Let The Diablo 4 And Overwatch 2 Leaks Rain

diablo 4 overwatch 2 blizzcon 2019 leaks blizzardImage: Alex Walker (Kotaku)

Given the absence of Diablo 4 at the show last year, and the shadow of how fans will respond this year, not to mention all the recent controversy, anticipation is high for Blizzcon 2019. So naturally, word about Diablo 4 and an Overwatch sequel is starting to do the rounds.

Both games have been anticipated for a while, Diablo 4 in particular following Jason's deep-dive reporting on the status of the project. Normally now we'd have more of an official indication from the official Blizzcon schedule, but two weeks from the opening of Blizzcon the official schedule is still greyed out on the Blizzcon site.

But that hasn't stopped the internet from giving everyone a giant hint on what to expect. There's a new book showcasing the art of the Diablo franchise, which doesn't officially launch until November 3. A reference to the book in the German magazine Gamestar has added a little reference to Diablo 4, but the note about Diablo 4 doesn't appear on the Amazon listing, or the official description on Booktopia.

Add for "The Art of Diablo" from Blizzard in german Gamestar magazine mentions art from Diablo 4!

The timing lines up, though. Post-Blizzcon 2018, an official community manager made a point of saying that multiple Diablo projects would be revealed over the course of the next 12 months. "We have many plans for Diablo across multiple projects which we’ll be revealing over the course of the coming year," the manager wrote.

Blizzard already confirmed the cancellation of another Starcraft first-person shooter — a game described as Battlefield in the Starcraft universe by one source — to focus more on the future of Overwatch and Diablo.

At the time, the expectation among those sources was that Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2 would be the marquee reveals for Blizzcon 2019. More info has started to seep out online that fits into that realm, with the same poster revealing Ashe before her announcement on the Overwatch stage last year discussing Overwatch 2, its focus on PvE and PvP, and how it'll be shown at Blizzcon.

A couple of internal Blizzard sources have compared Overwatch 2's PvE element to Left 4 Dead when discussing it with Kotaku, and it makes sense that players would unlock abilities in PvE for certain heroes that wouldn't carry over to normal multiplayer. Similar systems have been used in Blizzard games before, like the ranking system for Heroes of the Storm or the leveling up mechanic for heroes and commanders in Starcraft 2's co-op mode.

There's also the fact that the investor world is happily talking about Overwatch and Diablo sequels, with the caveat that neither of them are expected to launch anytime soon. "The company also has sequels planned for its other blockbuster franchises — Overwatch and Diablo — in the coming years," trader publication Barron's wrote in a feature on Activision-Blizzard as a stock.

Activision has also been pretty forward with investors about growing its franchises on future platforms, and in a question to an analyst, Blizzard president and CEO J. Allen Brack noted that the company has "a couple of mobile initiatives":

I said consistently that the Blizzard pipeline is larger and richer than ever before. It includes PC and console releases. It includes ongoing content for World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Hearthstone and a couple of mobile initiatives. It's critical that all these products meet the Blizzard that we're known for. We want to give the teams the space to really create excellence and release games at a better and more consistent kids.

We already know about Diablo Immortal, and having already been playable briefly last year and generally taking less time to develop than a full AAA PC or console release, there should be a solid chunk of gameplay available this year. But another mobile project that might get revealed is that Warcraft spin on Pokemon Go that's been in development.

More important than that, however, is Blizzard's need for redemption. The company is staring down the barrel of having protests at its own fan convention. Fans booed their heroes on the main stage last year. Especially after Riot's massive string of announcements across card games, MOBAs, fighting games and even an FPS that looks eerily like Overwatch meets CS:GO, Blizzard more than ever needs a big win. The developer has been famously gun-shy about talking about projects in development after what happened with Project Titan, but following the criticism it copped last year, and growing pressure elsewhere, now more than ever the time is the time to open the floodgates.

As an added note, some of last year's announcements that were supposed to be released are still on the shelf. Warcraft 3: Reforged, a game that looked fantastic when I played it last year, still has no release date.

It's likely that we'll get a release date for that at Blizzcon, considering the remaster was pretty far along at Blizzcon 2018, and beta footage is now floating around YouTube. Activision-Blizzard's chief operating officer Coddy Johnson told investors in May that Reforged was "due this year", and that date was confirmed in the second quarter earnings call in August.

