Blizzard trademarks Mists of Pandaria

Filing with USPTO fuels speculation about new World of Warcraft expansion, but publisher staying mum for now.

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Despite the Azeroth-rending effects of The Shattering, it's a safe bet Cataclysm was not the end of the World of Warcraft. The next chapter in the massively multiplayer online role-playing game may not be too far off, as a recent Blizzard trademark application with the US Patent and Trademark Office has sparked speculation regarding the online 800-pound gorilla's next expansion.

This Pandaren warrior has a tiny traveling companda.

As spotted by MMO Champion, Blizzard has filed for a US trademark on "Mists of Pandaria" for use in gaming software and entertainment services. Much like Blizzard's trademark for Cataclysm, the application was made under international classes 9 (electrical and scientific apparatus) and 41 (education and entertainment). However, the publisher also trademarked Cataclysm separately under international class 16 (paper goods and printed matter) for comics, strategy guides, and the like.

The Pandaria name may be familiar to Warcraft fans. It is the island home of the panda-like Pandaren race, first teased as an April Fools' Day joke by Blizzard. However, the Pandaren have found a following among the Warcraft fan base, such that references to the race have found their way into the games proper, most notably with a Pandaren Monk pet available for World of Warcraft players for $10.

Regardless of whether the Mists of Pandaria speculation is accurate, news of the next World of Warcraft expansion is possible in the not-too-distant future. Last year, a purportedly leaked Blizzard product slate gained validity by correctly revealing the code name of the company's next MMO title, Titan. That same document had World of Warcraft's fourth expansion pack penciled in for a second-quarter 2012 release. However, that same document had Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm and Diablo III set for launch in 2011, but Activision has told investors neither of those titles is a lock for release this year.

A Blizzard representative acknowledged the filing for GameSpot, saying, "We appreciate your interest in our trademark filings, but we're not ready to reveal any details at this time." Whatever the Mists of Pandaria trademark is intended to cover, it may be detailed at the upcoming BlizzCon conference, set to take place October 21-22 in Anaheim.

Discussion

124 comments
trixantea
trixantea

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Meta_Dragon
Meta_Dragon

Hahahaha! Wow ok. Everyone I know and most people here have quit wow a long time ago. Blizzard doesn't care about players. Every exspansion has sucked more and more. Cataclyms is case in point. Cata was joke. I don't know why people would say otherwise; 5 lvls, stupid dungeons, and repetitive crap. So what would make blizz think we would want to buy more? This is just a stupid idea, you know it blizzard. Deffiently doesn't deserve a 9.0.

DawnBlue
DawnBlue

@Bagrihm I'm not a loremaster of Warcraft either, but I thought they had already pretty much used up all available lore in WotLK. So what else can they do but bring up new stuff, even in expansions? Besides, how the new lore and content with it plays out is what matters (to me, at least), not whether it's based on something that was before... Of course, this does not mean I approve of something that obviously contradicts the canon.

Faith256
Faith256

I feel obliged to point out that Blizzard lost the plot after the first expansion so pointing out that Pandaria is all new is not really new news.

Barighm
Barighm

Hmm...I'm not a WoW loremaster, but every expansion has been based on a major part of the game's lore. Pandaria is brand new. Turning that into an expansion doesn't fit with the game's direction. I'm betting Pandaria is either patched content, for dailies or something, or just a small part of an overall expansion, like a race or something.

rat5112
rat5112

Freakin Blizzard everytime I get out of WoW I swear its the last time. But if the bring in Pandaren, especially the brewmaster as class...

marceleleco
marceleleco

i was hoping for new classes instead of races for the next expansion but its fine.demon hunter,blademaster,warden,ranger and mountain king would be EPIC!!!

AuronAXE
AuronAXE

@Sirbobislost Since Crysis, and it was great. Seriously though, I just meant...make it new. It's hard to explain but the game is just too damn old. And no, I love old games, I really do, but WoW is still one of the most popular games to date, and it's losing its traction. If it wants to hold on to its power, it needs to innovate.

