Blizzard Entertainment has not officially announced participation in the gamescom 2020 event which is this year going to be held as an online event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, on July 13, gamescom organizers posted new participants to the event which include… Activision Blizzard.
Usually when only Activision games are going to be presented at an event, they simply use the Activision monicker. By using Activision Blizzard instead, they are between lines saying that a Blizzard game or more will be showcased.
We won’t know for sure until August.
Blizzard Entertainment did not participate in 2019 after an announcement.
The year before, on 2018, Blizzard did attend but they didn’t announce their participation in GamesCom until 5 days before gamescom 2018 day one.
The 2018 participation was announced on August 17th, 2018. The gamescom 2018 event took place on August 22-25.
In 2020, the online event will be held on August 27-30. So we might be hearing from Blizzard sometime toward earlier/later/or-on August 22 approximately.
This little piggy…
We don’t have anything official other than the “Activision Blizzard” monicker being used as a participant. But we have an approximate timeframe when Blizzard might make the participation announcement.
What could Blizzard announce there?
Well, Shadowlands is a big possibility. In the past, Blizzard has made these showcases:
- 2018 – Diablo III Eternal Collection (Nintendo Switch)
- 2017 – Legion 7.3, Heroes of the Storm (Kel’Thuzad)
- 2016 – Legion, Heroes of the Storm: Machines of War, Overwatch (Eichenwald)
- 2015 – Legion artifacts, Heroes of the Storm: Eternal Conflict (Medic, Kharazim, Rexxar, Artanis, Infernal Shrines), Hearthstone: The Grand Tournament, StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void, Overwatch (Lucio).
- 2014 – Warlords of Draenor, Heroes of the Storm (Chen, Anub’arak, Azmodan). Diablo III Ultimate Edition (Consoles)
- 2013 – Diablo III: Book of Tyrael, Reaper of Souls
- 2011 – Diablo III, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm 4.3
What is a constant? World of Warcraft, Diablo, Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch. Diablo has been showcased at gamescom in 4 years out of 7 gamescom events.
Obviously, I don’t know what is going to be announced if Blizzard Entertainment showcases something at gamescom 2020 Online. But I can provide you a few guesses that are not confirmed.
- Diablo Immortal – We are still missing the abilities of two classes: Necromancer and Crusader.
- Overwatch 2 – Last time we heard of its progress was BlizzCon 2019. The BlizzCon 2020 was cancelled, but the ATVI 2020 Q2 financial conference revealed a early 2021 BlizzCon online event in its place.
- Diablo IV – The last Diablo IV Quarterly Developer Update was held on June 25. But we only know of three classes: Barbarian, Wizard, and Druid. Is there room for one class reveal at gamescom 2020 Online?
- Heroes of the Storm – It has been a while since Mei was announced. Time for the next hero? New map?
- Diablo II: Resurrected – Blizzard hasn’t officially announced this “leaked project.” But if Vicarious Visions is really working on it, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1-2 was announced two months before the release date. So if Diablo II: Resurrected is announced, we might be playing it by Halloween? Hmm…
These are all conjectures, so don’t hold your breath. Hopefully, one or more of these are announced, but if not, then we will have to wait until the BlizzCon 2021 Online event.
UPDATE: Forgot about PAX 2020 Online — to be held on September 12-20. My media access registration was approved August 7. This event replaces PAX West due to Covid-19. Has Blizzard been at PAX West before? Yes. I have sent correspondents there for interviews (check here).
You may read below what the gamescom 2020 organizers posted on July 13, 2020.
gamescom 2020: Top international companies confirm participation
Preparations for the world’s biggest event for computer and video games are well underway. Many companies have already confirmed their digital participation as official partners. Among them are the top international companies:
- Activision Blizzard
- BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment
- Electronic Arts
- Indie Arena Booth
- Koch Media
- SEGA Europe
- Yager Development GmbH
- and many more
In addition to this, more partnerships are currently being concluded and regularly announced on www.gamescom.global . These are supplemented by many partnerships with content creators and platforms, which will be announced at a later date.
The guiding theme of gamescom 2020 has also been defined: with “Playing into the future”, gamescom focuses on the many positive effects of games and the games industry on society: computer and video games have helped millions of people during the corona crisis, for example, by also helping to maintain contact with friends and family during the lockdown. Classic sports events took place during the corona pandemic as e-sports tournaments, while it was possible to visit concerts and entire festivals within games, and numerous charity activities took place within the community. It was even possible to participate in research on the corona virus thanks to the experimental game “Foldit”. This means that games and their communities were already pointing a finger in the direction of gamescom, because, although the world’s largest games event of the year could not take place on location in Cologne, it will still bring millions of gamers together in 2020 to follow the biggest new products and news and to celebrate games culture.
Oliver Frese, Chief Operating Officer of Koelnmesse: “Thanks to the innovative and bold games industry and games community, we can together organize one of the biggest events in the world with gamescom 2020, even in these times, and thus embark on new paths. This is once again evident: there was already a lot of support from companies shortly after communication of our digital concept for gamescom 2020, as is made impressively clear by the long list of first partners. Many more partners will follow. Millions of fans can now look forward all the more to an eventful gamescom 2020.”
Felix Falk, Managing Director of game – Association of the German Games Industry: “In the difficult times of the corona pandemic, games have helped millions of people worldwide and provided fun and pleasure. They have helped friends and families to stay in touch, even when we could not leave the house. The games industry and community has always been characterized by this positive and future-oriented attitude. gamescom will thus once again provide a forecast in 2020 of what will be in the living rooms of millions of gamers tomorrow, on the screens the day after tomorrow, and will enrich all of our lives in future.”
Trend “New console generation”
The successors to the current generation of consoles have been announced for the end of the year with the PlayStation 5 from Sony and the Xbox Series X from Microsoft. Millions of fans worldwide are already waiting with longing for the new devices. The new console generation is thus the top trend of this year’s gamescom. Finally, there will be many announcements and much news revolving around the consoles in the context of gamescom at the end of August, only a few weeks prior to its start. The new models offer especially high performance, thus enabling gaming worlds of a magnitude and wealth of detail that have been impossible to realize up to now. The new devices master, among other things, so-called ray tracing, with which a novel calculation of light enables especially realistic graphics. Where one needed an entire computer centre for this a few years ago, this will soon be found in the new consoles in the living room.
Trend “Games at school”
Corresponding with the start of the school year in many federal states at the end of August, the second gamescom trend this year is “Games at school”. There has already long been a large and varied offering of serious games, with which one can learn playfully. More and more parents and children trust in such games. Due to the corona-related closures of schools, the need for them has increased dramatically. However, the corresponding serious games have to date primarily been used at home and in the private realm. Serious games have many positive qualities that also provide help with teaching and learning in school: they are fun, motivate, and thus improve learning success. Unfortunately, many schools in Germany are still too poorly equipped to consistently include serious games in the school routine. Which is why the focus of the gamescom congress is also on digital education this year. There, among other things, best practice examples will be shown and the exchange between educators promoted.
gamescom is the world’s largest event for computer and video games and Europe’s largest business platform for the games industry. Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, gamescom 2020 will be held exclusively in digital format from Thursday, August 27, 2020 to Sunday, August 30, 2020. On-site events in Cologne will not take place this year given the current situation. gamescom is jointly organized by Koelnmesse and game – the German Games Industry Association. (source)