1. #1

    Cool ~Complete Blizzard Development Timeline Speculation [2013-2025]~

    Laid out below is what the Blizzard side of ATVI's entire internal development plans & continued support/maintenance structure can most reasonably be estimated to look closely like, for the next foreseeable decade & beyond. If you follow the industry a lot, as I happen to, and especially if you have a solid grasp of the market's economics & the way things work, then you're a perfect candidate to add your brainpower to this joint predictions effort.

    As a reminder, some of the content of this post are to be taken as a little tongue-in-cheek ;p However, the data here is well-researched & based on their history, structure, industry trends, tweets/announcements etc, and so are to be taken as thoroughly educated 'guesses'. In this extrapolation, HotS wasn't taken to be serial/expansion-based releases like the other titles, as the ARPS/MOBA genre hasn't so far shown much suitability to the typical box/expansion sets development structure, but rather, to a fluid, unified, continuous update cycle. As for HS, on the other side of that spectrum, CCG's tend to get a tremendous amount of expansion sets, to the point I'm not sure it'd be best to include their mention individually.

    Now, you may certainly be curious as to what exactly are all those future WoW expansion acronyms supposed to stand for..?? ..Yes, I actually have an entire, several-pages-long, continuously updated features/content speculation piece on all of the next expansions for this game (I've calculated 4 after MoP, ending at v9.0 ~ 'EoC').

    Please feel free to point out any doubts/inconsistencies/requests for sourcing/clarifications & I'll gladly edit to further our collaborative effort ^^ So what d'ya think ? Do you feel some launch years need to be moved for a later release ? Or perhaps sooner[™] ??


    LEGEND :
    ~> The Acronyms in "{ }" Brackets are the Entry's Subtitle.
    ~> A ꜝ means a Speculated/Unconfirmed Date/Title/Name.
    ~> The Year in Brackets is Retail Release Year, if Cancelled it's the Cancellation/Suspend Year.
    ~> The Digits "1, 2, 3, etc" found after a Title's Abbreviated Name/Codename represent its Sequel/Entry #.
    ~> The Letters "a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, etc" found after a Title's Abbreviated Name &/or its Sequel/Entry #, stand for each of that Title's Expansion Sets, including the basic game as "a".
    ~> LVK is Lost Vikings, RRR is Rock & Roll Racing, BLTN is Blackthorne, LotC is Lord of the Clans (WC Adventures), SC:G is SC:Ghost, HotS is Heroes of the Storm, HS is HearthStone, & ofc, TT is [Project Titan].

    ~SUSPENDED/SHELVED~
    WC1 {~O&H~}[1994]
    WC2a {~ToD~}[1995]
    WC2b {~BtDP~}[1996]
    WC3a {~RoC~}[2002]
    SC1a {[N/A]}[1998]
    D1 {[N/A]}[1996]
    D2a {[N/A]}[2000]
    LotC {[N/A]}[1998]
    SC:G {[N/A]}[2006]
    LVK1 {[N/A]}[1992]
    LVK2 {~NotN~}[1997]
    RRR1 {[N/A]}[1993]
    RRR2 {~RA~}[1997]
    BLTN {[N/A]}[1994]

    ~STATIC DEVELOPMENT~
    WoW1a {[N/A]}[2004]
    WoW1b {~TBC~}[2007]
    WoW1c {~WoTLK~}[2008]
    WoW1d {~CATA~}[2010]
    WC3b {~TFT~}[2003]
    SC1b {~BW~}[1998]
    SC2a {~WoL~}[2010]
    D2b {~LoD~}[2001]

    ~ACTIVE DEVELOPMENT~
    WoW1e {~MoP~}[2012]
    WoW1f {~WoD~}[2014]
    SC2b {~HotS~}[2013]
    SC2c {~LotV~}[2016ꜝ]
    D3a {[N/A]}[2012]
    D3b {~RoS~}[2014]
    HotS {~BZAS~}[2015ꜝ]
    HS {~HoWC~}[2014]
    TTa {[N/A]}[2018ꜝ]

    ~CONCEPTUAL PHASE~
    WoW1g {~AoM~}ꜝ[2016ꜝ]
    WoW1h {~BtGD~}ꜝ[2017ꜝ]
    WoW1iꜝ {~EoC~}ꜝ[2019ꜝ]
    WoW2aꜝ {[???]}[2024ꜝ]
    WC4a/SC3aꜝ {[???]}[2020ꜝ]
    WC4b/SC3bꜝ {[???]}[2022ꜝ]
    WC4c/SC3cꜝ {[???]}[2025ꜝ]
    D3c {[???]}[2017ꜝ]
    TTb {[???]}[2018ꜝ]
    TTc {[???]}[2020ꜝ]
    TTdꜝ {[???]}[2022ꜝ]


