PC gaming heavy-weight, Blizzard Entertainment, has outlined its plans for Gamescom 2015.
Blizzard typically brings a solid offering to the annual Gamescom convention, but this year it's joining the likes of EA and Xbox to deliver a live press conference. The press conference will be next week on Thursday, August 6 at 9:00 a.m. PDT, during which they'll announce the 6th expansion for World of Warcraft.
World of Warcraft's current expansion, Warlords of Draenor. has been a mixed bag. While initially cashing-in heavily on nostalgia by re-introducing characters from the Warcraft RTS games, active subscriber numbers fell sharply by 2.9 million players shortly after launch. It's hard to put a finger on why WoW slipped so far from its 12 million+ subscriber peak, but I'd blame a combination of linearity, dumbing-down and pandaring (pun intended). Regardless, WoW is still the #1 subscription-based MMO in the world.
WoW has a big opportunity to bring players back to the aging MMO, as a big budget Warcraft movie is set to land in 2016. Blizzard may have recently registered the trademark 'Council of Glades', which could indicate an expansion based around the Council of Tirisfal. The Council of Tirisfal were a mage collective who resided in Warcraft's Tirisfal Glades. They were set up specifically to battle the Warcraft universes' big evil - Sargeras, who's demonic Burning Legion army has hounded Warcraft players since the beginning.
Blizzard's full Gamescom 2015 offering is detailed below. If you're unable to attend, Blizzard are streaming the event at www.blizzgc.com from 18:00 CEST Thursday to Saturday, and 17:00 CEST on Sunday.
- Fight against the formidable Iron Horde in World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor
- See top guilds battling it out in live raids and racing through Challenge Mode dungeons
- Show us your moves in the World of Warcraft dance contest
- Representing the World of Warcraft development team: Executive Producer J. Allen Brack, Game Director Tom Chilton, Creative Director Alex Afrasiabi, and Lead Game Designer Ion Hazzikostas
- See the next expansion unveiled on Thursday, August 6 at 18:00 CEST
- Watch the live-streamed show on Sunday, August 9 at 17:00 CEST, featuring exclusive World of Warcraft content and developer interviews
- Try out StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void, with the new co-operative mode, Allied Commanders, playable for the first time
- See pro players display their skills in show matches
- Representing the StarCraft II development team: Senior Game Designer David Kim and Lead Game Producer Tim Morten
- Watch the live-streamed show on Saturday, August 8 at 18:00 CEST, featuring exclusive Legacy of the Void content and developer interviews
- Lead Character Artist Paul Warzecha will bring the world of Sanctuary to life with live 3D modelling exhibitions on our main stage
- Play Hearthstone on PC and tablet, including some new cards from the upcoming expansion, The Grand Tournament
- See some of your favorite Hearthstone personalities, including Kripparrian, sling cards in show matches at our booth
- Representing the Hearthstone development team: Executive Producer Hamilton Chu, Senior Game Designer Mike Donais, and Senior Director of Business Operations Walter Kong
- Watch the live-streamed show on Friday, August 7 at 18:00 CEST, featuring exclusive Hearthstone content and developer interviews
Heroes of the Storm
- Battle it out in Blizzard's new team brawler of heroic proportions, with a few surprises
- See some of your favorite YouTubers clash in show matches
- Representing the Heroes of the Storm development team: Game Director Dustin Browder and Lead Game Producer Kaeo Milker
- Watch the live-streamed show on Friday, August 7 at 18:00 CEST, featuring exclusive Heroes of the Storm content and developer interviews
- Try out Blizzard's upcoming team-based shooter, playable for the first time in Europe
- See Overwatch cosplayers display their creations
- Representing the Overwatch development team: Game Director Jeff Kaplan, VFX Supervisor Jeff Chamberlain, Senior Game Designer Michael Chu, and Senior Game Producer Matthew Hawley
- Watch the live-streamed show on Saturday, August 8 at 18:00 CEST, featuring exclusive Overwatch content and developer interviews
Be sure to keep your eye on WindowsCentral.com for all the latest Xbox and PC gaming news emerging from Gamescom 2015.
Now readers, I humbly ask: what would Blizzard have to put in the next WoW expansion to get you to re-subscribe / give WoW a try?