I got this press alert back in June, but it’s fit to be shared with the community as the time is nigh. Activision Blizzard is preparing for their upcoming 2015 Q2 Financial Results conference call with shareholders on August 4th, where Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime is expected to give a report on Blizzard’s current and upcoming projects.
Sometimes there is not much of a bang news in these conferences, but there have certainly been a few noteworthy ones with approximate beta launch timeframes, new services, and whatnot. I have my inner-sights aimed at this conference in particular because it takes place less than 24 hours before GamesCom opens its doors.
On our lens is Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone’s The Grand Tournament, StarCraft II and BlizzCon as candidates to be in the spotlight during this conference. We are also excited about what GamesCom might reveal: a new game? a Diablo III expansion? Anything is possible, and Blizzard will very likely keep their cards close to their chest.
Blizzplanet and many websites have been invited to a press event at GamesCom. As fans ourselves, We wish to share our hype about GamesCom expectations. Our correspondent @Handclaw will be at GamesCom all 4-days to be your eyes and ears, but also your voice. Stay tuned for our traditional question submissions. We love to share your questions with the developers. We got a microphone this time for the camera (alright, we heard your feedback last year. Thanks), so we hope it all goes smooth.
Activision Blizzard to Release Second Quarter 2015 Financial Results on August 4, 2015
SANTA MONICA, Calif. –(BUSINESS WIRE)– Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) intends to release its second quarter 2015 results after the close of the market on Tuesday, August 4, 2015 . In conjunction with this release, Activision Blizzard will host a conference call that will be broadcast over the Internet.
In a recent tweet, the official Overwatch Twitter account has published a promotion to a place called Numbani, the City of Harmony. Through this tweet we can maybe think of this as new teasing for a map that will be revealed at Gamescom 2015 (just like for the Gibraltar map teased before PAX East 2015).
Now the name of the city could sound familiar for Overwatch lore fans (yes there is lore in this game *look at Heroes of the Storm*), although it’s not the same city, a similar one has been already mentioned in one of Overwatch character, Zenyatta. Indeed, the omnic monk is from the Shambali Monastery, in Nepal’s mountains.
Now if you observe carefully, you can clearly see two Omnics (the term used for A.Is in Overwatch universe), dancing in front of a city made of skyscrapers surrounded by trees endemic to the African savanna. Does the resonance of the city’s name is the same for all places where the Omnics are? This is a question that we might have an answer soon enough.
The Overwatch developers Geoff Goodman (principal designer, hero design), Scott Mercer (principal designer, systems design) and Michael Chu (senior designer, lore & story) answered questions about the newest hero, Soldier 76, during the Reddit Q&A.
Check out below the transcript courtesy of Molster_Diablofans.
Micky Neilson announced he is writing a graphic novel titled OVERWATCH: THE OMNIC CRISIS. Artwork will be penciled by Ludo Lullabi (WORLD OF WARCRAFT: The ASHBRINGER). We have more details in our SDCC 2015 Overwatch coverage.
Neilson: First off, I can’t even tell you all how excited I am to be writing OVERWATCH: THE OMNIC CRISIS!
My fellow story comrades here at Blizzard started me off with an already amazing outline, and the project has only gotten better from there! For us authors, some books/stories almost seem to write themselves; others need to be dragged out from the inner recesses of our brains kicking and screaming. I’m happy to say the Overwatch GN falls into the former category. Overwatch is the most fun I’ve had writing a comic in a long time, and I can’t wait for you all to experience it!
So excited to work with Ludo Lullabi again. Ludo and I first worked together on World of Warcraft: Ashbringer and Ludo’s art has only gotten better.
Overwatch: Omnic Crisis will detail the origins of the international team called Overwatch. It will feature Jack Morrison, just featured in a short animated piece, as well as Reinhardt, Torbjorn and more!
If you don’t know what Overwatch is yet, for shame! Go here and be enlightened.
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A few weeks ago, I posted that Blizzard Entertainment will attend E3 Expo 2015 at Concourse – OFMR 8201.
We can speculate all we want but Blizzard Entertainment hasn’t announced yet they are attending E3 or why for. Blizzard was absent from E3 for many years until 2013 when they let the media and attendees play Diablo III Ultimate Edition for the PS4/XBox 360 consoles.