    As an addendum, I'd like to share some insight about WC4. Everyone seems to think that, merely because WC3:Reign of Chaos & The Frozen Throne were released -before- WoW was publicly available, the latter which then picked up from WC3's end of timeline, that any new WC RTS must continue the WoW Universe storyline exclusively from WoW's last expansion's end, and thus cannot possibly coexist w/ a live, retail, healthy WoW. This is nonsense. Here's why : Blizz loves time travel. They even made one of the Five Dragonflights' focus to be on safeguarding the timelines against meddlers. Every expansion set till MoP has had new CoT instances. This is simple. It's because the WC Universe has a tremendously cool history. From The Makers' odysseys through the Great Dark to shape a multitude of worlds, through The Sundering, and to the First, Second, and Third Wars of modern times, the lore is just rife with great stories to tell. Now what better way to let players in on that than to allow them to experience first hand Azeroth/Draenor's (and beyond) greatest moments of strife ??

    That's right, the obvious, very best opportunity for WC4 is actually to showcase these dramatic battles of ancient lore. Imagine controlling The Sorcerer-Thane's legions as the Dark Iron of old launch their ill-fated assault on Ironforge, with the Campaign eventually leading the player to summon Ragnaros in southern Khaz Modan in a desperate gambit to prevail over the combined might of the Bronzebeard & Wildhammer Clans ?? Imagine an idyllic, unsuspecting, peace-accustomed Stormwind suddenly awash with a brutal alien onslaught of green-skinned fel-eyed warmongers ?? An expanded grand strategic mode while at the helm of one of the nations of the Alliance, or clans of the Horde, diplomacy, trade, treason, kingdom management, on top of the RTS battles ?? That's not to mention the many Elven/Troll/ Aqir/Mogu/Orcish wars throughout the eons. Go ahead, hit up 'WarCraft II opening cinematic' on youtube & see the rousing unused potential xD. The material is there, The Metzenism Must Flow, and so the idea that WC RTS & WC RPG titles must somehow always pick up from each others' storylines in exclusive sequence is antiquated ;p

    See folks always forget how unique WoW's situation was. Back then, there was a Blizzard North team [D3], and a Blizzard Core team [WC] & [SC]. That's basically it. When the main team finished WC2, they were getting a little sick of Azeroth. So on to SC they went, a new setting, with heavy resemblances ofc ;p SC released, team then went back to Azeroth, WC3 this time. At this point, they start having enough resources to have 2 Blizzard Core teams. The main one works on Reign of Chaos/Frozen Throne, while a few others have been directed out of their 'Role-Playing Strategy' (RPS..rings a bell??) focus out of the RTS team, onto an RPG proper instead, an MMOG at that. It is only at this point, for the first time ever, that they truly have resources for 3 distinct teams on their 3 game types - RTS, RPG, & ARPG. So as WoW releases, the RTS team must've spent some efforts into SC:G, and undoubtedly got sidetracked into being mass-shored back onto the RPG team due to WoW's explosive success, but eventually they got started on SC2.

    This brings us to modern times. RTS team on SC/WC RTS's. RPG team that split off some assets to have 2 MMOG teams TT & WoW (only to, as was recently reported, end up refocusing most of those assets back to the latter's development almost exclusively). Small teams working on HotS & HS. Medium ARPG team working on D. Through this we truly can visualize where their assets are going & therefore what should organically make the most sense as far as future titles. See this is why a WC4 wouldn't have to follow after WoW, nor would a WoW2 have to pick up after WC4. Because though in the past the RTS team (WC3) led quite a bit in design & resources into WoW, today, the RTS team can do SC/WC all it wants while the MMOG teams are fully independant from it.

    It also bears mention that due to RTS games mostly dimmer potential for monetization (even with DLC/MTs), the idea of double-dipping on a modest market by producing both new RTS titles (say, WC4 & SC3) to release/develop concurrently, doesn't make business sense. Therefore, you'll notice the unusual setup ^ under ~CONCEPT~, where it would most likely be a single new RTS, not two at once. Both franchises have relatively equal potential, given that even though the last WC RTS was much longer ago than the last SC ones (making it a 'fresher pasture' & capturing extra nostalgia from fans), the SC community (especially asia..) seems more rabid about it than the WC community about an RTS.

    ..that is, unless the RTS team splits off some elements, along w/ hiring/grabbing some from TT team, and starts a new, 3rd MMOG team, to develop..yes..you guessed it, an SC MMOG..

    [Disclaimer : I am not under any NDA at the moment, and the data referenced herein is pure speculation & does not reflect any insider information.]


