By Wes Smith
Activision-Blizzard’s annual gaming convention began this weekend in Anaheim, California, with announcements from its lineup of games, concerts, and more.
Thousands of attendees gathered at the Anaheim Convention Center to hear firsthand updates about new content from Blizzard, as well as to try many titles firsthand. Several cosplayers joined in the fun as their favorite Blizzard characters.
Among the larger announcements were additions and presales to their newest title, Overwatch, an in-depth look at the new Legion expansion for World of Warcraft, and a reveal of the full cinematic trailer for Legendary/Universal’s feature Warcraft film.
Presales for Overwatch went online today after leaks appeared overnight from several companies, including Amazon and Gamestop. The base game costs $40, an Origins Edition with several skins and synergy content with other titles costs $60, and a Collector’s Edition with a Soldier 76 statue costs $130. The game also announced new characters and a slated release date of on-or-before June 21st.
Fans of Hearthstone, one of the company’s most profitable titles, caught a glimpse of the newest expansion, The League of Explorer’s. In addition to new cards, a new mechanic called “digging” will be included.
On the Heroes of the Storm front, new characters Tracer, from Overwatch, and the ogre-mage Cho’gall, from Warcraft, have been announced. Cho’gall will be a two-player hero utilizing new mechanics where both players must control the character at once. He is also unlocked via a “virus,” in which players must join up with a player who already has Cho’gall and win a set number of games with him.
Perhaps the largest news of the convention so far has been from the Warcraft franchise. The company released cinematic trailers from both the upcoming feature film directed by Duncan Jones, and the opening cinematic from the upcoming Legion expansion. Developers also provided the complete list and details for artifact weapons set to be included in the game as well as gave attendees a first-hand trial at the new Demon Hunter class.
Some players took issue with a leaked announcement stating the Legion release will be, at the latest, in September. However, developers mentioned that the Beta for Legion will begin at by the end of the year, making a timeframe of May or July much more likely based on past release schedules.
The convention, which runs through Saturday, will wrap up with a concert from Linkin Park.