Well, maybe you are.
Blizzcon starts today, and there is a lot of buzz over what may or may not be taking place at this event. Dozens of tweeps are out there passing along endless little details, relevant or not (seriously, I don’t care about the van decals. Have a dance fight or STFU). Blogs are bursting with speculation, with those that gotta have SOMETHING posting ANYTHING (you know who you are), and some being really creative and putting together original content that’s enjoyable to read and/or participate in.
Traditionally a lot of blogs (you know who you are) put on the magic hat and take a shot at fortune telling. Others still (you know who you are) try to make it the reader’s job to provide content ("What do YOU think will be announced? FOR THE LOVE OF GOD CLICK THE LINK AND WRITE A COMMENT!")
Two years ago, MMO-Champion put all the "pros" to shame and broke the news of Cataclysm well in advance of Blizzcon. This year, there has been nothing but silence. I haven’t even seen them crowing that they have confirmed that there is NOTHING to be announced, which leads me to conclude that either they know nothing (the big spoiler was a lucky find, and that luck didn’t repeat) or they’re in cahoots with Blizzard.
So what are the possible explanations?
- Considering that I don’t actually think that the people at MMO-C are really mean people, I think it’s possible they would respond to polite requests from Blizz to embargo their news.
- There might have been some quid-pro-quo but I think they might do it without.
- On the other hand, I can’t imagine they didn’t foresee the massive disappointment that Blizz felt over the last event. Nobody can be that obtuse, can they? In which case, they’re shallow and insensitive, and Blizz had to bribe or threaten.
- Or of course, there’s nothing to be broken early.
- Or Blizzard found and plugged the leak (fired somebody, moved somebody, etc?)
That particular sideshow aside, what is the big bad for this Blizzcon?
We know for a fact that the new project they’re working on will not be part of this. We know it as a fact because they have stated this bluntly, flat out, on no uncertain terms. I’ve even heard people from other companies that are in cahoots claim that they’ll get fired if they even talk about it. So, move on, there’s either nothing to see here (likely) or they’re complete liars (WTF guys)1.
We also know from leaked corporate documents2 that they plan to have another expansion out within the next eighteen months. To do that, they need to be moving on it now.
They’ve claimed that 4.3 is the final content patch of this expansion.
They’ve been forced to contend with declining subscription numbers and a lukewarm reception to Cata. They’ve made public statements that they plan to do something about it, using phrases quite similar to "more frequent expansions".
Diablo III has been delayed until 2012. Some think that they will announce its new release date during Blizzcon. I agree, but I doubt that’s the big bad.
Finally, all is quiet on the Starcraft front. Last time there was a big SC2 reveal, it was out of the blue. Considering how quiet it’s been, I consider that to be a huge possibility.
But, given the datapoints I have at my fingertips (which is not to say I have a lot), I’m leaning towards a new WoW expansion, as so many are. There may be a SC2 reveal, but if it is, it’ll be secondary to WoW.
I understand that Mists of Panderia has been trademarked by Blizzard. Hopefully, that goes with a TCG expansion. Because, Light help us, I don’t need the Blizzard version of Ewoks all over my screen.
And in fact I don’t think it’s that. I think we’re going to see something Argus-y in the next XP. We have unfinished business there, AND there are a number of big bads associated with Argus from which to select the next big-big bad.
Well, I imagine we will find out today. It is the wee hours in California right now, and Blizzcon has yet to actually start up. Here’s hoping for an eventful and exciting day for all the attendees. May you all have a blast! I’ll be watching from the bleachers, cheering you on!
- This could also be another of Blizzard’s schemes gone awry. I can imagine one of the boneheads over there going "if we take pains to make people ignore Titan, it’s all people will talk about!" Considering the ham-handed scripting they often do, I can see that this passes for subtlety over there. [↩]
- Vintage charts, road maps, things that tend to be reliable because they account for real money being budgeted. [↩]