For those who aren’t familiar with BlizzCon allow me to give you a quick overview of what the event is…
BlizzCon is a gaming convention put on by Blizzard Entertainment to show off their upcoming developments for their games. BlizzCon has some of the largest titles of any studio.
A quick list of Blizzards IPs
- World of Warcraft
- Diablo III
- Starcraft II
- Heroes of the Storm
- Warcraft III
That’s a pretty impressive list considering all of those games are or were at one time the most popular game on any social media or content sharing platform with the exclusion of maybe Heroes of the Storm.
World of Warcraft — by far the most popular MMO and the top grossing game in the history of video games.
Overwatch — One of if not the most popular first-person shooter ever created
Diablo (all three games) — Have one of the most devoted player bases of any game ever produced. Diablo III port to console was the most successful port in history from PC to console or console to PC.
Starcraft II —The most popular RTS the world has ever seen only second to Warcraft III. SCII is the only RTS to have a competitive side that yields tournament winnings over that of $1 Million.
I’ll leave it at those big four for now.
Those are pretty impressive accolades when you think about it. Especially when you consider these are encompassing all other games both console and PC.
With Accomplishments This Massive How Was BlizzCon 2018 Considered a Failure?
There are an array of different factors that ultimately caused attendees, news outlets, influencers, and most other onlookers to write BlizzCon 2018 off as a failure.
Let’s start from a simple view that isn’t so much subjective as practical which is technical difficulties and poor presentation. Now, for a lot of people that wouldn’t completely ruin the experience…unless it was excessive. I’m here to tell you, it was excessive.
- During the opening ceremony, there were multiple issues including mics that were turned off on the devs who were speaking as well as the people who were talking into their ears.
- The slideshow(s) during the opening ceremonies were not working correctly or didn’t work at all through it.
- The devs who were presenting for Diablo III, Overwatch (at the beginning) and World of Warcraft were very awkward and didn’t deliver the energy needed to get us into the announcements.
People Compare BlizzCon 2018 to Previous Blizzcons
This can be a problem because all BlizzCons are different with what they release. That being said it is very sad when things like this happen.
Let’s cover what’s happened this BlizzCon vs others.
So like before let’s list it out game by game to talk about the announcements.
World of Warcraft
This BC we had the announcement of patch 8.1 for BFA along with the announcement of classic World of Warcraft.
We got the announcement of BFA as well as 7.2 (I believe) along with allied races. Finally we got the announcement of BFA even though it wouldn't’ be out for another year.
The announcement of Diablo Immortal which no one asked for or wanted. For a long time since the battle royale craze became a thing there were talks inside the Diablo community of Diablo BR (Battle Royale) and Diablo Mobile; however, these were jokes or memes if you will.
Diablo still got shafted last year at BlizzCon. 2017 BlizzCon gave Diablo III the character pack of Necromancer. They also announced seasonal themes like double goblin events or things of that nature.
We got the new hero, Ashe.
We got Moira as the new hero and we got Blizzard World as the new map.
Pretty Lackluster, Huh?
Yeah, it kinda sucked I won’t lie. I honestly thought a lot more would have happened than what did.
Now that we’ve broken down the comparison let’s talk about each game individually.
World of Warcraft (Warcraft)
Honestly, I’m okay with the WoW announcements assuming I get to include Warcraft III in that grouping. It’s about time Blizzard’s WoW dev team started listening to fans and announced Classic World of Warcraft! This announcement was huge and had players rejoicing! I was one of the people who were extremely happy. I even got to demo the game and it’s identical to Classic WoW. It’s very exciting that we will finally be able to play the WoW we all know and love.
Beyond that we got Warcraft III Reforged (Remastered) which looked amazing. I spent well over 1,000 hours on the original Warcraft III and I plan to do the same this time around.
Finally, we got patch 8.1 for BFA coming out which not a lot of people were excited about honestly. BFA had a lot of potential in the beginning and still does; however, the devs decided to go with a gambling system for loot instead of actual drops with chances to then upgrade gear like they should have. They’re finally fixing this mistake after a very popular streamer, Azmongold, came out with his frustrations on the loot system. I don’t think there will be much of a resurgent wave for patch 8.1.
First off, let’s take a moment of silence to mourn the Diablo franchise…it had a great run but unfortunately the franchise is over.
I’m joking of course…well kind of.
Diablo got a new game announced!…a mobile game.
Diablo Immortal got announced at BlizzCon 2018 which is a mobile only Diablo game. I’m sorry, to all Diablo fans. You deserved so much better than this.
Something I found odd is Blizzard isn’t even making this mobile game; It’s being made by NetEase which has a game that looks exactly like the gameplay footage they showed off at BlizzCon.
Let me first start off by saying this is by far one of the most tone deaf moves I’ve ever seen by a gaming company. This ranks right up with EA’s pay to win idea with Battlefront II. I’m not super passionate about Diablo because I don’t play it much but what I can & will say is at first I thought and truly hoped this was nothing more than a cruel joke by the devs.
I’ve attended BlizzCon since 2015 and I’ve never actually heard booing at a single panel or presentation until now. It wasn’t quiet booing nor was it one or two people but a legion of people in the fan who were booing this terrible decision.
Now if we decide to point the finger at Blizzard we also have to point the finger at Activision who undoubtedly pushed Blizzard into making a mobile game out of Diablo.
How can I make this claim?
Simple, Activision makes almost 50% of its revenue from microtransactions. Diablo Immortal will be a free to play mobile game that will sustain itself on microtransactions.