One way or another, Blizzcon's gonna be interesting this year.


Comments

    well we know they have multiple teams working on multiple Diablo projects, that was part of the statement they released after announcing immortals

    as for reforge, Blizzard can release on 23:59 31 December 2019 and still be on schedule. although it seems with the recent leak of beta builds hitting CDN, it would seem we're more advance then previously

    I'm very concerned about Overwatch, especially if this sequel resets everyone's progress and skin/loot boxes. Again, they desperately need cross-progression/cross-play in the future, especially if the Switch becomes a major factor in future development.

    PvE intrigues me, just as long as the core PvP remains as is with a few new games modes in-between for the arcade.

    Side note, London Spitfire are getting pulled apart and this upsets me :'(

      I mean not really. Overwatch is Overwatch. Overwatch 2 can be Overwatch 2. There's no real rule saying they have to migrate *anything* from part 1 to 2 at all.

        Fair, they did the same with Destiny, but considering how much money people pump into it, it's an appropriate move to make. I guess we will see soon enough.

        Yep, this happened with Destiny 1 to Destiny 2. It happens with every instalment of a Call of Duty game where they end up bringing back all the old maps again. I definitely think that cross save/play won't make it in because I firmly believe that it was the main reason it didn't happen for Destiny 2 until Bungie had separated from Activision. I know there was the Sony exclusivity agreements in place, but it wasnt until the separation (and the release of Shadowkeep) that Bungie stopped doing exclusivity on content

    Missed a big point that everyone is expecting a WoW expansion this Blizzcon too.

    There is also the Diablo "wings" item from the virtual ticket not being revealed yet. This could be due to it being a spoiler for one of their announcements at Blizzcon.

      Good point, timing is right for next expansion announcement...not that I had thought of it since I quit WoW after BFA tanked.

    God help us if Diablo 4's end game is more of the greater rift grind.
    Hopefully they don't make legendaries drop as frequently as commons like in Diablo 3, as well.
    There's a lot of ways they can fuck up D4 and I'm afraid.

    I mean, I'm still going to plop down a billion dollars on the CE because I can't help myself, but whether or not I'm playing it after the initial hype wears down depends on that end game, and I guess if the game is fun.

      Diablo 3 is actually my favourite in the series. I skipped the PC release (despite picking up the CEs like yourself) but found myself hooked by the Switch in ways the original and D2 never managed to.

        Arguably D3 is a shit PC game but a good console game. Shrug.

          That seems to be the impression I get. Its definitely fun being able to play offline and in couch co-op mode with four people on a big TV. Doesn't help when everyone wants to run in different directions, but thats pretty much any non-splitscreen game like that!

      "Hopefully they don't make legendaries drop as frequently as commons"
      im sorry your a hardcore gamer, i have 2 legendaries, ive never seen once since.

        You're joking, right?
        You'll easily see a dozen before you hit max level. And by the time you do hit 70, they'll all be useless. "Legendary" indeed.

    Blizzard is probably purposely leaking info to try and take the conversation away from Hong Kong before Blizzcon

      They needn't worry. There'll be plenty of Hong Kong discussion during the convention. :)

    I don't know why they would bother making Diablo 4 and selling it for 60 dollars when they can just make a single new class for Diablo 3 and sell it for 20.

      Because more people will buy D4 than would buy the new class. Then they can sell new classes for D4 at $20 a pop...

    Look forward to the convention centre sending messages that Actizzard has told them they’ve cancelled BlizzCon the week it’s due to happen.

    Totally not intentional leaks to distract for Blizzard being a shitty company that kowtows to china's whims.

      Yeah I gotta say I deleted my blizzard game from my system. They can go to hell.

        Yup. Ive uninstalled everything. As much as i want to play classic, Blizzard can go fuck themselves.

    Riot's not going to take audience share away from Blizzard because of the Hong Kong fuckups, considering Riot is 100% owned by the Chinese.

    I've never been interested in Blizzard games, but holy smokes am I interested to watch this BlizzCon happen. *disgonbegud.gif

    I guess we'll get the leaks when China says filthy westerners can have them.

    Wouldn’t over watch still be making obscene money? I mean they add content all the time. Not sure a sequel is realistic.
    And Diablo 4? Yeah take that with a few grains of salt. Given the long development cycles I doubt they would announce at same time anyway the chances are nil

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