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Speculating on BlizzCon 2010

It's a new year and that means another opportunity to play oracle and figure out what Blizzard's plans are for 2010. BlizzPlanet has gone ahead and tossed out some of their ideas on what will happen for BlizzCon this year, laying out their predictions and even speculating on the event date. As you might know, there was a bit of confusion stemming from supposed leaked information that pointed to BlizzCon 2010 happening in Las Vegas in July. That didn't go down so well with Blizzard, and the Las Vegas convention center later retracted its statements.

BlizzPlanet points out, quite logically, that Blizzard probably wasn't too thrilled with that. Even if they had planned to do it in Las Vegas, that kind of public relations misstep is a deal breaker. Besides, Eldorian from BlizzPlanet applies simple, sound logic to his sleuthing work and explains that examining the Anaheim Convention Center's Calendar of Events reveals an odd, blank date on the weekend of August 20-21, yet almost all the weekends of the venue are already booked. With Blizzard being the secretive bunch that they are, he figures those blank dates actually correspond with this year's BlizzCon event. It's a pretty cool theory. Read the rest of their predictions as well as a few of our own guesses after the jump.

Now that BlizzPlanet has the date figured out (don't book your hotels just yet, though!), they even go so far as to predict an announcement as early as next month. They say that since last year's August event was announced in February, it makes as much sense to announce the event early enough for folks to make their plans, too. They say we should also expect what worked for BlizzCon last year to be in effect this year, too, such as the queue system for purchasing tickets, DirectTV and a bundled free gift, and probably better loot bags this time around.

It's too early to tell at this point, but we can probably speculate on what else might be coming with BlizzCon this year. By that time, Cataclysm should be out because it's hard for me to imagine Icecrown Citadel keeping players occupied -- gated content notwithstanding -- until then. That said, Blizzard has mentioned that Patch 3.3 isn't likely to be the last content patch before the next expansion, so we'll see what happens. BlizzPlanet thinks the game might be in closed beta by then, but I personally hope Blizzard's timelines move a little faster than that.

We concur that BlizzCon 2010 seems like the perfect event to announce a new game. Diablo III is in the oven, StarCraft 2 is slated to be out this year, and Cataclysm has already been revealed. There needs to be something really, really big during BlizzCon, and there's nothing bigger than a brand new game, and signs point to an entirely new property from the guys in Irvine. Announcing the new game -- a "next-gen MMO" that Blizzard is known to be working on -- would be the biggest thing. It's kind of hard to imagine a bigger game announcement from any developer this year.

Since it's way too early to play BlizzCon bingo, why don't we dwell a bit on that new property (we feel really good about Blizzard revealing more about it this year)? It won't be fantasy, I think. With Warcraft and Diablo already treading the fantasy waters, we can probably rule out that genre. StarCraft is sci-fi, but there's still some room to play there. Maybe a grittier, cyber-punk style world that's a darker take on sci-fi the way Diablo's fantasy is to Warcraft? We won't know until August.

Will Jay Mohr reprise his hosting gig? No serious reason to think otherwise. Blizzard seems to love him, and at least he actually talked like he knows something about WoW during the last BlizzCon. Will Ozzy return as the big finale? Not so sure about that one. Blizzard likes to keep upping the ante, so an even bigger act might be in the cards for this year. Although it's definitely too early to make any assumptions about BlizzCon 2010 (those guys from Irvine are pretty good at throwing a curve ball or two), it's never too early to whet our appetites for everything Blizzard this year.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, BlizzCon

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