J. Allen Brack: Welcome to BlizzConline, a celebration of 30 years of Blizzard communities, and 30 years of Blizzard games. 30 years is so many years; and last year maybe felt like one of the longest of all. But throughout the years of blizzard entertainment from 1991 to today, many of us can associate certain games with milestones in our lives.
BlizzConline 2021: Opening Ceremony Transcript
Maybe you were a little kid the first time you played the Lost Vikings, or in high school, when you first played a Diablo game, or maybe you met your partner while you were playing World of Warcraft. That’s the awesome thing about video games. They give us experiences that are relevant to the times in our lives and experiences that we carry forward with us games are here for us during good times.
And they’re here for us, even when we feel alone or maybe uncertain. Games are coming home, familiar, comfortable, with a connection and a sense of belonging. And while many of us spent most of 2020 in our actual real-life homes, games became even more of a place to get away, to be free from outside concerns, even if just for a little while.
So… this is pretty weird. Usually, when we start BlizzCon the opening call is my favorite Warcraft faction: The Alliance; or my favorite faction: the Horde. I get confused. Usually, I’d be speaking to 40,000 of you in person at the Anaheim convention center, and millions of you around the world. And usually that would be a perfect way to celebrate, but nothing about the last year has been usual.
The pandemic has been hard on everyone, and for many different reasons, but if there’s one thing that the last year has taught us, it’s that being apart physically doesn’t stop us from moving forward. It doesn’t stop us from connecting with our player-friends around the world, diving in as warriors and heroes, and checking on each other as humans.
It doesn’t stop us from sharing our latest epic gaming story, celebrating those of others. Games continue to unite us. Now, to be honest, I wasn’t sure how well Blizzard had worked from home. There are thousands of people, all needing to work together and creating our universes, games, and experiences. Never has it felt more true that it takes a Blizzard to make a Blizzard game.
And in 2020, it became clear that the magic of creating a Blizzard, isn’t just tied to a physical location. It’s tied to the people who work here and I continue to be so proud of each and every one of them. Thank you, Blizzard. We create these games and pour all of our energy and heart into them, but it is you, the Blizzard community that brings them to life.
And that’s why BlizzConline is a celebration of you: The Guild leaders, healers, DPS, tanks, innkeepers, Zerg, Terran, Protoss, Blackwatch, Shamada, the heroes of Sanctuary, and of the Storm. These next few days are for you… our Blizzard community. For World of Warcraft, we’ll be showing you what’s next for both sides: Shadowlands and Classic. I’m sure you’re all burning in anticipation for that one.
Hearthstone is getting back to its roots in a major way. We can’t wait to show you how.
We also have news for our Diablo community. Some of you were able to dip your toes into the depths of hell in the Diablo Immortal technical alpha. I personally really enjoyed seeing players embrace the multiplayer aspect of meeting in town. We can’t wait for more of you to get your hands on it. So only the beginning of the year and already there is so much to look forward to, even though we can’t yet meet together in person.
The Overwatch league will be kicking things off in spring and we’ll be watching closely to see if the San Francisco Shock can continue their championship run. World of Warcraft e-sports is back with the Arena World Championship and Mythic Dungeon International already in full swing in Shadowlands.
StarCraft II and Warcraft III e-Sports are going strong with our friends at the ESL Pro Tour and qualifiers are already underway for the first online stop of the 2021 Hearthstone Masters Tour with the first event taking place next month.
Before we get too far ahead, let’s take a look one last time to when times were a little simpler. In the early 1990s, the internet was a baby. CD sales had finally eclipsed cassette tapes. Cassette tape… it was a rectangle piece of plastic and there’s a tape inside and we used it to get recorded on and sometimes you needed a pencil to wind it up and make it tight. I know it sounds crazy.
We were all playing video games on Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, DOS, or Mac PCs. It personally was a master CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT. So many simple things, simple times. If only we could relive them.
The Blizzard Arcade Collection featuring the Lost Vikings, Rock and Roll Racing and Blackthorne. These are ports of the games, just as you remember them, allowing you to relive the original experience of all three titles in 13 different languages, with a couple of quality of life upgrades. As an example, we include very modern cutting-edge functionality that wasn’t available in the early 90s, both saving and loading of games.
And for those of you who purchased any Blizzard Digital Anniversary Bundle via Battle.net, you’ll automatically receive the Blizzard Arcade Collection on PC today.
Now, you’re ready to hear about some other video games? Let’s hear what’s next for World of Warcraft.
NEXT: CHAINS OF DOMINATION
|BLIZZCONLINE 2021 OPENING CEREMONY TRANSCRIPT
|2. Chains of Domination
|3. Burning Crusade Classic