The BlizzCon 2019 schedule is out, and fans can’t help but notice that quite a bit of time is devoted to things that Blizzard seemingly can’t talk about quite yet.
The schedule reveals that four secret panels (which are identified only by a “Coming Soon!” tag) will follow the BlizzCon opening ceremony. Given that those panels typically focus on some of Blizzard’s bigger announcements, it feels safe to say that all of them will likely relate to either new game announcements or major follow-ups on previously hinted at projects. There are also two more “Coming Soon!” panels scheduled to take place between pre-planned updates for World of Warcraft and Overwatch.
Let’s focus on those four major secret panels for a moment, though. Given that Diablo 4 is all but confirmed at this time, it feels safe to say that one of those panels will focus on that long-awaited sequel. There are also the rumors that Blizzard is prepared to reveal Overwatch 2 (or some rough equivalent of that experience), so let’s assume for a moment that one of those panels will be dedicated to that.
That leaves two more panels that we don’t quite know what to make of. Some say that one of them could be dedicated to Warcraft III: Reforged, but given that Blizzard already announced that, we don’t suspect that will be the case. It’s also highly likely that a new World of Warcraft expansion (and possibly the phase 2 update to World of Warcraft Classic) will be announced at BlizzCon, but we don’t know if Blizzard would isolate those announcements from the main WoW panels.
Two of the more intriguing possibilities that are making the rounds suggest that one of the panels will be dedicated to a Diablo II remake or remaster and that the other will deal with an expansion of the current Battle.net service. The appeal of the former possibility is clear enough, but the latter is intriguing if you consider the possibility that Battle.net could soon start to support titles outside of the Activision-Blizzard network. There was also that report from last year regarding a Diablo animated series possibly coming to Netflix.
Regardless, it’s clear that Blizzard needs this year’s BlizzCon to be a big win for the company. While World of Warcraft is doing well at the moment, the controversy surrounding a recent Hearthstone tournament and the lingering embarrassment of the Diablo Immortal reveal mean that some people are going into this year’s show feeling slightly more cynical about Blizzard’s future than usual.
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.