Blizzard Entertainment has revealed both the announcement date of the next World of Warcraft expansion and development of a new Warcraft mobile game.
In a March 7th blog post headlined Save The Date — The Future of Warcraft, Blizzard’s General Manager of Warcraft John Hight highlighted the new featured content coming to both MMORPG World of Warcraft and collectible card game Hearthstone.
“To kick off the first of our announcements, on March 15, the Hearthstone development team will share details about the first of three expansions this year,” began Hight. “Shortly after, they’ll provide a deeper look into the plans for Hearthstone for 2022—including the annual core set changes.”
Further, Hight announced that players with linked Battle.net accounts who watch the currently-underway first season of the Hearthstone Grandmasters on YouTube “can earn Fractured in Alterac Valley drops while watching the top players in the world compete for their shot at the playoffs, a share of the $250,000 (USD) prize pool, and regional invites to the 2022 World Championship.”
“Don’t forget to tune in on April 2-3 for Lobby Legends: Raid Leaders—Hearthstone Esports’ first Battlegrounds event of the year,” he teased. “It’s an exciting time for Hearthstone and you won’t want to miss a moment in the Tavern.”
Turning to WoW, Hight next informed players, “On April 19 the World of Warcraft development team will reveal the next expansion. We’re excited to show you what we’ve been working on and where your adventures in Azeroth will go next.”
“Until then, we hope you are enjoying Eternity’s End, the newest content update and final chapter of the Shadowlands saga,” the GM continued, swiftly moving on from the lack of details. “The heroes of Azeroth have been called forth to this intriguing new land of Zereth Mortis to thwart the Jailer’s efforts and stop him from rewriting reality as we know it.”
“This past week we have seen brave adventurers make their way into the Sepulcher of the First Ones raid zone on Normal and Heroic difficulty, and this week they will finally come face-to-face with the Jailer himself as Raid Finder and Mythic difficulties become available,” he summarized of the update’s current lifespan. “I’m eager to see who will achieve world first!”
Additionally, Hight touched upon how World of Warcraft Classic players have recently “gathered their strongest allies to go beyond the gates of the ancient troll city of Zul’Gurub, face the Blood God Hakkar, and reap the rewards in Season of Mastery.”
“Players have also been taking on the challenges in Burning Crusade Classic Phase 3 as they make their way into the Black Temple to face Illidan within his stronghold, engage in the Battle for Mount Hyjal to preserve history, and much more,” he added.
Noting that “WoW Esports celebrates 15 years this April”, Hight then informed players “looking to test themselves against the best players in the world, [that] the Arena World Championship and Mythic Dungeon International are gearing up for more fast-paced action.”
Further, he revealed that “players who register [on GameBattles] by March 28 and complete the MDI Time Trials have a chance to earn the in-game Encrypted Banner of the Opportune”
Moving on, Hight ultimately proclaimed that an all new Warcraft game would be coming to smartphones.
“Beyond World of Warcraft and Hearthstone, we’re preparing to get the first game in the Warcraft Universe designed for mobile into your hands,” he stated. “We will tell you more about it in May.”
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands launched November 23rd, 2021, but seems to have been extremely poorly received.
However, it should be noted user reviews on websites such as Metacritic cannot verify if a person has actually played the game.
While some negative reviews undoubtedly came from players unsatisfied with the expansion, it’s also possible that some may have been left in response to the various sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuits previously filed against Activision Blizzard.
Likewise, it’s hard to accurately divide blame between controversy and the poor quality of their content for Blizzard’s continued hemorrhage of players across their titles year-over-year.
It is also somewhat surprising to see a Warcraft title being proposed for mobile.
Fans were livid and booed when it was confirmed the game would not come to PC, with one even asking during the Q&A segment of that year’s Blizzcon if the title’s announcement was an “out of season April Fool’s joke?”
What do you expect to be the future for Warcraft? Let us know on social media and in the comments below!