There was also a lot of backlash when Activision made the decision to add their games to the blizzard launcher. A lot of people didn’t feel like Activision should be added to Blizzard’s launcher because they don’t embody the feel of a Blizzard game.
I’m not happy about this. I don’t have a massive stake in Diablo I just think this is wrong. They’re taking one of their most loyal player bases and one of the player bases that made them famous and essentially saying “we don’t care what you want, we care about profits and that’s it.” It’s disgusting. If this is their view of the games they create then I can only imagine what’s to come for other renowned blizzard games. Can’t wait for Warcraft Battle Royale to come out with a slew of microtransactions. Spare me.
I won’t be playing Diablo Immortal. I won’t even install it.
They’ve made a mockery of one of the best Blizzard games ever created and that is unacceptable. I personally will not support it in any way.
How Could it Have Been Better
This is a really simple question to answer actually. Make it for PC too. Make something for PC. Make literally anything to announce for PC. When your entire player base is on one singular platform that is considered and factually so as the zenith, the pinnacle, the epitome of gaming you don’t tell them you’re going to only release something for the worst gaming platform available.
Had they announced anything else along with Diablo Immortal we wouldn’t have had nearly as much backlash as we have now. The issue with the announcement was that this was all Diablo got. This was the headlining even not only for Diablo but for the entirety of BlizzCon.
Following the opening ceremony of BlizzCon you always have the biggest announcement for any game at the convention. When you see the schedule and you see that first slot it’s huge. It means whatever game that is will be getting something massive. I’m talking game changing and impressive for the game. This is historically accurate. WoW leads almost every year they have an Expansion. SC:II leads any year they have an expansion. Overwatch lead it when it was announced they were coming out of Alpha and going live. Historically it’s always saved for the biggest and best announcement at BlizzCon. That being said this fell flat.
In this same slot Warcraft III was announced so in a way it was the biggest announcement only they thought Diablo would be as big and as interesting as Warcraft III. Boy were they wrong. Blizzard should have done so much better. This was absolutely terrible if I’m being honest. In fact, if Diablo Immortal doesn’t tank I will be extremely surprised. I can’t think of a single person who wanted this or anyone who even played the demo who enjoyed it. Not a single person.
The one thing that can reconcile this for me would be some announcement for PC. It doesn’t have to be something huge like Diablo II Remastered or Diablo IV. If they did an expansion to Diablo III I would be happy. This could be a big expansion or a small expansion like they did with the addition of the Necromancer class. If they fix this terrible mistake in my eyes this problem will be fixed to the best it can be.
Some people will disagree with me on some of my points for this one and that’s okay. If you do disagree tell me why and your opinion if you don’t mind.
Year one of Overwatch we got six new events. Year two of Overwatch we got additions onto those events we received the first year. Finally, year three of Overwatch not a single event has gotten any changes. Summer Games skins are regarded as the worst skins in the game while Halloween skins are regarded as some of the best in the game. So what’s my point? My point is what have the devs done with the past year of not doing anything with the events? I was expecting something big at BlizzCon 2018 for Overwatch for the simple reason that we’ve been starved of content for the past year now. The popularity of Overwatch is dropping at an alarming rate while other games like Black Ops IV take over the spot of Activision’s top FPS. In every single BlizzCon since Overwatch’s release we’ve gotten at the very least one hero and one map. Every year. This year we only get one hero. This is arguably the year Overwatch needed the most love as the game has begun to stagnate. Yet Blizzard has done nothing for Overwatch other than added a new hero. I will agree 100% that the new hero, Ashe, is a great addition and I’m excited to try her out. Nonetheless, Overwatch need something to sustain itself otherwise it will continue to lose popularity.
Since BlizzCon 2018 has ended Activision Blizzard’s stocks have fallen considerably. Although this graph may be difficult to read as it’s small and I uploaded it on my phone. Blizzard has dropped about 4% daily since the convention finished.
How much money is that total?
That’s roughly $10 billion Blizzard has lost in the past few days. Do you think they’ll learn from their mistakes?
As we know Blizzard isn’t going anywhere even if they lose $50 billion with a massive parent company like Activision who can and most certainly will bail them out. To Blizzard all this massive loss comes down to is a very expensive lesson. They need to do better. If they don’t they will fail and Activision will eventually let them tank or Blizzard will drag Activision down too.
The probability that it comes to anything like that is very low. Blizzard will bounce back as they always do and continue on their way with whatever games they have in development. We will see Diablo IV and we will see Diablo II remastered very soon, especially with fallout like this.
Blizzard needs to do better. They will do better. If you’re a Blizzard fan I wouldn’t give up hope yet on any of your favorite games. Something big is coming for Diablo (that people actually want). Something big is coming for StarCraft II. Something big is coming for Heroes of the Storm. Something big is coming for Overwatch. Hold out hope because it will improve.
To any Diablo fans out there I’m sorry Blizzard has done this to you. It’s not right and they will fix it. Keep your head up.
I’m not a great stock analyst but I will say if you’ve still got stocks in Blizzard you should probably just hold onto them at this point and hope for the best also. When Classic WoW comes out it will be a massive attraction for old WoW players. I’m talking about 14 million people who used to play WoW. Beyond that Warcraft III will be out after December which will bring a ton of players to that. So things will pick up for overwatch.
Much Love ❤
Let’s end on a positive note. My favorite cosplay from Blizzcon 2018 was a South Park reference. Enjoy :)