world-of-warcraft posts

Big Download's News Bits & Bytes - April Fool's Day version

We pity any game developer or publisher who tried to release a real press release with a real announcement today. Here are just a few more of our favorite April Fool's themed news bits from all over the net:

Big Download's News Bits & Bytes - March 26-27

So a portable game console with glasses-free 3D was released today. Which is great, except that the console looks on the surface something that was made 10 or 15 years ago. Why won't Nintendo learn something new about case design?

Blizzard: Diablo III could cannibalize World of Warcraft's player base

Many people have assumed that the next MMO game from Blizzard (the one code-named Project Titan) will be the one MMO that will finally take away players from Blizzard's hit MMO World of Warcraft. But according to Blizzard co-founder Frank Pearce it could be another upcoming game from the developer that could pull World of Warcraft players away.

Talking to Gamasutra he states, "I think even a shorter-term concern is whether or not we might see cannibalization of WoW players from Diablo III when we launch it, because it's a similar type of experience. Not exactly similar, but it's that RPG feel." Pearce doesn't have an issue with this happening, saying, " ... because if we cannibalize them ourselves, they're still a Blizzard customer." Now all we need for Blizzard to do is give Diablo III a release date.

Blizzard's next MMO game is already playable, says company COO

Blizzard's next major game announcement will likely be the reveal of its next MMO title. But the developer behind the biggest subscriber-based MMO game of all time, World of Warcraft, is still keeping details about the game close to the vest. However a new chat with Blizzard's COO Paul Sams at Gamasutra does give a couple of very general hints.

Sams admits that its next MMO game is " ... the most ambitious thing we've ever attempted." He added, "We're playing it already. It is a total ball to play. We think that the reach of that product is greater than anything that we've done before." However he also believes that World of Warcraft will still have a long life after the new MMO is released, saying, "I see World of Warcraft as having many more years in front of it."

Blizzard releases 20 year retrospective video

blizzard entertaiment
Blizzard Entertainment has already launched a web site that aims to celebrate the developer's 20th anniversary. Today that site posted up a nearly 50 minute video that looks back at the origins of the company all the way to the present via chats with many Blizzard executives and team members

The video goes over how the founders of Blizzard got together in 1991, how one of them got $15,000 from his grandmother to help fund the company and why the founders picked the company's original name Silicon and Synapse. It goes over the early games made by Blizzard (Rock N' Roll Racing, anyone?) and how times were pretty lean in terms of money for the first few years. It also discusses the company's various other names before finally settling on Blizzard.

The video goes over the many games that Blizzard made, from the Warcraft series to StarCraft, the Diablo series and of course World of Warcraft. Blizzard team members also look ahead and make some pretty general statements about the future of the company.

ScentScape may make you smell your PC games

Most of us thing that adding more immersion into PC games means better graphics or sound. But what about the sense of smell? A company called Scent Sciences is trying to sell a product ScentScape that will allow gamers to smell what they are seeing in a PC game.

The ScentScape, which was shown first with little fanfare last month at CES 2011, uses a USB port to plug into your PC. When used by a PC game that's been programmed to work with the ScentScape (and yes, the company is selling an SDK to game developers for that purpose) the product "directs the release of ScentScape scents providing background scents such as pine forest or ocean and from more scene related scents such as flowers and smoke to games or entertainment media." The scents come in a cartriage that supposedly lasts for 200 hours. The price for ScentScape is $69.99 although there doesn't appear to be an online store where you can actually buy the device.

[Via PC Gamer]

Diablo III not yet on Activision Blizzard's 2011 release schedule

Diablo III fans who were hoping that the long awaited action-RPG sequel from Blizzard would be released in 2011 will not be happy with today's news. During Activsion Blizzard's conference call with investors today, execs said that projected earnings for the publisher don't include the release of Diablo III during 2011.

That means that while the game might still make it out this year the publisher doesn't want to take any chances and promise a 2011 release date for the game and then have the game be delayed into 2012. Activision did say that if a delay happens than there will likely be two Blizzard games out in 2012. It's not clear if the second Blizzard game would be a new World of Warcraft expansion pack or StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. During the Q&A Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime stated only that development of the game was going well and that more info on the title, including when the Diablo III beta will begin, will be announced in the future.

Rumor: Blizzard theme park coming to China?

We know that Blizzard's games are huge in Asia but a newly discovered web site seems to show plans for a amusement pack that will have sections devoted to two of Blizzard's game franchises. The World Joyland web site has an elaborate design that seems to show concepts for Warcraft and Starcraft sections.

A French web site called Gameblog claims that this amusement park will launch in March in the Wujin district of China. Quite frankly we are not sure if that's true or not as there are no actual pictures of this park on the site. Big Download contacted Blizzard to see if any of this is more than a pipe dream but its PR rep would not comment yet on this development.

BlizzCon 2011 announced for October 21-22

BlizzCon has now become a truly annual event for developer Blizzard Entertainment. Since the first fan event was held in 2005 it has only skipped 2006 during its short history. Today Blizzard announced that the sixth BlizzCon event will be held on October 21-22 at its long time home of the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California.

Fans can expect to see panels about current and upcoming Blizzard games at BlizzCon 2011 along with the spectacular costume contest, vendors, tournaments and more. It's likely that Blizzard will use BlizzCon 2011 to show off content from StarCraft II Heart of the Swarm and its possible that the show will debut the fourth commercial expansion pack for the MMO World of Warcraft. The biggest question surrounds the long-in-development action-RPG Diablo III. Could the game actually be finished by the time BlizzCon 2011 rolls around or will it still be incomplete in late October 2011?

Tickets for BlizzCon 2011 will be sold at a still unannounced date with pricing yet to be revealed. It's likely that tickets will quickly sell out when they are offered as they have for the past BlizzCons.

Big Download's News Bits & Bytes - January 28

The weekend has finally arrived. If you are not covered up in snow we hope you will have a safe and fun end of the week. It's looking like next week may be a bit on the slow side news wise.

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