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Posts with tag e3

World of Warcraft, and lack of it, at E3

I was lucky enough to go to E3 this year with the Joystiq crew last week, and while I had planned to cover some stories about WoW for you guys, the biggest story I came back with was: that there was no story. I didn't hear or see World of Warcraft mentioned once. When Blizzard said they were not showing at E3, they meant it -- I didn't even hear a competitor mention their name.

There was one mention of Blizzard at the Activision press conference on Tuesday. Mike Griffith name-dropped Blizzard once just to say the merger had happened, but there was nothing at all about World of Warcraft or any of Blizzard's properties. And I had planned to try out the Novint Falcon controller with WoW. I did try it out, and it is an interesting, if expensive, PC game controller, but Novint told me they didn't have it working in a form they wanted to show off with World of Warcraft yet.

Kind of strange that the biggest game in the world didn't get a single mention at the biggest game show in the world, but then again, it's not that weird when you consider that E3 has scaled way down by magnitudes from past years. Companies aren't as interested in the event when there are many, many other ways to market and show off their games to journalists, and considering that Blizzard has invested heavily in not one but two giant events of their own this year, it's no wonder they don't want to spend any money at E3. Shame that we couldn't bring you more WoW coverage from LA last week, but we'll be back there in October, and there'll be plenty of news to report then.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, WoW Social Conventions, Blizzard, BlizzCon, Worldwide Invitational

Activision-Blizzard merger may be complete on July 9th

WoW Insider sister site Big Download is reporting that the Activision-Blizzard merger is getting closer and closer to reality. They recently won another victory in court today, as a Delaware court struck down an attempt by the Wayne County Employees' Retirement System to gain a preliminary injunction against the deal.

We're now coming up fast the July 8th Activision shareholders' meeting, where they will vote to approve the merger. Activision has already said that they expect the merger to be official on or about July 9th, according to Big Download.

This, of course, squeaks in just under the wire for the E3 expo. Activision-Blizzard has already said they don't plan to participate, but that they will hold a press conference on or near the dates of the expo. It seems likely now that they will be officially announcing the completion of their merger.

Of course, we here at WoW Insider are hoping the merger isn't the only thing they reveal. A WoTLK cinematic and official release date or another L70ETC song on Guitar Hero would be nice, I'd say.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Activision shareholders to vote on Activision-Blizzard merger

In Blizzard company news, another major milestone for the planned Blizzard-Activision merger is now set for July 8th, when a special meeting of Activision's shareholders will vote on their merger with Vivendi Games, Inc., the parent company of Blizzard. The meeting will take place in Beverly Hills, CA.

So far, Activision's been clearing the hurdles to the merger nicely, and executives from both companies seem pretty excited about the deal, so It seems unlikely that the shareholders will balk too much (then again, there is that lawsuit).

The timing of this meeting is apparently later than expected according to sister site Big Download, but it is worth noting that it still beats out E3, which will take place on July 11th-13th. You'll recall that Blizzard and Activision dropped out of E3. Rumor has it that they are also planning to hold a press conference during E3, on the first day, and being able to reveal final details of when, where, and how the merger will complete during that press conference would be quite a coup, for sure.

[Via Big Download]

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Activision Blizzard ditches E3 and the ESA

Just in case you missed it when the news came out a few days ago, Activision Blizzard has apparently announced that they're not showing up at E3 this year. And hot on the heels of that information came the news that both Activision and Vivendi have pulled out of the ESA, an organization that acts as the main trade association for the videogame industry.

What does this mean for us as Blizzard fans? Not much -- not only is Blizzard already running their own E3-like conventions (Blizzcon and WWI), but Activision Blizzard is apparently planning to hold a press conference on the first night of the show anyway. Blizzard's properties have enough gusto on their own to get press with or without inclusion in a big event like E3, and it's Activision's other properties that might have to worry about exposure.

As for the ESA news, who knows -- Activision Blizzard's pullout might mean a big shakeup in the way the videogame industry as a whole is represented, or (if no other companies choose to leave the ESA) it may not mean much at all. Time will tell.

