So I’m not at Blizzcon right now. I’m watching the fireworks at a distance. However, my editor is one who is at the scene right now and will be looking closely throughout the con. Something’s bound to happen. – Smug
So I was at Blizzcon for cashier training when I was handed a large manual of products while I learn how the machines operate. Nothing new or interesting about the training, however I did notice that the product manual is quite different from the 2018 version. It clearly shows how Blizzard has made a large transition from last Blizzcon for reasons (cough, Diablo Immortal, cough) and how Blizzard, quite frankly, is desperate to claw their audience back; they’ve been taking hits all year and it shows.
First off, the Diablo merchandise is on the very first page after the occasional Blizzcon gear. This is an unusual occurrence because Diablo is always in the very back, even over shadowed by Heroes of the Storm. Now that Diablo is placed above Overwatch and even World of Warcraft is showing how much Blizzard is focusing on Diablo now, even if Overwatch takes up at least 4 pages.
The second section is WoW, and all WoW Classic gear, they’re pretty desperate to cover up the embarrassment that was the Battle for Azeroth Expansion. It’s all Ragnaros themed, and while I love Ragnaros, I don’t think any of these are worth it except for the Stein, which I don’t really need either (I mean it’s a really cool fucking stein though).
Then the thing that fills up most of the catelog is Overwatch stuff. You know, the game they need a sequel to now because they couldn’t even keep it going for more than three years. The so called ‘TF2 Killer’ has about 7-8 pages full of merchandise. It’s clear that so many partner companies jumped on the Overwatch train but couldn’t get anything made or designed until it was on its last legs. A damn shame. The merchandise is all mediocre, the pop figures of Frogger Lucio and Pumpkin Reaver are pretty decent though, but it’s not worth breaking the boycott over. Interestingly though, they brought the Mei statue back for pre-ordering, and even included an EcoPoint Antarctica jacket in their merch collection. I guess Blizzard couldn’t abandon Mei with all those contracts in hand, but I reckon their tune will change very quickly once they see the amount of Pro Hong Kong Mei cosplayers flooding the convention grounds.
The most important thing to discuss, however, and what solidifies my point that OW and Diablo are getting a heavy focus, is the “Mystery Item” section. Now this isn’t a random chance item, these are unrevealed items that will be revealed after the opening ceremony. What’s important is that it is heavily dominated by just Overwatch and Diablo, with 2 WoW items. Nothing about HotS, Starcraft, nor Hearthstone. It shows how Blizzard has taken the Activision route to focus on their big moneymakers instead harboring all their IPs like they used to do. This started becoming a trend when Diablo Immortal received so much negative feedback that Blizzard was thrown into panic, shutting down HotS esports, cancelling StarCraft’s FPS later and are focusing just on Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2.
All in all, Blizzard is making this boycott WAY too easy…. except that Ragnaros Stein. SOMEONE HELP ME– Pixtron
Someone please help my Editor, he won’t stop talking about the fucking Stein. -Smug