The new year is upon us and that means we are looking forward to all the big, bright things that could potentially happen this year. For fans of Blizzard, this often means our sights are set firmly on BlizzCon, the pinnacle gaming convention of our year. This is where new games and features get announced, the future of games are determined, and eSports run rampant. So what will BlizzCon 2016 bring? While only Blizzard employees truly have the answer to this question, we can make some pretty good guesses (combined with a touch of wishful thinking):
BlizzCon 2016 will undoubtedly be the year of Overwatch. Scheduled to be released in the Spring of 2016, this game will be pretty fresh off the line when BlizzCon 2016 rolls around. This game will be what everyone is talking about. Expect Overwatch to dominate panels, developer interviews, as well as the opening ceremony.
Based on reviews from the beta, players can’t get enough of Overwatch and Blizzard will likely use BlizzCon to help fuel that fire. Overwatch will likely be everywhere, including taking its rightful place as part of the eSports extravaganza that happens at the event every year. Watch out Starcraft, there is a new kid in town.
I know it might seem crazy, but I firmly believe that BlizzCon 2016 will see the announcement of a new World of Warcraft expansion. Yes, Legion will be fresh. Yes, announcing another expansion that soon after a release is highly unusual. With all that being said, I think another expansion announcement is eminent.
Subscriptions are down and a lot is riding on Legion. While things are looking amazing for this upcoming expansion, churning up some extra interest in the game couldn’t hurt. While I don’t believe developers will ever reach the 1 expansion a year time frame they once talked about, I do think they may start giving us a glimpse of what is to come a bit sooner. Knowing that a new expansion is in the works, even if it is over a year out, could potentially make the tedious end days of Legion more bearable.
eSports, eSports, eSports
If you have been watching BlizzCon for more than a few years, you have probably noticed the stealthy takeover of eSports. Little by little the convention has entertained more and more eSports competitions all revolving around (unsurprisingly) Blizzard games. Starcraft, Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone, and even World of Warcraft Arena matches take place over the course of the two-day event.
Big names come to play for big cash prizes and glory and the fans absolutely love it. With the grand majority of Blizzard games able to be part of eSports and Overwatch on the horizon, it can only get bigger. When it comes to eSports at BlizzCon you can bet on seeing more, more, more. Perhaps even at the expense of other panels.
WoW TV Series
The World of Warcraft movie is set to make its grand debut in June of 2016. While this movie obviously appeals to fans of the game, after watching the trailer, it has a good chance to resonate with a great many other people too. Assuming the movie does well (and I think it will), there is a good chance that Blizzard will want to continue along this avenue.
While another movie will be amazing, I don’t believe that is the best avenue. With so many stories to be told in this universe, I think a TV series would be a much better choice. With the assumption that the movie will do well in place, I think there is a great chance we may see an announcement of this sort at BlizzCon 2016.
Unfortunately for this beloved game, BlizzCon 2016 doesn’t look promising. At this year’s BlizzCon, the game hardly got any time at all. We can probably expect much of the same in 2016. It is doubtful we see any new expansion or even much groundbreaking content here. With Overwatch and Legion to compete with, Diablo III will probably see even less panel time than this year.
This could quite literally mean we see the total extinction of a Diablo panel from the BlizzCon convention. While this may sound gloom and doom, there just isn’t much to talk about with this game at the moment. Add in the fact that it cannot be worked into eSports and you can really see why the writing may be on the wall for this game as a star of BlizzCon.
What are your predictions for BlizzCon 2016? Share them with us in the comments section or the forums!
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