The Blizzcon 2019 schedule has six ‘coming soon’ slots set for its main Mythic Stage, spurring speculation that Blizzard will drop some major announcements next week (via VGC).
The Mythic Stage is used for cosplay competitions, announcements for World of Warcraft and Overwatch, and panels with developers and pro players. These six ‘coming soon’ slots — four to be held on November 1 and two planned for November 2 — are no indication of a totally new game or a totally new sequel coming to one of Blizzard’s major properties. However, recent rumours have pointed to, well, exactly that. And long stretches of time dedicated to unknown games at Blizzard’s official annual convention only lends credence to these stories.
So, what could these sessions be for? Diablo 4 might be a likely suspect. The latest copy of German magazine GameStar showed an advertisement for an upcoming Diablo artbook. The advert said that the book features ‘over 500 artworks from Diablo, Diablo II, Diablo III and Diablo IV.’ Now, that last title could refer to Diablo Immortal, the mobile game that is the fourth iteration of the Diablo series. But, the artbook is listed on Amazon Germany and is tipped to arrive after Blizzcon, which would coincide quite nicely with a Diablo 4 announcement.
And, Overwatch streamer Metro claimed that a Diablo 2 remaster will be revealed as well as Diablo 4 at next week’s event. They’ve also said that Overwatch 2 is coming, as an entirely new sequel with the ability to level heroes’ abilities and offer PvP and PvE modes. I’m not convinced. Sorry, Metro. It seems strange to me that Blizzard would launch Overwatch on Switch, complete with exciting motion controls, and then ditch it for a sequel so soon. If there will be an announcement about Overwatch, I reckon it will be for an Overwatch animated movie or series.
A movie would offer an opportunity to explore the lore of Overwatch that currently orbits the game like a nebula of fridge magnets. In addition, Blizzard’s cinematics are of such high quality that people liken them to Disney Pixar movies already. Warcraft defends the world record for the highest-grossing film of all time based on a video game, and with Overwatch’s toony style, it could draw in considerable audiences.
What about StarCraft 3? StarCraft was released in 1998, and StarCraft 2 came out in 2010. There’s a little over a decade between those two games, and it’s a little under a decade since 2010. A third game launching in 2020 could be quite a lovely present for plenty of stalwart StarCraft fans.
This is all speculation, and we won’t know what these session slots are for until next week, when the convention begins. It is also said that protests will be held at Blizzcon to take a stand against the company’s actions toward the Hearthstone pro who voiced support for the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.