BlizzCon 2014 – Opening Ceremony Transcript

This is a full transcript of the BlizzCon 2014 Opening Ceremony where Blizzard Entertainment unveiled Overwatch, StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void and Hearthstone: Goblins vs Gnomes.

Transcript

Presentator: Ladies and gentlemen please welcome president and CEO of Blizzard Entertainment Mike Morhaime

Morhaime: Hello everyone! Welcome to BlizzCon 2014!

I know there are some of you who have attended multiple BlizzCons. How many of you have been to BlizzCon before? And how many of you are joining us for the very first time?
We are thrilled that you are here! Not only are you among friends, you are among family.

Some of my favorite life memories have been created here with you at past BlizzCons and I expect this here will be no different. This is an extra special celebration for us. It’s our eighth BlizzCon together and this show is our biggest one yet.

Millions of people will tune in from around the world to watch the show, on more than fifty broadcast streams and in fourteen languages; and more than twenty five thousand of you have come here from all fifty States and from nearly sixty countries across six continents.

You’ve come from as far away as Brazil, New Zealand, South Africa and Russia. That’s amazing! We truly are a global community!

Whether you are joining us from near or far, I wanna thank you for being here. Thank you for tuning in.

For the next two days, this will be our home. We are going to be playing games, talking about games, cheering on our favorite eSports and contestants in the contests.

Before I go on, I’d like to take a moment to talk about something serious. Over the past couple of months, there’s been a small group of people, who have been doing really awful things. They have been making some people’s lives miserable and they are tarnishing our reputation as gamers. It’s not right!

BlizzCon is a great example of how positive and uplifting gaming can be. Let’s carry the good vibes from this weekend out into the world all year round. There is another person on the other end of the chat screen, they’re our friends, our brothers and sisters, our sons and daughters. Let’s take a stand to reject hate and harassment; and let’s redouble our efforts to be kind and respectful to one another and let’s remind the world what the gaming community is really all about. Thank you!

Ok. Now as you know from the video, this year is the twentieth anniversary of Warcraft. It’s also the tenth anniversary of World of Warcraft. Seeing the history of Warcraft in that video, gave me chills. It’s obviously been a big part of my life and I know it’s been a big part of yours as well.

We can see clearly, how this community has grown around this amazing fantasy world and I’m here to tell you, that the best is yet to come for Warcraft.

I’m talking of course about Warlords of Dreanor. The game is almost here. It’s coming in just a few days. We’re really excited about it, because we’re going to take you back to some of the settings and characters, that established the world we’ve been adventuring for the past twenty years.

It’s fun to reminisce about those adventures that we’ve taken in Azeroth together. To help you do that, we will be screening a special documentary to commemorate the tenth anniversary of World of Warcraft. It includes a look back at the making of the game and key moments in World of Warcraft history.

The film is called “Looking for Group” and the world premiere is tomorrow at 5 pm right here on the main stage. You’ll be able to watch it again later on the World of Warcraft site as well as on the Warcraft YouTube channel.

We also have a special party planned for the World of Warcraft ten year anniversary. That will take place tonight at 8:30 pm just outside the Convention Center. We will have food trucks and drinks as other fun surprises. The party is open to the public, so tell your friends to come join us.

And there’s also another cool bit of Warcraft news that we hope you’ll tell your friends about. Coming in December, we’re rolling out a new World of Warcraft charity pet. One hundred per cent of the proceeds made this year, will be donated to support Red Cross and Ebola relief efforts.

It has been really rewarding to partner with you to assist worthy causes in the past and we’re honored to continue the tradition this year.

Ok. Last but not least on Warcraft. The movie. We are very pleased to have Duncan Jones, the director of the Warcraft movie, who will join Chris Metzen and other guests on a special panel.

That will be here on the main stage this afternoon at 2:15. And throughout the show we have a special theater on the third floor of the Convention Center.

This theater will be running continuously to show you Blizzard’s latest Cinematics, as well as a sneak peek at working progress footage from the film. And I got to tell you, Dolby has set us a special sound system in that theater, that is completely amazing.

And if you want even more info about the movie, go visit the new websites that Legendary Pictures just set up “fightforthehorde.com” and “fightforthealliance.com”. Choose carefully and be true to your faction.