Filed under: WoW Social Conventions, Blizzard, News items

Blizzard reveals new unannounced game in development

In an exclusive interview with Gamasutra, Blizzard revealed they have 3 development teams hard at work on games. WoW has 135 developers, Starcraft II's team has 40 members and a third unannounced title has a team of 40 members. Frank Pearce, Blizzard's Senior Vice President of Product Development, said "Team 3 is working on something really awesome. I can't give you any hints but it's totally awesome."

Be still my beating heart. Of course, the speculation on the forums has begun and Blizzard CM Tigerclaw is fanning the flames:

When our awesome new World War II first person shooter ships, you'll all be saying "aw why didn't I see that coming!"

A few players suggested that World of Tacocraft is on the horizon. Tigerclaw ran with the idea:

You could have power-ups and add-ons, like you could wrap the taco in an authentic Chicago-style pizza... maybe even dip it in batter and then deep fry it til it's golden brown... That's what I call a Taco!

Personally, I would like to see Diablo 3 or another MMO on the horizon. Hopefully, they will tell us more at Blizzcon, but Blizzard is notoriously reticent with this kind of information, so I'm not holding my breath.

What new game would you like to see from Blizzard? Do you think they'll tell us at Blizzcon? Would you eat a deep fried, pizza wrapped taco?

Filed under: Events, Blizzard, News items

The upcoming death of Zul'jin

Ever since we heard for sure at E3 that Zul'jin was going to be the final boss of Zul'Aman, there's been a little grumbling going around. Well, actually there's a lot of grumbling about this game, but this grumbling sounds a lot like this: another one of our heroes is going to die at our own hands.

People said the same thing about Illidan when we found out that he was going to head up the Black Temple (and for a while, Blizzard pushed the rumor that we might not kill him, but we eventually did, us murdering bastards). Zul'jin's roots go all the way back to Warcraft II, when he united with the Horde against the incursions of the Human Alliance. Even now, trolls (both NPC and some players alike) revere him as "Great Chief."

There is one big difference between Zul'jin and Illidan, however, and that's that Zul'jin is technically already dead.. kind of. You could only beat a mission in Warcraft II by killing him, and trolls everywhere ask for "Vengeance for Zul'jin," which implies that he's been killed. But a captured Hakkari troll from Zul'Gurub says Zul'jin is "probably dead," and even after the Warcraft II mission (in which he was supposedly killed) Zul'jin apparently was seen in the Alliance internment camps. So even if we do kill Zul'jin in Zul'Aman, it likely won't be the first time we've done it.

Oh, and there's one more catch. WoWWiki says, under Speculation, that "Zul'jin," according to the WoW RPG, is actually a title, not a name. So there's a chance that the Zul'jin, head of the forest trolls in Zul'Aman, isn't even the same guy that allied with Doomhammer against the Alliance.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Raiding, Lore, Bosses, NPCs

Zul'Aman sneak preview at E3


We're here at E3 and, although not blown away by any major announcements from Blizzard, did get a chance to check out a preview of the new 10-man Zul'Aman outdoor instance in Ghostlands. It's going to be a more casual dungeon than Karazhan, ideally doable in a few hours' time investment, with six bosses and no attunement required. There will be quests included as part of the story line, with at least one rescue mission per avatar boss that will have a time-dependent element similar to the Baron Run mechanic in Stratholme, with better rewards offered for quicker completion. The six bosses include bear, dragonhawk and lynx avatars, a "god of evil," a witch doctor, and the final troll boss Zul'jin. Like Hakkar in Zul'Gurub, Zul'jin has a spiritual connection with the other boss avatars and is able to draw upon their ghostly spirits in order to change his shape and assume some of their powers and abilities. All the bosses and the trash mobs (which will be primarily forest trolls) will be social and able to call for help from additional mobs -- surely good for a few wipes whilst learning the encounters.

Blizzard offered a few other small bits of news: voice chat and guild banks will be coming in minor patches before the big Zul'Aman patch is released. Voice chat will include a feature that automagically lowers the game volume when players are talking, and onscreen interface indicators to help keep track of who is talking at any given time. Guild banks will be endowed with some sort of permission system enabling guild masters to give access to specific items to some guild members and not others.

Unfortunately, Starcraft 2 was not yet playable, but we'll be looking forward to that and far more megaton news to be forthcoming at Blizzcon -- it's clear this press conference was merely a teaser.

