This weekend is Blizzcon, Activision-Blizzard’s annual event, where they showcase new Blizzard content, games, and events. This years big showcase is Overwatch 2, World of Warcraft Shadowland expansion and Diablo 4. While Diablo 4 was an anticipated title, fans were surprised about the leak becoming true that Blizzard would release Overwatch 2. Overwatch 2isn’t an actual sequel to the team based shooter but rather an expansion which includes more story elements and PvE rather than PvP.
Despite fan excitement, neither titles have a launch date. This is pretty disappointing to fans but the games look like they have are based the Alpha stages. Some people online are speculating that Blizzard announced the two titles without release dates to earn good press after the recent controversies facing the company.
During a professional Hearthstone player interview, a player wore clothes similar to protesters at Hong Kong. Ng “Blitzchung” Wai Chung said at the end of his interview “Liberate Hong Kong. Revolution of our age!” The stream then quickly cuts to a commercial break. This resulted in the player receiving a year long ban from playing competitively, revoking his winnings from the tournament, and firing the two interviewers.
Blizzard stated cited a competition rule which states that players aren’t allowed to do anything that “brings [them] into public disrepute, offends a portion or group of the public, or otherwise damages [Blizzard’s] image. At Blizzcon, the President J. Allen Brack stated that “We moved too quickly in our decision-making and then, to make matters worse, we were too slow to talk with all of you,” said Brack. “We didn’t live up to the high standards we set for ourselves.
Blizzard has reduced his penalty to six months but fans were still outraged over the company’s decision. They felt that China’s influence made the company ban Blitzchung. There are several protesters at Blizzcon who support Blizchung’s opinion. With Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4 coming out eventually, many Blizzard fans seem to have forgotten the issue and focusing on the company’s future titles. Whether intentional or not, Blizzard has dramatically reduced the spotlight on the Hong Kong issue and has moved it towards their new games. Whether people will still speak out against Blizzard remains to be seen.
Do you miss the old WoW? Blizzard is finally releasingWorld of Warcraft: Classic. The story has greatly changed since the initial release back in the early 2000’s. If you already have a subscription, Classicwill be included. No need to pay for two. It launches Summer 2019.
Two new heroes?! Ashe and Echo both made their debut in the new Overwatchcinematic. Ashe will be the 29th heroine and will release soon but Echo is still in development. Echo is McCree’s old partner.
Heroes of the Storm:
An original character called Orphea for Blizzard’s MOBA. She is the daughter of the Raven Lord. She aims to overthrow him
A fan of old-school of strategy games? Warcraft 3: Reforgedis receiving an HD remake. It will still have its modding tool called World Editor tool. That tool and the game led to League of Legends!
A new Diablofor mobile! Don’t worry fans, Blizzard is still working on Diablo 4. For fans of the story, it takes place between Diablo 2 and 3. It will have multiplayer and six player classes similar to the main game. There are 4-player dungeons and people can drop in and out.
What did you think of this year’s Blizzcon? Was there enough interesting announcements or did you hope for different content?
People are trying to bring esports and professional gaming to a worldwide audience as it’s becoming more popular. People and or teams are competing all around the world and are representing their sponsors similar to physical sports teams. Some teams represent their countries similar to the Olympics such as the Asian Games. Earlier this year, gaming companies such as Riot, Blizzard, Epic, and the ESL, met with the Olympic Forums to discuss potentially having esports as an Olympic competition. The hopes would be the “government to help recognize esports as its own discipline” according to the CEO of Riot Games, Nicolo Laurent. Unfortunately, the Olympics will not allow any video games to be an Olympic event that has “killing” according to International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach.
Why did the Olympics deny video games from the Olympics?
While Esports may be in the Olympics in the future, Bach strongly stated “We cannot have in the Olympic program a game which is promoting violence or discrimination…They, from our point of view, are contradictory to the Olympic values and cannot therefore be accepted.” While people rebutted by stating some Olympic games involved dangerous weapons such as fencing, Bach said: “sport is the civilized expression about this.” Any games involved with “killing” for points/score will likely be denied by the Olympics in the near future. This would prevent popular esports titles from being an Olympic game such as Fortnite, Overwatch, League of Legends, and PUBG.
What are the pros for having esports in the Olympics?
If esports was legitimized by the Olympics, it would benefit the players. Players would able to receive their Visas more easily to travel internationally for tournaments. Many players and team owners must pay for the visas. This can lead to potential delays that may prevent the players from competing. It would also give teams and players more sponsors for financial support. It can also lead to more television broadcasting opportunities for video games. Below are the hours viewed on Twitch and YouTube. If channels begin streaming video games, it could lead to people actually watch tv.
How do you feel about video games not allowed in the Olympics?
Recently, more and more games have begun adding microtransaction items in AAA games. Games such as MiddleEarth: Shadow of Mordor, Forza Motorsport 7, and Star Wars Battlefront 2 are recent video games that contain loot boxes. Most prizes within usually have cosmetic items that don’t influence the game but their multiplayer games such as Star Wars contain upgrades or improved Star Cards. The inclusion of loot boxes has angered many fans.
This month, Activision‘s patent passed for a system to coerce players into buying in-game items. The system would drive players into buying in-game items based on multiplayer. It would actively place expert or higher ranked players against a junior player.
It would also place players based on interest. “In a particular example, the junior player may wish to become an expert sniper in a game (e.g., as determined from the player profile),” according to the patent. A newer player may want to emulate their guns or gear which could lead to potential purchases.
The system also knew which items to promote based on players preferences. If you’ve already bought an item or weapon, the patent stated “if the player purchased a particular weapon, the microtransaction engine may match the player in a gameplay session in which the particular weapon is highly effective, giving the player an impression that the particular weapon was a good purchase. This may encourage the player to make future purchases to achieve similar gameplay results.”
Activision has stated this method is not in any current games and Bungie has confirmed the method is not in Destiny 2. It was an exploratory patent made in 2015 by the Research and Development team outside of their gaming division said Activision spokesperson to Glixel.
A lot of people are disgusted that Activision would actively create a match-making system that incentives in-game purchases rather than creating fair and balanced matches. Although Activision has stated they have not released this system on any current games, that may change towards the future. We want our games to be pure and be created purely for fun and entertainment but the gaming industry is still a business. Many online stores and sites already cater items, videos, and advertisements based on your searches, likes, or content you viewed. While I don’t have anything against promoting purchases based your interest, I am actively against basing the entire matchmaking system on it. While the system is based for first-person shooters, it can potentially be added into future Activision games. This further ruins their image to gamers.