Alright, there will be time for that. So that’s a ton of Warcraft for the anniversary. But BlizzCon is more than just Warcraft. It’s a celebration of the entire Blizzard community, your passion and your creativity.

We have a lot of contests this year. The talent, movie, art and costume contest will all be hosted by Chris Hardwick right here on the main stage tonight at 6. Don’t miss out on that! It is always one of the best parts of BlizzCon and it’s a chance to cheer on your fellow gamers and congratulate them on their hard work and unique talent.

We have some other very special guests coming to the show tomorrow. Level 90 Elite Tauren Chieftain will be back and they will open for a band that needs no introduction, Metallica.

And of course, I can’t forget one of my favorite parts of BlizzCon: eSports. This year, we have more games to showcase than ever before. Heroes of the Storm exhibitions, World of Warcraft Arena, Hearthstone, and of course StarCraft II.
Three quarters of a million dollars are on the line during the next two days and these talented pro gamers have run a gauntlet of grooling and challenging competitions all year, just to make it to BlizzCon.

We’ve got a video here of highlights of this year’s competition, to give you a taste of what’s in store this weekend. Let’s roll the video.

(Video plays)

Morhaime: Awesome! We will have eSports action going on all weekend.

Hearthstone is just next door in Hall C, amazing stage. World of Warcraft Arena and Heroes of the Storm exhibitions, will take place in Hall B and the StarCraft II World Championship Series global finals will be over in the arena. That’s all the way at the other end of the Convention Center, passed Hall A and through the tunnel.

We’ve created a brand new stage for the WCS finals with dynamic lighting and visuals, we think you’re gonna love it. So make sure to get over there to check it out.

Of course, we have a few new things to share with you. Let’s start with Heroes of the Storm, our upcoming team-brawler. This game has your favorite Blizzard heroes from all of our universes, fighting on unique battlegrounds.

Thanks to your feedback during this technical Alpha, Heroes is coming along great and it’s going to continue to evolve through the years.

We’ve got fun new stuff to show you here at BlizzCon, so let’s take a look. Roll the trailer.

Morhaime: So, that’s right! Closed Beta is coming January 13th and we’re excited to get more of you into the game to continue helping us make it even better. All the new heroes and the Sky Temple battleground you saw on the video, are here at the show.

You can get a sneak pick on what else is coming in Heroes by attending the panel discussions today and tomorrow.

So as I said earlier, this is our biggest BlizzCon yet. We are so excited and have so many cool new things to share with you.
To get us started on that, I would like to introduce our production director on Hearthstone, Jason Chayes.

Chayes: Greetings BlizzCon! Well, this has been an incredible year for Hearthstone. When we were last together at BlizzCon, Hearthstone was in closed Beta.

Since then, the PC version of Hearthstone launched in March. In April, Hearthstone for the iPad came out, and quickly climbed to the top of the AppStore charts.

In July, the doors to the ancient Necropolis of Naxxramas, swung open, releasing the first Hearthstone adventure for players everywhere.

Then, in October, some of the top players in the world earned their tickets to BlizzCon. They will be competing here in the first ever Hearthstone World Championship.

And then finally, coming up this December, we’ll be opening the Tavern doors for Android tablet players everywhere.

Now Hearthstone has come so far already, but we’re even more excited to geek out with you guys about what’s to come. Today, as it turns out, is a very special day in the Hearthstone Tavern, because today we have something new to share with you.

Something bigger, and for that we are going back to the very beginnings of Warcraft, to a long standing rivalry between two proud races.

One embodies the nobility and the fellowship of the Alliance. The other: the honor and the resilience of the Horde.

For the first Hearthstone expansion, we’ve brought these two races together against their will, for all of you. And the results are explosive.

Chayes: Goblins versus Gnomes is the explosive first expansion to Hearthstone. In it you’ll find over 120 of the most dangerous cards you can imagine.

You’ll find the greatest inventors in Azeroth’s history, along with their amazing creations. Creations of Blood Curdling Horror like the Explosive Sheep. Devices… a broad genious like the amazing Annoy-o-tron.

Now the team is in its final balance pass on Goblins versus Gnomes, as well as their final safety checks. But make no mistake… the fuse has been lit.

Goblins versus Gnomes will be launching for players everywhere, next month.

Now all of you aren’t going to have to wait that long, because Goblins versus Gnomes is playable here at BlizzCon today.
We’ve got a ton more to share with you on Goblins versus Gnomes, so make sure to check out the fireside chat that will be happening on the panel stage later this afternoon. We will reveal a bunch of new Hearthstone cards.