So considering Blizzard didn’t attend 2014, they showcased Overwatch at PAX East 2015 (which I attended to) and Overwatch beta is slated for Fall 2015 — it is logical that Blizzard is bringing Overwatch to E3 2015. Of course, there is no announcements backing that speculation up. So place your bets on the table folks.
With Heroes of the Storm launching officially on June 2, it is possible Blizzard wants the media having a shot at playing the game at E3’s showfloor.
Whatever Blizzard’s plans are for E3 2015, Blizzplanet will have you covered. We are proud to announce that our staff member Naka (@dperschonok) has been approved to attend as a member of the media press. We have gone to GamesCom, PAX East and PAX Prime, NYCC, and SDCC; but this is the first time we go to E3 and we are proud that Naka was approved to attend. Congrats buddy!
Keep an eye on Blizzplanet through June 16-18 when E3 Expo 2015 takes place.
This is a full transcript of the Overwatch Origins panel held at BlizzCon 2014. Among the panelists were: Chris Metzen (SVP Story and Franchise Development), Jeff Chamberlain (VFX Supervisor), Jeff Kaplan (game director), Bill Petras (art director) and Arnold Tsang (Lead Character Concept Artist).
Presentator: Welcome to the Overwatch Origins Panel.
Metzen: Whattup, BlizzCon?
Kaplan: What’s up everyone? We are pretty excited to be here today. Yesterday, we had a big panel here on the stage with me and Chris where we talked a lot about: What is Overwatch?; and got heavily into the gameplay and we talked a lot about what the world was, but what we thought would be really cool for day two is to bring these guys up and talk more about was the inspiration behind Overwatch and the why of Overwatch.
So I want to introduce you guys to the panel here. I feel very honored to be sitting amongst these guys here so to my direct left is Jeff Chamberlain.
Jeff is the guy who directed the Overwatch announce trailer that you guys saw yesterday so I thought it was amazing–
Metzen: … and for the purposes of continuity, you guys remember Jeff’s work: he directed Wrath of the Lich King trailer, my son…. Jeff is old school Blizzard.
Kaplan: … Burning Crusade, Heart of the Swarm, that was all Jeff. Then we have as you guys may or may not know Mr. Chris Metzen, the creative director of Overwatch and pretty much everything else at Blizzard — so you guys know about Chris.
While checking the E3 2015 Exhibitor List tonight, I noticed Blizzard Entertainment is listed to be at OFMR 8201; while Activision Blizzard will be at separate booths and rooms (none mentioning 8201).
At simple sight, unless there was a mistake, all signs point at a unique space solely assigned for either Blizzard Entertainment video games or the careers team. It is unknown.
There hasn’t been any official announcements from Blizzard Entertainment concerning their presence or purpose at E3 2015 at the time of this posting.
Do I have any guesses? Considering beta test begins this Fall season, the team-based shooter Overwatch is a perfect candidate. Heroes of the Storm goes live on June 2. Any new heroes or battleground additions might make sense to be featured at E3. However, E3 is also a perfect place for the Blizzard Careers Team to throw its fishing net to find awesome talent. This is entirely my opinion. I do not know why Blizzard is attending, or whether Blizzard is attending.
E3 Expo will take place through June 16-18 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Make sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for any flash news in case Blizzard confirms or debunks their presence at E3.
Update (April 24): Votation has closed. The winners will be announced on Monday, April 27 at the webbyawards.com website.
To mark the 19th Webby Awards, a ceremony that rewards the best videos, films and websites that will take place soon, Overwatch has been nominated in the category of best Online Film & Video: Best Editing. The votes will stop on Friday, April 24, by the time share this information to all your friends and Blizzard fans and vote for the team behind the cinematics of Overwatch be rewarded!
If you are wondering how in the world Reilena Cosplay (aka Rachel Day) knew about Overwatch Widowmaker before it was even announced at BlizzCon 2014, then your guess is good. Besides a cosplayer and costume-maker, she was a Quality Assurance Intern back in 2009 for StarCraft II. Then the FX Artist and Technical Artist for Blizzard Entertainment’s Diablo III from 2010 until February 2014; and currently an FX Artist for Overwatch.