Filed under: Patches, Blizzard, Instances, Features, Raiding, Bosses, BlizzCon

The Making of Illidan


If you were at E3 this year, you may have noticed the Illidan of which I refer - a nine foot tall sculpture that brought the character to life in a world away from Azeroth. And now you can see, step by step, the process involved in creating this Illidan. There's not a lot of reading, but plenty of great pictures to check out.

Filed under: Blizzard

Xfire's E3 Coverage


Xfire has posted a video of their E3 interviews.  It's not really focusing on news (which we've probably all seen by this point already), but  commentary (some interesting and some just for comic value)  from Jeff Kaplan (Tigole), Caydiem, Ordinn, and Eyonix.  It's an entertaining watch with a few interesting tidbits, though I must admit that I had to laugh when Tigole commented, "We know the honor system is a bit of a grind."

Filed under: Blizzard, Expansions

Blizzard's Paul Sams on the Wow Movie

Everyone has been buzzing about the announcement last week of a live-action Warcraft film, and now Gamespot has an interview with Blizzard exec Paul Sams, where he discusses some of the goals in bringing WoW to the big screen.

" We're not trying to take what we've done and...try to make a literal translation to the big screen. What we want to do is to make a great movie that happens to be set in a video game universe. That's a differentiator, and a key differentiator."

It sounds to me like they have the right attitude about the project, as no direct adaptation, if one is even possible, is going to please everyone. The best idea is for them to craft a solid, compelling story that happens to be set in the gameworld we all know & love, and just try to make a good film first & foremost. From this interview, it seems that's exactly what they're trying to do, so lets just hope the suits don't stick too many fingers in the pie between script & screen...

Filed under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items

Expansion Map Previews

It looks like some enterprising soul managed to snap a couple of pics at E3 of some maps that are supposedly of the new Blood Elf & Draenei starting areas. MapWoW.com has posted the images on their site for the interested to check out; you can see them right here.

The Draenei area is called Azuremist Isle, in Amman Vale. The Blood Elf area does not identify itself on the given image, so the name is still a mystery as of now. I vote for Bloodelphia...

Filed under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items, Expansions

WoW Moviewatch: Napolean Blood Elf

Well, we knew someone would do it sooner or later. Now with added soundtrack music & jealous spectators, the new & improved Blood Elf dance!

Filed under: Machinima, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Expansions

Young and Wired

In the continuing saga of our nation's youth being taken over by evil computer overlords, the San Fransisco Chronicle has jumped into the scene with an article about technology use among teens, and what the consequences might be.

According to research by the Kaiser Foundation (apparently they study more than just rolls), young people spend over 6 hours per day engrossed in some form of media or the other, which is up an hour from five years ago. And yes, of course WoW gets to share a little bit of the blame.

It's hard for me to even imagine growing up today as a kid, with the internet & all the other technology we have available. There's a pretty good chance that if I'd had a modern PC when I was 13 or so, I would have never left the house...especially if my parents were as lax about monitoring it as they were about cable TV.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, News items

Blizzard Not Relying on it's Cash Cow

With over six million subscribers to WoW, and with no end in sight, it might be understandable if Blizzard focused all of their rescources on support for World of Warcraft. According to this Gamespot article, however, WoW is only one iron in Blizzard's fire, as they plan to actively develop a wide range of new games, for both PC's and consoles.

Of course, there's no mention of what these new games might be, or exactly which platform they will appear on...but they're working on it, apparently. Which is fine with me, as long as they don't spead themselves too thin & allow WoW to suffer as a result. You know what I mean by suffer; long queue times, server outages, lag.....oh, wait a minute...

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items

More Dev Interviews from E3

Tentonhammer has an exclusive piece from E3, featuring interviews with WoW developer Tyven, where he discusses much of the news we've already heard from E3; the main subjects being Draenei, flying mounts, and the rest of the announced content. Nothing shockingly new, but for all you E3 news completists, there's some good info there.

Also included are a few tidbits of information from Blizzard's Mac team member Rob Barris, discussing Bootcamp on the Imac & other platform news. The full article can be found here.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items, Expansions

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