So, you all know by now that Blizzcon 2012 has been cancelled in lieu of an eSports Tournament event "somewhere in Asia".
I'm really disappointed. Not because it was cancelled, but because I was saving up a post for September about Titan!
Right now, "professionals" have predicted that Blizzard's Next Gen MMO is going to be announced at Blizzon 2012, and that number was only going to increase substantially as the date approached (ie, analysts predicting that the Next Gen MMO would be revealed), but I really wanted to wait until the opportune time to say "NOPE", that it wasn't going to be announced. Damn.
I'm still sticking to late 2014-2015 by the way, even though everyone else is saying 2013 or 2014 at the latest right now. :)
You weren't going to miss much at Blizzcon 2012 anyways. If you have read my earlier posts, I made one last year predicting what to expect in 2012-2014. The only game they were going to announce in 2012 was Diablo 3 X1, but due to the major setbacks they have been experiencing with D3, it's understandable that it has been delayed (to 2013), and Blizzcon 2012 would have had no release announcements to speak of. It would have actually ended up just like the "Demon Hunter Blizzcon" (2010) which caused some great disappointment.
This means that there will very likely be two games revealed at Blizzcon 2013 (D3 X1 and WOW X5).
Plus, setting up Blizzcon is a very exhausting event for the team members. Sure, it's a very profitable event, but they have other stuff to worry about without having to deal with the pressure of Blizzcon. During the past Quarterly Shareholders Meeting, Thomas Tippl committed to a "minimum of 2 Blizzard titles in 2012". It really doesn't matter what CUSTOMERS are told or promised; what really matters is what the SHAREHOLDERS are promised.
I think some of the big problems they're having relate to Battle.net. Not stability or performance issues, but rather integration problems with PayPal and their new Battle.net Balance / Blizzard Store / RMAH systems. This might put their integration plans of the Activision Game Catalog into Battle.net on the back burner (e.g. using B.Net Balance to buy Activision games rather than just Blizzard titles, and selling other publisher's games to compete with Steam and even Origin which has just added 11 new publishers.)
On that note, Blizzard has recently started hiring for a ton of "Critical" positions on the Battle.net team. :)
Back To The Announcement, Though..
According to the Blizzcon 2012 cancellation announcement today, more details about the event will be revealed "in the months ahead." Meaning that they're releasing this information very early, when they could have just announced it a few months before Blizzcon. They're making this announcement early for a very good reason.
For a while now, I've been talking about keeping a very careful eye on this week and next.
If a release date announcement is made, it will be done right before the investors conference call (and on a Monday.) If it's not made before the investors call, then the game truly has been delayed until after March. If the release date announcement is not made on the Monday, then the chances of a Q1 release greatly diminish (meaning a Q2 delay off-hand comment made by Mike Morhaime is highly likely during the Q4 call.) Monday, February 6 is the most logical choice but I had said that we don't necessarily have to wait until Feb 6 and that there would be other signs of what might happen beforehand.
For example, if we don't see any new information released during this week and the week of Jan 30 - Feb 3, the probability of a release date announcement diminishes. But, if we see a lot of interesting or unexpected posts (especially about Battle.net), then there's a very good chance of an announcement.
This recent announced by Blizzard is very disappointing to everyone, but it's also surprisingly being done very early. Either this means that they have more bad information to share and they just want to rip that bandaid off now and just get it all over with (so expect more bad news during the call.) OR, they're just getting the bad news for the year out of the way first before revealing the really good news; like an imminent release date announcement, with the game coming out earlier than people were expecting. Blizzard has "promised" Q1 after all, so I'm putting my trust in Blizzard.
This just leaves us back to what I've already been saying; pay attention to the other details they release over the next 2 weeks (up to the days before the shareholders meeting.) And because they have all of this extra time now, we can even certainly expect to see 3 releases this year (instead of just 2). :)