Blizzard Entertainment surprised quite a few of us in the gaming community with its huge presence at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany this past week. We were greeted with a number of surprise content announcements across numerous titles. The only big updates most of us were expecting was Legion, a new expansion to Blizzard’s World of Warcraft MMORPG launching on August 30th. Most of us expected only minor updates to other titles. Instead, Blizzard fired a rather large shot across the bow of all their various communities.
Overwatch announced a new German themed map set to go live in September which should hopefully invigorate the Map Pool of the game which has yet to see any major additions since launch. On top of this, we received a new animated short which have been routinely drawn widespread acclaim from both the community and critics.
Heroes of The Storm which as been showing a healthy Esports scene and respectable, but not incredibly large fanbase, also received a number of announcements relating to the new Machines of War event which will bring a fair amount of Starcraft content to the game including 2 new battlegrounds and Alarak, a Protoss assassin to round out the Starcraft stable of heroes.
Zarya will be entering the Nexus as Overwatch’s second representative as well. We’ll also receive some skins as well but those are generally par for the course. Personally, I’m pretty excited as I am also a Starcraft Fanboy.
The Machines of War event will bring new Starcraft content to the Nexus
Starcraft II receives Alarak as a Co-Op commander which should help bring more variety to Blizzard’s “Weekly Mutation” Content updates to the game. On top of this, further details on Collections of voice and skin packs were announced. These are due for launch in the coming months and will bring some more vigor to the fanbase.
Hearthstone (not so sad) and Diablo (sad) did not receive much love at this event. We’ll hopefully see some announcements related to Diablo III in the coming months as there has not been much in terms of new content or gameplay. Hearthstone recently released a new expansion which likely explains the lack of announcements at Gamescom.
Overall, I’m glad to see Blizzard firing on all cylinders and bringing fans and viewers new content steadily the board instead of firing off massive announcements every few years.