Blizzard Entertainment kicked off BlizzConline, a fully virtual version of its perennial community and gaming celebration, with a slew of news and game announcements for a global online audience of fans and enthusiasts tuning in FREE via www.blizzcon.com.
During the event’s just-concluded opening ceremony, company president J. Allen Brack and development leaders for Blizzard’s franchises reflected on the past and shared an exciting look at the future, revealing the following games and game updates—much of which will be explored in more detail during the show:
- One of the most acclaimed titles in PC gaming history returns with Diablo II: Resurrected, a faithful remaster of Blizzard’s classic action-RPG and its award-winning expansion, Lord of Destruction, coming later this year to Windows PC and, for the first time, consoles. PC players can sign up now at www.diablo2.com for a chance to participate in upcoming public testing.
- Blizzard also unveiled the Rogue for Diablo IV, with a dark cinematic trailer and gameplay footage of the new player class in action. The Rogue is a swift, deadly, mobile class with unparalleled versatility. Rogue players can choose from a variety of ways to attack and trap their enemies and can enhance their combat through poisons, shadow magic, and specialized techniques.
- Blizzard is set to kick off another jam-packed year of content—the Year of the Gryphon—for Hearthstone, its popular free-to-play digital card game, in the coming weeks. The new Hearthstone year will feature a new Core set of cards designed to shake up the game, and the introduction of the Classic format, which will let players craft decks and compete using the original Hearthstone cards as they were when the game launched in 2014.
- Also coinciding with the Year of the Gryphon is the first Hearthstone expansion of 2021, Forged in the Barrens, inspired by the iconic World of Warcraft locale where millions of adventurers began forging their legends—available for prepurchase now at www.playhearthstone.com.
- Later in the year, Blizzard will roll out Hearthstone Mercenaries, a single-player and competitive game mode in which players collect mighty characters from the Warcraft universe and level them up in tactical battles.
- For World of Warcraft, Blizzard announced Chains of Domination, the first major content update coming later this year for the recently released Shadowlands expansion, as well as an all-new charity pet program that will yield two separate pets—Bananas the monkey and Daisy the sloth—for all modern WoW players once donation goals are met. Blizzard also revealed Burning Crusade Classic, an authentic recreation of the acclaimed first World of Warcraft expansion—also coming later this year, and included in players’ existing World of Warcraft subscription at no additional cost.
- Now included as part of Blizzard’s anniversary-themed Celebration Collection on Windows PC (via Battle.net), as part of The Blizzard 30-Year Celebration Collection on consoles, or as a standalone game on consoles, the Blizzard Arcade Collection is a digital set of Blizzard’s original console hits, The Lost Vikings, Rock N Roll Racing, and Blackthorne, enhanced for modern platforms.
Over the next few hours today and starting again at 12 p.m. PST tomorrow, six channels of programming will feature deeper dives on Blizzard’s franchises, including a behind-the-scenes look at the ongoing development of Overwatch 2, the company’s highly anticipated sequel to its blockbuster team-based shooter, and Diablo Immortal, its upcoming mobile massively multiplayer online action-RPG. (Of note, Blizzard recently completed its first stage of regional testing on Diablo Immortal, receiving an enthusiastic response from testers, and will be rolling out further tests in the coming months. The game has also recently received publishing approval for release in China.) Viewers will also be treated to one-of-a-kind esports showmatches—with legendary StarCraft and StarCraft II pros facing off, as well as a battle between reigning Overwatch League champions, the San Francisco Shock, and a dream team comprising pros, community figures, and more.
Channelling the spirit of the live show, BlizzConline will also put a huge spotlight on the creativity and skill of the people who help bring Blizzard’s games to life. There will be multiple segments featuring artists, musicians, voice actors, content creators, and streamers, as well as an epic showcase highlighting some of the talented cosplayers, storytellers, and other artists inhabiting the Blizzard community.
To learn more about BlizzConline and for a full schedule of events, visit www.blizzcon.com.
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