N0tYrBeezin
N0tYrBeezin

@DontEatCream The pandaren hero from Warcraft 3 has been killed over and over and over and over since 2004 by players worldwide including chinese players. I guess you are not the brightest bulb in the block. And yes Warcraft 3 is a videogame with panda in it being killed over and over and over .....

abbasreza
abbasreza

It'd be cool to play as a pandaren but I doubt they would another class unless it was solely for pandaren.

GGCrew_basic
GGCrew_basic

@N0tYrBeezin It's not that I believe this "crap" about the Chinese government wanting to protect the panda from violent imagery and such - it's an explanation that I was given by a Blizzard artist at BlizzCon a couple years ago.

GreySeven
GreySeven

@FlamingFury While I agree that the original game was different online in comparison to the campaign, I think you will admit that there are no games that play exactly the same online as they do offline. That gives them the verity for replay value, don't you think? On everything else, I still have to disagree with you. Starcraft was a game of its own with a laugh or two when Diablo or Warcraft bled into the game with a quirky audio gag, whereas Starcraft 2 is the bastard son of Starcraft and World of Warcraft gimmicks. Tacked on achievements and the illusion of choice does not make a deep game. Characters that sit around and talk to one another with minimal participation do not make interesting characters, just cliched ones. Two paths in the plot that end in the same conclusion does not make a diversified ending. The balance works against the creativity that an RTS should offer. I have played StarCraft 2 online and it always comes down to one formula: If they build this unit, I build that unit. If they build zerglings, I build marines. If they build hydralisks I built marauders. The system puts you into a corridor of how to play against other people online with its balance. Starcraft 2 could have been a lot more than just rocks, scissors, paper, and less about bashing heads in the middle of a map. @Merex760 If you're implying that Nintendo is built on gimmicks and rehashed stories and characters, I have to agree with you. If you're saying that Blizzard is free of this, I have to disagree with you.

syafiqjabar
syafiqjabar

@DontEatCream No such thing will happen. That's only a stupid rumor. One of China's popular MMOs has a playable panda race.

famous54
famous54

I'm bored of World of Warcraft.. apparently Blizzard believes that just adding more of the same content is enough.. I'm tired of running in circles, will likely cancel my subscription soon.

Acid_Kenobi
Acid_Kenobi

For some reason I can't stop thinkin Kung fu panda!

DontEatCream
DontEatCream

Blizzard would never set the next expansion in Pandaria. The second a panda is depicted in videogame form, and BAM: the Chinese government would eat their balls for lunch. This might be something related to the TCG. Or maybe some sort of merchandizing. I hope I'm wrong though, cause exploring Pandaria would be the bee's knees.

nevryn
nevryn

@megakick I really get tired of having to explain this to people who just refuse to do some research on their own, but Activision never bought Blizzard. Blizzard's parent company Vivendi bought Activision, then split off their gaming division and called it Activision-Blizzard. This was done for a variety of business reasons, having nothing to do with games. Vivendi still hold majority stake in the company and basically still calls the shots. Blizzard while connected by name to Activision acts for the most part autonomously, with the Activision side primarily as serving as promotion and advertising. In other words, you still have Blizzard separate from Activision.

megakick
megakick

SWTOR will be casual as well don't worry. More the accounts, more the money.

hewoks
hewoks

Well, Good for them but a lot of us Stoped caring about this game since they started promoting casual play over hardcore play. Waiting on SWTOR, Hoping that the grass is greener.

N0tYrBeezin
N0tYrBeezin

@GGCrew_basic Wow ... people still believe in that crap? Many people worldwide have been killing the pandaren hero in Warcraft 3 since 2004. That includes China with their many chinese professional players. I guess the saying that there is a sucker born every minute is true.

Death_Blade_182
Death_Blade_182

I'm hoping they get their own game rather than a WoW expansion. The Pandaren are awesome

GGCrew_basic
GGCrew_basic

Don't expect to be playing as a Pandaren any time soon. WoW has a significant player base in China, and the Chinese government is quite intolerant of anything that is disrespectful or violent towards the Panda bear - even if the violence is "cartoony". It is entirely possible that WoW could be banned in China (again) if Blizzard adds the Pandaren. And there is a precedent for WoW bumping into China's cultural differences: Models and graphics that represented bones (ie zombies, skeletons, some graves) were reskinned/replaced so the bones were not visible - the visible bones were considered disrespectful to "the ancestors".

