2019 has definitely been a year for Blizzard with the timing of "BlizzCon", Blizzard's major annual press and fan event, coming only a few short weeks after a massive controversy that spread like wildfire over the punishment and reaction of a Hearthstone Esports player "Blitzchung". His vocal support of Hong Kong against Communist China started one of 2019's biggest controversies. For a recap on that scenario, click here. Many fans are ready to move on, and very much so is Blizzard as they tried to address the elephant in the room, and bring the focus onto (ie. distract) with some many huge announcements. This is a big year for BlizzCon with major announcements needing to take center stage for Blizzard. Major series like World of Warcraft, Diablo, and Overwatch all received major news. Watch the entire opening keynote below, or scroll down for a break down of the major announcements.
OVERWATCH 2 "Zero Hour" Opening Cinematic
Overwatch seems more like a major expansion, "Overwatch 2.0" rather than a traditional "sequel" where Blizzard would be starting more from scratch. In fact, it seems Overwatch "1.0" will still be playable to players which tells us this will be an optional version of the game (which destroys the rumors that it would be free). If it were going to be free, there would be no reason to point out you "can still play OW1". In fact those who don't get Overwatch 2 will still get the new maps, new characters, and actually be able to play with OW2 players! There is a new mode called Push which seems to evolve the "payload" gameplay. Even your hard earned cosmetics we have spent that last three years collecting will ALL TRANSFER TO OW2! While this is all great news, it does beg the question that if OW1 players get all these things, then what is the point of purchasing/updating to OW2? Well, Overwatch 2 will have exclusive content, Manning something that players (myself included) have been begging for since day one, a story campaign! Overwatch 2 will have a brand new "Story Mode" which will bring a much more in-depth lore based story missions as well as "hero missions" which is described as "highly repayable co-op" which sounds like some of the short story like special events we have gotten in OW1.
Nothing is known yet about the release window with even Jeff saying he doesn't know when it will release. It is possible this could be all the way until next year for next-gen consoles. What we do know is it is coming to Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PS4. We don't have official word on Stadia, PS5, or Xbox Scarlet. Blizzard did not officially state price, but we assume it will cost something based on their announcement.
Blizzard did reveal a new character Sojourn and also re-revealed "Echo" from McCree's short. Check out some early glimpses of gameplay below.
Overwatch 2 Gameplay Trailer
Diablo 4 Announcement Cinematic
We got a pretty lengthy and rather dark look at the next evolution of the Diablo franchise! We got a look at the new villain and some brief gameplay. Watch the cinematic above and the new gameplay trailer below. Keep in mind this is an early reveal, and Blizzard has said that it won't be any time soon. This will probably be a cross-get title as it is coming to Xbox One, PC, and PS4, but future platforms like PS5 and Xbox Scarlett will probably see it as well even though this is unconfirmed.
Diablo 4 Gameplay Trailer
Diablo Immortal Gameplay Trailer
While not exactly a major hit with fans last year during announcement, this mobile only announcement is still coming and this year BlizzCon gave us a new gameplay trailer, however no release date exists as of yet. Even though Diablo is heavily embedded in the PC gamer crowed, I for one am looking forward to the game on my phone as the diablo isometric top down style is begging for the touch screen era. If Blizzard can learn from Bethesda's mistakes bring AAA titles to mobile, Diablo Immortal "could" be a real treat for players and fans.
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands Reveal
Speaking of things Immortal, World of Warcraft is recieving another major expansion. Shadowlands gave us a cinematic look at what is next for the WOW universe. Watch it above. World of Warcraft: Shadowlands expansion will be available on or before December 31, 2020 so we may have quite a bit to wait.
For more BlizzCon or other gaming news, stay tuned on gameinfinite.net/news or follow us on Social Media for all your gaming needs!