Our New York City Hearthstone Fireside co-organizer, Mithalas, came along with us to PAX East 2015 to play Overwatch. Mithalas is pretty good with FPS video games, and after I saw him obliterate an enemy team, I asked him to write up something about his Overwatch hands-on gameplay experience:
From left to right: Mithalas, Lyndsi (Blizzard PR Associate) and Medievaldragon
Mithalas: The annual PAX East convention occurred last weekend, and Blizzard’s main booth in the expo hall featured Overwatch (and only Overwatch). I was lucky enough to get to play it twice – on Friday and Sunday – and had a lot of fun during my brief time with the game.
Blizzard just announced the dates for Blizzcon 2015, as always it will be at the Anaheim Convention Center on Friday, November 6 and Saturday, November 7, 2015. Don’t miss the schedule for the tickets!
You’ve been summoned to Southern California for BlizzCon 2015! Blizzard’s ninth epic gaming convention and community celebration is returning to the Anaheim Convention Center on Friday, November 6 and Saturday, November 7, 2015. Form a party with your fellow members of the Blizzard community and get ready for two days of in-depth discussion panels with our developers, hands-on play time with the latest Blizzard games, and intense eSports tournaments featuring top pro gamers from around the world.
BlizzCon 2015 tickets will go on sale in two batches on Wednesday, April 15 at 7 p.m. PT and Saturday, April 18 at 10 a.m. PT through the online event ticketing service Eventbrite, priced at $199 each (plus applicable taxes and fees). Check out the BlizzCon Ticket webpage for all the details.
In addition, we’re once again planning a special pre-BlizzCon Benefit Dinner the evening of Thursday, November 5 in support of Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC), where guests will have a chance to meet and chat with developers, artists, community team representatives, and others from Blizzard. Attendance to this special event will be limited, and we’ll have more information on ticket pricing and availability at a later date.
If you can’t make it to the show in person, you’ll be able to watch from home with the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, offering comprehensive live coverage of the event via a multichannel Internet stream. Further details on the Virtual Ticket, including pricing, availability, and programming information, will be announced at a later date.
See the full press release or check out the BlizzCon Ticket page for more information, and be sure to visit www.blizzcon2015.eventbrite.com at the dates and times above for a chance to purchase a ticket to the show. We hope to see you there!
Blizzard Entertainment’s massive gaming convention and community celebration takes over the Anaheim Convention Center November 6–7
Tickets on sale April 15 and April 18
IRVINE, Calif. – March 12, 2015 – Get ready for two days of nonstop Blizzard gaming with a few thousand of your closest friends. Blizzard Entertainment today announced that its ninth BlizzCon® will be turning the Anaheim Convention Center into community central for all Blizzard games on Friday, November 6 and Saturday, November 7, with tickets going on sale in two batches on April 15 and April 18.
“There’s no better way to connect with the ever-expanding Blizzard community than by bringing everyone together at BlizzCon,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “With more games in development than ever before, we’ll have plenty of exciting updates to share and lots of great eSports competition to look forward to—we can’t wait to see everyone there.”
BlizzCon is an epic celebration of Blizzard Entertainment’s game universes and the global player communities that bring them to life. At this year’s event, attendees will have a chance to enjoy:
Hands-on play time with the latest versions of Blizzard Entertainment games
Global Finals for Blizzard eSports, including the StarCraft® II World Championship Series and Hearthstone® World Championship
In-depth discussion panels with Blizzard game developers and artists
Community contests with great prizes
Commemorative merchandise based on Blizzard’s game universes
More activities and attractions to be announced
Tickets to attend BlizzCon 2015 will be priced at $199 USD (plus applicable taxes and fees) each and will be available for purchase from the online event ticketing service Eventbrite via their website (www.blizzcon2015.eventbrite.com) in two separate batches. The first batch goes on sale at 7 p.m. Pacific time on Wednesday, April 15, and the second batch goes on sale at 10 a.m. Pacific time on Saturday, April 18.
An exclusive pre-BlizzCon dinner to benefit Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) will also be held the evening of Thursday, November 5, giving attendees the chance to eat, drink, and be merry alongside Blizzard developers, artists, and community representatives while supporting a great cause. Further details on the BlizzCon Benefit Dinner, including ticket pricing and availability, will be announced at a later date.