And then finally, on behalf of the dev team, we wanted to thank you all very much for all your incredible support and passion for Hearthstone during this– its first year of launch. We cannot wait to share with you guys what we have in store.

In the meantime, we have many other awesome updates to share with you guys. So for that, we’re gonna call up to the stage game director Dustin Browder.

Browder: Blizzcon! I’m here to talk to you about a game called StarCraft II.

This is a game we’ve been working on, inside Blizzard, for ten years.

StarCraft has a tradition going all the way back to 1998 with the original StarCraft and Brood War– for Blizzard created these amazing characters and this incredible science fiction story and put it inside a real time strategy game.

And then in 2010, we’ve brought you Wings of Liberty, who had this amazing campaign and we had a whole game devoted just to the story of the Terrans.

And then in 2013 Heart of the Swarm, we told the epic quest of Kerrigan’s hunger for revenge, for her betrayal of the Battle of Gettysburg, which happened all the way back in that original game in 1998.

And now, today in 2014, we are ready to show you a glimpse of StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void.

Browder: In Legacy of the Void, you will command the power of the Protoss. You will reunite the scattered Protoss tribes and find the ancient technology to create your Protoss army.

You’ll command the Spear of Adun, this ancient arkship from the lost age, who will always be above you in high orbit. With the touch of a button, you can command that arkship to destroy an entire enemy army. And you’re gonna need that fire power, ’cause the threat of the Xel’Naga is very real.

In the end, all of your questions will be answered. The fate of Kerrigan, Zeratul, Raynor, Artanis, all the others, the three races of the StarCraft universe, will come to a conclusion, in this, the final chapter of our trilogy.

Now, I know some of you have not had a chance to get into StarCraft just yet. And that’s OK, because this is not an expansion pack. Legacy of the Void is a stand alone product.

You don’t need a copy of Wings of Liberty, you don’t need a copy of Heart of the Swarm, you can just get a copy of Legacy of the Void and jump right into the action. There has never been a better time to check out the StarCraft universe.

We have so much to show you here today at the show. You can play as Artanis and you can build your Protoss army and check out an early look at our campaign missions.

We have new multiplayer units for all three races and yes the Lurker is back. We have a new mode, Archon mode, that combines the best of cooperative and PvP play, in a single note where you and a team mate will work together to control a single base and a single army together.

If you wanna know what it feels like to be a professional gamer, to be able to be everywhere at once at the same time. This is the mode that can give you that experience. It takes two of us to make one of them, maybe, maybe more, we’ll see.

Come to the arena tonight to see your favorite pros playing Legacy of the Void and check out our panels today and tomorrow, to get more information about StarCraft II.

BlizzCon, thank you so much for your support of StarCraft II. You’ve been absolutely amazing.

And next, please give a warm welcome to Chris Metzen.

Metzen: What up BlizzCon? Holy cow! Guys it is so good to be back with you all this year especially giving this anniversary we are celebrating. Twenty years of Warcraft, ten years of World of Warcraft.

Looking back, it hardly seems possible. How is that possible? I know how it’s possible.

(whistles swiping a finger right to left signaling at the audience)

It’s kind of crazy thinking about it guys.

As Mike said earlier, this community is everything and looking back twenty years, with all the worlds we’re able to build, the stories we’re able to tell, the heroes, the villains, the rise and fall of it all, the amazing thing looking back, is the friendships we’ve made, is the connections we’ve made through this thing.

It’s so much more than a game in a box.

Look guys, look around, look at this room. It is amazing to feel part of this thing almost like this tradition, that is uniquely ours. So thank you and thank you for being here and celebrating with us this weekend. We love you guys!

In light of that, I thought it might be fun to kind of do what we do in these opening ceremonies and take a little roll call, get the blood pumping.

I’m going to assume that most of you in here have played a little game called World of Warcraft. Oh, come on! Ten years you all. Here’s an interesting one.

How many of you have been with us since Warcraft I?

(Audience cheers)

Metzen: It’s pretty cool! How many of you have played a little series called StarCraft?

(Audience cheers)

Metzen: Oh my… my Life for Aiur. Are you kidding me? So good!

How about Diablo? Where’s the Diablo players at?

