In past years, Blizzard has rented the Anaheim Convention Center to celebrate their massive convention dubbed BlizzCon. It has been celebrated in 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and now 2011.
Blizzard Entertainment announced StarCraft II at the 2007 Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals (Seoul), and few months later showcased some StarCraft II panels at BlizzCon 2007. In 2008, Some additional space was rented to fit World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, Diablo III (fourth class: Wizard), and StarCraft II panels and features. (Hall A, B, C, D, & Meeting Rooms)
In 2009, the fourth Diablo III class was announced: the Monk. World of Warcraft: Cataclysm was announced. StarCraft II demo was playable again.
In 2010, Blizzard had World of Warcraft: Cataclysm demo stations, Diablo III (fifth class: Demon Hunter), and StarCraft II panels.
This year, however, strange things are happening. According to the Anaheim Convention Center, Blizzard has acquired the entire facility.
The Entire Facility … now, why did the Anaheim Convention Center describe 2011 BlizzCon as having the “Entire Facility” rather than the usual [Halls A, B, C, D, & Meeting Rooms] description shown in previous years? Take a look at the Floor Map to see exactly what “Entire Facility” might suggest (i.e. areas Blizzard hasn’t used in the past). One space Blizzard has never used is the Arena to the east of the building and Hall E. The coloring scheme in the floor map describes the Arena as Exhibit space along with Halls A, B, C, and D.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’d be the first to say “You are looking too much into it!”, or the center’s staff made a mistake. Regardless, this makes room to start some speculation mill rolling.
“What if Blizzard is preparing to make a new game announcement at BlizzCon 2011?”
They might be announcing the next World of Warcraft expansion (considering it takes nigh two years to go live), StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, Diablo III Beta demo, and a brand-new game announcement. Is that too far-fetched? Maybe. Maybe not.
Could it be the Next-Gen MMO? StarCraft: Ghost? WarCraft IV? A new IP?
Note: Blizzard Entertainment has been hiring new developers the past three years for a Next-Gen MMO (careers page).
For the past three years, Rob Pardo has mentioned StarCraft: Ghost will resume development at some point in the future. StarCraft: Ghost development was postponed on March 24, 2006 with a press release notifying Blizzard would explore the possibility of resuming development of StarCraft: Ghost on Next-Gen Console platforms.
- D.I.C.E. – List of Cancelled Blizzard Games doesn’t include StarCraft: Ghost
- Pardo Thinks StarCraft: Ghost Could Return (2007)
- Pardo Hints StarCraft: Ghost Again (2007)
- StarCraft: Ghost Postponed, might return for Next-Gen Consoles
Jay Wilson once said to MTV that Diablo III would wrap up the three brothers storyline. There are plans for more Diablo universe beyond Diablo III. Diablo IV? Diablo III expansions? Or … World of Sanctuary MMO? For the naysayers, WarCraft III and World of Warcraft were in development simultaneously. Hold that thought. Now embrace it with a new light. W.o.r.l.d. of S.a.n.c.t.u.a.r.y. Has a nice tone to it.
Warcraft IV was debunked by Greg Street (Ghostcrawler) on December 2010 during an interview by Gamespot. However, StarCraft II was debunked several times since 2003, yet it was revealed it started development shortly after Warcraft III: Frozen Throne shipped (in July 1, 2003).