    Sources [to be expanded] :
    ~> en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WarCraft
    ~> en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titan_(Blizzard_Entertainment_project)
    ~> [..countless wowpedia.org rumor/speculation entries/articles, wow.joystiq.com & mmo-c comments/posts/speculation & opinion articles/tin foil hat rumors, as well as gamasutra/destructoid/kotaku/joystiq/mmo-c/etc interviews..]
    ~> (from wikipedia) : By September 2012, development had grown from small teams focusing on concepts to a team of over 100 people and Blizzard vice president of game design Rob Pardo said that the game was "in the middle of development", noting that it was a "very big project that's got a long ways to go".


    ..And we were meant to know this all along. It had been hinted at so transparently :

    Jeff Kaplan, one of the most pronounced Game Designers in Activision Blizzard when asked whether Titan will be sci-fi, near-future, post-apocalyptic or historical responded “All of these combined” with a smile. ~> !!!!!!!!!!!!

    I -cannot- believe no one mentioned obviously Assassin's Creed, but also the God of War, Prince of Persia, Tomb Raider, Fate/Stay Night & even Lost Vikings franchises' success coming to mind as definitive inspirations for this theme.

    ~Titan targets a broader audience than WoW~
    "Bobby Kotick sometime last year, admitted that Titan is being designed to target a somewhat broader audience. Whether that’s an age-wise broader audience, or an interest - wise broader audience (or a combination of the two), we don’t know. In my opinion both are welcome! Diversity never hurts! Younger gamers will want to focus on different aspects of the game while mature players might focus on more difficult scenarios, tackling harder situations that require a different approach. On the other hand we have players that prefer a more medieval setting, others that fancy powerful lasers, spaceships and aliens in a more futuristic setting and others that dig modern day warfare, with rifles, machine guns, tanks, the whole nine yards... How though, does one embed all these things in one game? That leads us to the next subject."

    ~The Time Travel Scenario~
    "There’s only one way for a game to cover so many settings and that is indeed time travelling. Jeff Kaplan, one of the most pronounced Game Designers in Activision Blizzard when asked whether Titan will be sci-fi, near-future, post-apocalyptic or historical responded “All of these combined” with a smile. Whether that’s true or false we cannot know for sure at this time, but it’s our best hint towards time travelling. It makes sense after all. It is indeed a great point of diversity within the game itself adding to the goal of a generally broader audience! Everyone grab a DeLorean!!!"

    http://www.blizzardnewmmo.com/ ~> RIGHT THERE on the main page. Why? Simple, it's single-handedly the 2nd most valuable, precise, telling piece of information there is (right after "not an existing Blizzard IP/Franchise") we've had in the speculation toolbox to proceed with elimination of possibilities & narrow down predictions.

    Enjoy ^^
    Last edited by Planetarism; 2013-11-06 at 12:01 PM.

  2. #2
    I'm curious, what is WoW TotB?

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Marksman12 View Post
    I'm curious, what is WoW TotB?
    That's probably an acronym for a fan-made expansion concept.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Marksman12 View Post
    I'm curious, what is WoW TotB?
    ..xD This was TotB, now (nearly) revealed to be WoD :

    [( ~v6.0.1-v6.4.4~ )]
    :: HYPOTHESIS ~ *DRAENOR* (Relics of Sargeras/Caverns of Time) Expansion Set ~ [™Warlords of Draenorꜝ™] (95) [05.2014 ~ 12.2015] ::
    :: RUMORED ~ *OTHERWORLDLY* (Twisting Nether) Expansion Set ~ [N/A] (100+) ::

    [( ~Rumored "Leaked" Plans : Non-Instanced Zone Layout~ )]
    K'aresh [95-98]
    Xorothian Plains [96-99]
    Argus Meadowlands [97-100]
    Maw of Oblivion [100+]
    The Burning Citadel [100++]

    [( ~Hypothetical Researched Predictions : Non-Instanced Zone Layout~ )]
    >> 'CoT' WC1-3/Invasion Prelude Timeline-Phased Regions
    >> Uncharted Shards of Draenor
    // Kul Tiras [90-91] //
    // Zul'Dare [91-92] //
    // Balor [91-93] //
    // Hiji [92-93] //
    // Tel Abim [93-94] //
    // Zandalar [95+] //
    // Plunder Isle [95+] //
    // Broken Isles [95++] //