Anyone looking to enjoy BlizzCon from the comfort of their own home will once again have the option to order a BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, offering comprehensive live coverage of the event via a multichannel online stream. Further details on the Virtual Ticket, including pricing, availability, and programming information, will be announced at a later date.
For more information on BlizzCon 2015, visit the official website (www.blizzcon.com). Additional details will be posted as the event draws near. Those interested in attending the show in person can make advance hotel reservations now and receive special BlizzCon rates by booking through the BlizzCon hotel website.
Blizzard Entertainment is currently hiring for numerous open positions. More information on available career opportunities can be found at www.blizzard.com/jobs.
Overwatch is a very straightforward game in terms of controls. I played as McCree the gunslinger. Pressing SHIFT made him speed up in the direction aimed for a couple of seconds, and he reloaded automatically — good to get out of the way when enemies engage you in combat. Pressing E would throw Flashbang — a small flash grenade at close range that stagger enemies in a small radius.
Peacekeeper made me crack in laughter when McCree went machinegun-style. It’s so awesome. I managed to kill Tracer and even Winston with it.
The Ultimate ability Deadeye is deployed pressing Q. There was a circle icon in the bottom center that replenished over time and that’s when you hit Q to unleash the ability that kills many targets in one shot. I don’t recommend using this in the open. McCree will certainly die to Widowmaker or other long-range enemies.
Jesse McCree is definitely going to be among my main characters to play once Overwatch beta starts. Gives me the Clint Eastwood’s The Good, The Bad and the Ugly-film vibe.
I personally couldn’t accomplish much because I am not used to playing with the AWSD keys. I kept absently pressing the arrow keys as I always do in World of Warcraft and Half-Life 2: Deathmatch to no avail. Felt like a deer in the middle of the road blinded by the flash, then died horribly. Joke’s on me.
Gameplay seemed very fast paced, not like in Half-Life 2: Deathmatch where sometimes there are periods of time you aren’t doing anything (I blame the long convoluted maps with tunnels going everywhere). Here the map is small with different entrances/exits which give you the strategical advantage of going around enemy forces to take them out from behind.
High ground doorways offer another way to hit your enemies when they can’t see you initially. Tracer, McCree and Widowmaker can benefit a lot with these strategic points in the map packing a lot of damage to unsuspecting enemies that get outright flanked and taken out.
When you die in Overwatch, you see a few-seconds replay from the point of view of the enemy who killed you. May be cancelled with ESC.
The map I played in the objective was to destroy the payload transport. Something that isn’t accomplished easily with the enemy hitting you from all sides.
I can’t wait to play Overwatch again. Check out video clips of McCree’s abilities in action here.
I took video of the Blizzard Entertainment panel held at PAX East 2015 where announces flew left and right with two new Overwatch heroes: Zarya and McCree, Overwatch beta slated for Fall 2015, the new Hearthstone: Blackrock Mountain Adventure pre-orders start on March 19th.
The developers plan to launch one wing per week for a total of 5 wings focused on Blackwing’s forces and Ragnaros’ forces. The adventure will introduce 31 new cards. There are plans for a launch on iPhone and Android in few weeks from now. These are currently in Alpha. Both iPhone and Android players will have different UI than the Tablet and the PC, but will still play against Tablet and PC players under the same server infrastructure.
In addition, Heroes of the Storm beta testers will soon be able to play as Sylvanas Windrunner, and the Tomb of the Spider Queen battleground is on its way for testing. Watch our Blizzard panel video (transcript coming next week).
PAX East has been very exciting so far with so many updates of Blizzard’s latest games. Overwatch beta is slated to begin on Fall 2015, so make sure to update your beta opt-in located in your Battle.net account page.
These are just a handful of photos I have taken during the morning. I managed to reach the press room and got WiFi. I’ll upload more later.
You will see below the line (no, the Horde) of fans trying to get into the Blizzard panel room. Many many more were not able to even join the line once the PAX staff declared the line was at full capacity. Lot of passion, sweat and blood. Sad some of you weren’t able to make it to the line. Make sure to watch the VOD, and I was also able to record the panel. Hoping to upload it as soon as I am able. Make sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates.