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Gamescom is returning to Cologne, Germany this summer and the event will run from August 21-25.
At Gamescom 2017, visitors to the Blizzard booth were able to experience a brand-new Overwatch map and the world premiere of the Overwatch animated short. Hearthstone players could enjoy an early look at new Fireside Gathering features and WoW gamers learned more about Legion's Patch 7.3. Blizzard introduced a new Hero for HotS that was available for gameplay, StarCraft II got a new co-op commander, and attendees were able to play Diablo III's Rise of the Necromancer pack.
The world’s largest interactive entertainment event is coming back to Cologne, Germany this summer… and we’ll be there! From August 21-25, stop by the Blizzard booth at gamescom 2018 for some hands-on play time with Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, and World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, which launches on August 14.
We’ll also have plenty of activities for you, including our famous dance and cosplay competitions, as well as some epic merchandise at the Blizzard store. Stay tuned for details as the event nears, and we look forward to seeing you at gamescom 2018!
Quarterly results of the Activision Blizzard Earnings Call are here and we learned that Battle for Azeroth pre-sales are ahead of plan and more content in Legion lead to overperformance versus the prior expansion at this point in time.
374M MAUs (Monthly Active Users) (down from 385M MAUs since Q4 2017). Activision 51M (down from 55M) Blizzard 38M (down from 40M) King 285M (down from 290M). Games
World of Warcraft
The game is on a strong trajectory, with an encouraging start to pre-sales for the upcoming expansion (preorders ahead of plan). World of Warcraft is releasing more content, more regularly than ever before, leading to overperformance versus the prior expansion at this point in time and higher engagement sequentially. The game had strong participation with in-game purchases. Hearthstone
The game continued to reach and engage its large global audience through multiple efforts, including a new promotional bundle, an expansion, and a player versus environment mode, Monster Hunts, which has had strong engagement so far.
Overwatch continued to add new players, and engagement remains strong, with the most recent seasonal event, Retribution, having the highest participation rate to‐date. Recognized as BAFTA’s “Best Evolving Game”. Esports
The inaugural regular season for the Overwatch League launched in January and continues to reach millions each week. Combined hours spent playing and watching Overwatch increased quarter‐over‐quarter. The Overwatch League and its partners introduced new engagement programs like token drops, cheermotes and the new Twitch league pass, which deliver enhanced viewing experiences while adding unique revenue opportunities. Planning to add a handful of teams in key strategic markets by end of year. (Source)
John Staats was Blizzard's first 3D level designer and worked at the company for more than ten years. He just finished a book about working at Blizzard called The World of Warcraft Diary that demystifies the world of computer game development and the secret sauce behind Blizzard's successful MMORPG.
John is currently looking for backers to fund the first edition on Kickstarter.
About the Author
John Staats spent ten years on World of Warcraft dev team. His Vanilla WoW portfolio includes half of the game’s instanced dungeons, and 90 percent of non-instanced caves, crypts, dens, mines, and hive tunnels. John’s Staats is a regular on the weekly podcast Roll For Combat who got an early preview of his book. The author’s web page is whenitsready.com where there are additional images and excerpts.
The World of Warcraft Diary: A Journal of Computer Game Development
Based on interviews and monthly updates he took throughout Vanilla WoW's dev cycle, The WoW Diary covers the highs and lows of building Blizzard's massively multiplayer online game. Readers will get an inside scoop of one of the gaming industry's most prosperous companies. The WoW Diary is a comprehensive and candid picture of how difficult and messy game development can be, and includes details about the project's improvisations, mistakes, and lucky discoveries. It covers the devs who made the game and describes the secret sauce behind Blizzard's success.
The WoW Diary is 336 pages long, and while the book's 130+ images are used with Blizzard's permission, it is an independent publication. After the Kickstarter campaign, the book will be available only on Amazon.
Table of Contents
Here are a few excerpts from The WoW Diary taken from John's website.
If you ever wondered what it really takes to make great computer games, this is the book is a must! The first edition of The WoW Diary: A Journal of Computer Game Development will be available after the Kickstarter campaign. Subsequent editions will be available only on Amazon.
The StarCraft franchise turns 20 years old this month and Blizzard is celebrating with rewards in all of its titles!
It only seems like it was a few years ago, but StarCraft was first released on March 31, 1998. Since then, it's made a breakthrough in the real-time strategy genre and, in my opinion, it has one of the most compelling and well-written storylines of all Blizzard games. StarCraft II, a sequel with three expansions, followed many years afterwards, with Wings of Liberty being released in 2010. We've recently introduced a brand new StarCraft II section here in Icy Veins.
Anyway, back to the 20-year StarCraft anniversary celebrations, on March 30 and 31 there will be an anniversary live stream on Twitch with multiple StarCraft personalities. A special documentary called StarCraft Is Life: A Celebration will also be released on YouTube on the last day of March.
Moreover, rewards will be given away in all Blizzard games. Starting with StarCraft: Remastered, which was released six months ago, you can get a new commemorative 20th Anniversary UI skin from March 6.
Log in between March 6 and April 3 in StarCraft II to receive special UI skins for each race, a Portrait and Decal.
Diablo III players will get a nice-looking pet. Simply log in after March 6 to receive the monstrous Dominion's Revenge!
Overwatch's Widowmaker already has a Nova skin and now it's time for her to receive a skin from another icon StarCraft heroine. From March 6 until April 3, you can claim the Sarah Kerrigan Ghost skin.
Play Heroes of the Storm between March 27 and April 7 to receive three original StarCraft themed portraits for Protoss, Terran and Zerg. There are also heavy rumours of a new StarCraft hero and a new StarCraft-themed Brawl coming in HotS near the end of the month.
Hearthstone players will get a special StarCraft Tavern Brawl during the week of March 21 - March 25. Playing this Tavern Brawl will secure 3 packs from the most recent expansion, Kobolds & Catacombs.
Lastly, World of Warcraft seems to have the most obscure and perhaps disappointing reward. Between March 31 and April 6 there will be multiple StarCraft companion pets (Zergling, Grunty, Mini Thor, Baneling, or Zeradar) strolling around in WoW. Simply /salute one of these pets and you get a Feat of Strength. I wonder: could these pets become available in the Shop at some point or could we get at least one of them for free?
Warcraft III streamers have been invited to a secret Blizzard event held at the end of the month in the US. While there are no official information available at this time, streamers are rushing to get their US Visa just in time for the announcement.
The full list of attendees remains unknown, but we know that attending the event are HawK (RU), Foggy (UA) and Grubby (NL). Participants have signed a NDA and cannot divulge any further information. If you're a fan of Blizzard games, chances are you've come across Warcraft III. It all boils down to a single question; what's the announcement about?
Will Warcraft III get remastered or does the event have something to do with the unannounced MMO RTS project? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!