorders of the special edition.

World of Warcraft Expansion

They pretty much have to release A LOT of details about the next WoW expansion. Everyone I play with in BFA right now is completely over this expansion and ready to move on. BFA was a complete flop for many, and they want something new to hopefully undo the silly things Blizzard introduced this expansion.

I expect we'll get the name, a basic premise, and a few key details to keep people excited and willing to slog through one final season of BFA.

Warcraft Mobile Game

I really do expect some kind of Warcraft mobile game. Whether it's WoW Classic on mobile devices, or some other kind of time-waster management style game... it's inevitable.

WoW Classic Hype

Now that Classic has begun to wind down in hype and most people either quit WoW altogether or go back to retail, they'll want to hype this up again. They will either announce official plans for Burning Crusade classic (to come sometime way down the road) or they'll announce something big related to the phase release dates.

Diablo 4 Officially Announced

I expect a DIablo 4 announcement will come out with some concept art and maybe basic animations. I expect a cinematic and something to excite people. A release date or much more than this would be unbelievable.

Diablo Immortal Release Date

Diablo Immortal, though not a big ticket item for Blizzcon go-ers, represents billions for Blizzard. That's the mobile economy for you. They'll share something about it because their shareholders demand it, but it'll be a complete afterthought compared to what will bookend it (ass seen in this post).

Diablo 2 Remastered

This one has been a long-time coming. Blizzard will probably give us a "coming by 12/31/2020" release date. I expect significant in-game footage to be shown.

Overwatch "2" - AKA the Line Extension for PVE

Based on all the leaks out there about an Overwatch 2, it's hard not to expect something from them. I do not expect a completely new game, as FPS games do much better in eSports when they're simply updated and continually developed. I do, however, expect an offshoot of sorts. Think Fortnite but in reverse. I expect a big PvE push with multiple modes and a way of introducing more people to the Overwatch brand without forcing them into the competitive community.

Don't you guys have PCs and Consoles?

I think they'll twist last year's meme fiasco and make some statement to the fact that they've just dropped the biggest Blizzcon on us to date. And I think that's also an expectation I'll emphasize: This will be one of the bigger Blizzcons to date with respect to their core-property announcements. That's why this is the first year I have ever purchased a Virtual Ticket. 

Oh, and of course there will be the usual housekeeping items like Hearthstone cards and Heroes of the Storm, etc.

  • “Now that Classic has begun to wind down in hype and most people either quit WoW altogether or go back to retail.”

    What is your evidence for this assertion? I mean, I get the hype part now that we are two months out, but my server is still crowded AF and, as I understand, Blizzard had to push back removal of layering on lots of servers and there are still some servers that remain layered as of Blizzard’s most recent update two days ago. As soon as it was removed on my server, I was back to waiting in a queue. A short one, granted, but the realm was still full up.

    Maybe I am misunderstanding something.

    • Yeah don’t get me wrong, a ton of people still play WoW Classic. No doubt about that. It’s not going anywhere, etc. It’ll continue to have staying power for the crowd that was dedicated to the private servers and the crowd that was always waiting for an official supported version.

      The hype has undoubtedly died down, though, and there is a significant decline in the total number of players. ALL as predicted, right?

      My friends list had 14 people playing it every day for a month. Now, one person plays regularly. The rest have all quit WoW entirely again (like they had before classic), or occasionally log into BFA once a week.

      What I’m saying is that Blizzard will undoubtedly stoke the fires and keep those hype flames going to keep people rolling back into Classic who would otherwise drift away at the 3-monther mark.

      • Agree with both takes. Classic has exceeded expectations beyond Blizz’s thoughts, and hopefully opened some eyes to what gamers they have lost are looking for; while gradually settling into a normalized population that will inevitably continue to lose subs. What would be a HUGE curve ball, but IMMENSELY WELL received (imo), is any type of original/new content for Classic. Even if, this were to come after phase 6.

      • Agreed. Would be nice to have some kind of info about what Blizzard’s thought re: Classic beyond Phase 6. I am hoping to hear about some type of future Classic Plus or at least a BC server.

      • That makes sense. Glad to see you’re still posting. I enjoy reading your thoughts.

    • I agree! Overwatch 2 looks like a lot of fun. After watching the US vs China match I got hyped about OW again. I played a few matches and knew that OW2 would be more my thing.

  • Glad to see an update here. Was beginning to wonder if we had seen the end of this blog. Super excited after the D4 info yesterday! 100% druid for me whenever it releases!

    • Hi Idunaz,

      Definitely still around. Was lurking for a few months there. The MMO industry has slumped to literally just WoW right now for me (and most people). I’m hoping that Pantheon and Camelot Unchained will reignite some of that hype. I’ll probably do more blogging about WoW and Blizzard games for a while.

      Keeping real busy with my business and other websites (that generate my full-time income), so caring about the MMO industry and commenting on it took a back seat.

      Definitely around, definitely excited for the Blizzcon stuff, and won’t go anywhere permanently!

      • Thanks for the content you’ve put together over the years. Yours is one of the last blogs I follow and it’s sad to see it dying here. That said, your previous posts indicate you are well and life is just keeping you busy. Best of luck with everything.

        “So long, and thanks for all the fish.”

      • MMOs have simply died. Aside from WoW, which I still play actively, there aren’t any that are even worth musing about.

        I’ve come to reliaze over the years that as much as I try to be about “all the game,” I’m an MMO blogger.

        When MMOs come back – perhaps with Camelot Unchained and Pantheon – I’ll pick back up again. For now, I have three other sites that are my full-time business and income – but in an entirely different industry (marketing and digital tech).

  • Not sure about you guys, but Blizzcon was a fairly big let down for me. Diablo 4 tease, which I enjoyed but left me lacking any real hype knowing this is prob 18+ months from shipping.

    New retail wow exp, which at this point I’m basically done with. If you could watch all the cinematics without playing I’d interested, everything else was blah. All about mounts, char customization, fast leveling, etc. Everything the opposite from classic. All that combined with the news today the last content patch for battle is Jan 2020, once again wow devs fumble the handoff. Classic is going to fade and all those subs who came back will leave forever.

    OW2, interesting but this is your big announcement? OW is a far cry from a leading fps or even organized coop shooters. Will do ok, but this isn’t going to carry your company.

    In the end, no huge announcements, no big surprises, no risks, nothing NEW. Blizzard is playing things so safe they are killing themselves. I’ll continue to play and follow blizzard, but I think we need to stop viewing this company as leaders.

  • Would love to see a game design trends of the last decade vs forecast for the next decade. heh, unless you’re getting paid for that now in which case do us a favor and shut this down so we stop looking.