And how about a little game called Hearthstone? It’s pretty cool guys! Think about this.

We have shared over the years many adventures together, exotic worlds, heroes and villains, probably some convoluted plot lines here and there, it’s fine. And in a moment like this, it strikes me.

It has been something like 17 years, if my math holds up, since Blizzard opened the door to a new adventure. Since we opened the door to a new world of heroes and villains. A new universe of adventure and possibility.

And if any of you had ever wondered: “What kind of new world Blizzard would create?”… Well I think 17 years is too long to wait. And my friends… the wait ends right now. This is gonna happen. We’re gonna remember this moment guys. I want you all, as I freak out, to relax.

I want you to open your hearts and your minds, to what comes next. You’re about to get a glimpse into the future. So my friends, get a load of this. We hope you’ll love it like we do. I’ll see you on the other side.

Metzen: Overwatch! It sounds like you guys liked what you saw. It feels good to share this idea. (Holy cow! That’s a feeling.)

I’m sure you all have many questions at this point not the least of which is, well Blizzard, is there a video game associated with this idea?

My friends, I’m very very happy to announce that in fact there is, and it is nearer than you think.

To tell you a little more about Overwatch, I like to introduce a good friend of mine, many of you will remember as your first game director on World of Warcraft. He’s one of the greatest game developers in the world. He is the game director on Overwatch. Give it up for Mr. Jeff Kaplan.

Kaplan: What’s up guys? It’s good to be back here with everyone. You guys look beautiful by the way. You’re a good looking group.

So we wanted to make a game in a genre that we have always been passionate about at Blizzard. So what Overwatch is, it’s a team-based multiplayer shooter, that is completely action packed.

You guys are gonna get to meet our cast of characters. They’re absolutely dynamic over the top. They’ve got great abilities. But what we’re gonna do, is make the game very approachable and allow for everybody to experience what can be fun about this game.

You guys know that with Blizzard games what we like to do, is find genres that we’re in love with and game types that we’re in love with and take the best elements of those and really amplify it and bring that out.

You saw us do it with the real-time strategy genre, the massively multiplayer online game, and most recently the collectible card game.

But you guys do not want to hear me talk right now. Would you guys like to see Overwatch? Alright. Play the movie.

Kaplan: Alright! So we weren’t lying about that Beta 2015. You can sign up at playoverwatch.com. We know you guys want to play, we want you to play, we’re very humble to be bringing this genre to you guys and we wanna hear what you have to say. So it’s gonna be awesome!

So couple of other things you guys should know. At 12:30 we’re gonna have a panel right here in this Hall. Chris and I are gonna tell you everything you need to know about Overwatch. So please–

Metzen: Mostly.

Kaplan: –mostly. I cannot lie when I say everything.

Metzen: Some suspense.

Kaplan: Some stuff. We’ll tell you some stuff at 12:30 right here on the stage. Hopefully it’ll be good.

But there’s one more thing. As you guys were wondering what that space is over there with those mysterious dark computers, Overwatch all weekend long is available for you guys to play in Hall C.

We’ve got six hundred machines there for you. We wanna hear what you think. There will be Blizzard developers in the space the whole time. We wanna make this game with you guys and we care about what you have to say.

Metzen: Absolutely, and guys as we wrap up here, please there’s a lot of people in this room, if you’re making your way over to the Overwatch machines, please, just be careful. Take care of each other. There’s a lot of kids in the audience. Don’t, you know, stampede or anything like that.

You got all weekend to play. Guys thank you for being here with us once again. We hope you’ve enjoyed your first look at Overwatch.

We love you, have fun this weekend. Take care of each other. Have a great Blizzcon!

**Special thanks to Anda for assisting with the transcript. Proofread/editing by Medievaldragon. Corrections can be submitted here. Tweet and share this transcript, and follow us for updates: @blizzplanetcom

Tomas Hernandez is owner of Blizzplanet.com since 2003. I post news about World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard Careers, and the Warcraft film.

Blizzplanet is a leading fansite covering news about upcoming Blizzard Entertainment licensed products. I also post previews and reviews. I have interviewed book writers and Blizzard game developers.

I was previously an employee of the OGaming Network (2003), and IncGamers (2008-2010). I was a guest newsposter for GosuGamers (World of Warcraft) a few years ago and for Diablofans.com (formerly Diablo3.com)

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