    [( ~Hypothetical Researched Predictions : Expansion Features & Game Systems Changes~ )]
    ›› Spells : Class Specialization System/Class Ability Distribution Redesign [v3]
    ›› AH : Non-Mail Delivery Subsystem, Partial Buy Orders, GUI Redesign
    ›› Social : 'Appear Offline' BNE Player Status Option
    ›› Core Player Race Model & Animations Redesign
    ›› Items : Account-Wide Storage Tab (New) [v1]
    ›› Up-Scaling Low-Level Raids/Dungeons (New)
    ›› Professions : Alternate Skill-Up Recipes [v2]
    ›› Flexible-Size (10-25m) Raiding System [v2]
    ›› Player Creation Limit Per Server : +1 (?!?)
    ›› Items : JP-Based Upgrade System [v2]
    ›› Class (New) : Demon Hunter (?!?)
    ›› Global Power Level Streamlining
    ›› Roaming World Raid Bosses [v3]
    ›› Guild Advancement System [v2]
    ›› Items : Transmogrification [v3]
    ›› Party Level-Scaling/Mentoring
    ›› Guild Challenges System [v2]
    ›› [C] Mode : Dungeons [v2]
    ›› BG Redesign [Focus : AV]
    ›› [C] Mode : Raids [v1]
    ›› Proving Grounds [v2]
    ›› PokeWoW [v3]
    Last edited by Planetarism; 2013-11-04 at 05:50 AM.

  5. #5
    Mechagnome
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    Quote Originally Posted by Planetarism View Post
    [I]
    [( ~Hypothetical Researched Predictions : Expansion Features & Game Systems Changes~ )]
    ›› Partial Cross-Realm AH Merging/Alternative Realm Economy Balancing
    ›› AH : UI & Non-Mail Delivery Subsystem & Partial Buy Orders
    ›› Core Player Race Model & Animations Redesign
    ›› Alternate Profession Skill-Up Recipes [v2]
    ›› Tabard System Redesign : Account-Wide
    ›› Roaming World Raid Bosses [v2]
    ›› [C] Mode : Dungeons [v2]
    ›› BG Redesign [Focus : AV]
    ›› [C] Mode : Raids [v1]
    ›› PvP Spectator Mode
    ›› PvE Observer Mode
    Looks cool!

  6. #6
    If you're right on titan, that's about 10 years developpement. Titan project start early in TBC (at least, that's when i first heard of it, totalbiscuit was hosting a radio station on wow back in the day, his show name was blue plz).
    Even for an MMO, that a lot of developpement time before seeing any return on investement, probably the longest in video games history (excluding duke nukem forever).

    I believe Titan will ship before 2016, possibly 2014, but what do i know, as long as wow is popular, blizz can keep postponning it.
    I wouldn't be surprise to learn it had been schedule to launch much earlier, like 2012, and was re-schedule due to wow popularity and not willing to canabalize wow.

    Aside from that i believe there are still 3-4 expansion worth in wow, with an accelerated release time of 1 1/2 years between.
    I very much doubt we will see another warcraft STR, they will focus on starcraft, balancing and content for their STR effort. They probably will try to push e-sport.

    You didn't mention anything about diablo 4 though i don't think blizz will abandon this franchise.

    You didn't mention anything about F2P business model too, i think this is a model, even blizzard will not escape from, sooner or later.



    On a personal note, i regret that blizzard does what blizzard always did. They don't seems to be willing to create new franchise (well titan will be, perhaps a new franchise), or game style, they have STR, action RPG (diablo) or mmo (wow, titan)
    I guess CCG and MOBA is new game style but it seems .... underwhelming to me

  7. #7
    Dreadlord flarecde's Avatar
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    I doubt that WoW expansions will be stopping anytime soon. SOE is still making EQ expansions, and that game is both quite a bit older and has far fewer players.
    ~ flarecde
    Reality is nothing; Perception is everything.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by flarecde View Post
    I doubt that WoW expansions will be stopping anytime soon. SOE is still making EQ expansions, and that game is both quite a bit older and has far fewer players.
    Yup. And FFXI is still pushing one more expansion as well, both PC and the PlayStation2 for those that still play it on that, believe it or not.
    ~Former Priest/Guild Wars 2 Moderator~
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  9. #9
    Brewmaster Voidgazer's Avatar
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    Wait a sec, I thought there was another huge leak like in 2010. But turns out it's all just baseless speculation by OP. In a serif font no less...
    That's why you need me.... Need someone to punish you for your sins.

  10. #10
    Mechagnome
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vankrys View Post
    Aside from that i believe there are still 3-4 expansion worth in wow, with an accelerated release time of 1 1/2 years between.
    I very much doubt we will see another warcraft STR, they will focus on starcraft, balancing and content for their STR effort. They probably will try to push e-sport.
    Well blizzard confirmed that they will be doing 2 more expansions, 95&100lvl ones.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by ebah View Post
    Well blizzard confirmed that they will be doing 2 more expansions, 95&100lvl ones.
    And they said a few times already that they are going to go past that, nobody said it will end at 100, they said as long as people keep playing and loving the game, expansions will be made.

  12. #12
    The Lightbringer Uzi's Avatar
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    While this is interesting, I think you have got too much time on your hands

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