Icehearted
Icehearted

@ggregd Your 13 year old sounds like a kid after my own heart :D

megakick
megakick

Stopped caring about Blizzard after Activision bought them.

Edge15
Edge15

If Blizz does go through with the pandas, then they are really going over the top with their community jokes. The Taurens are already a community joke, and it just keeps getting further and further... I'm also betting diablo 3 has the cow level as well... Whatever, I lost interest in the end game grinding for WoW. It would take way more than just a new race to draw me in again. Maybe panda monks for a new class as well O_O

Cobra5
Cobra5

an in-game collectable card game, and you pay real money for the card packs. Mark my words!

Vektor_basic
Vektor_basic

Whatever, just waiting for Old Republic here...

thebrickster007
thebrickster007

And the furries just sit and smile. Pandas are hella awesome.

Stoner2099
Stoner2099

seriously pandas? ya doesnt really seems to fit in with the rest of the wow. glad i stopped playing.

ggregd
ggregd

I took my daughters to Panda Express last week. The 13 year old told the 9 year old they served real panda meat. The 9 year old cried. My point is you don't tease little kids about the pandas. It would make 90% of the WoW player base cry if this was untrue.

ggregd
ggregd

@jecht_35 You win the run-on sentence award for today. Your prize is in the mail.

MuffintopX
MuffintopX

Haha, I'd love to see this actually be the Titan they are working on. How hilarious would that be?

nord1c
nord1c

Blizzard has already announced that their next MMORPG, which is still codenamed "Titan" will follow a Casual path. Now what could be more casual than Pandas?

fredwv
fredwv

If it's just a new race, I don't really care. If it's an actual new class, I'd be a lot more interested.

Grodus5
Grodus5

I, for one, welcome our new Pandaren Overlords.

crossdudu
crossdudu

I'd really enjoy playing as a Pandaren Brewmaster!

jecht_35
jecht_35

I like playing MMO's but I give up after the most 5 months there really isn't all that much to keep wanting to play after awhile and don't hate me for saying this but WoW really isn't all that great its fun for a while but eh I just didn't see the point to keep playing even with all the expansions. to much time and money to invest in a few hours of fun.

Henrique2324
Henrique2324

@Gamerfan2011 - Wtf does call of duty elite has to do with WoW? Also, it's very possible that this becomes the next expansion.

0ld_sch00l
0ld_sch00l

How... can... you... still... be... playing... this... game? I get it if you're new to it, but if you've been playing it since launch...

gix47
gix47

the Pandaria's were in warcraft 3, and was to be a race but blizz didnt want to upset china...i doubt they will be a playable race and i dont really care anymore for WoW..cata was the final slap

Icehearted
Icehearted

The fact of the matter is that it will be all about keeping players rather than wooing in new players or retired players. I gave up WoW a long time ago, have absolutely no desire to play "grindy fetchy" again.

eyeball2452
eyeball2452

Making a big deal out of nothing. I'd be stunned if this was the expansion. I believe the common thought is that the expansion would use the Outland portals to expand the game world instead. Better to let April Fool's jokes alone. It was funny at the time and the designer who came up with it talked about his daughter and the inspiration behind the idea. If Blizzard actually moved forward with this, it would be a very cheesy way to add Asian inspired content to the game. If people thought the Indian Jones references were over the top, this would be about five steps further.

thuban
thuban

if this is indeed related to the new expansion, it brings serious concerns into the depth to the lore.. for so long its always been detailed and near "tolkien-esk". but as of late, things have just gotten a little "unsure" to say the least. uldum hello?. where abouts do ancient egypt and indiana jones fit into the wow story without some weak add-ins to the lore line.." and pandaren is admittedly from a joke... cmon.. lets get back to the ancient sh1z u guys wrote about back in BC... it definately makes me worry about the movie and what that will be about

thuban
thuban

ive been a wow player for a long time.. currently in dormant state of play since cata 4.1 mainly cause over the last 5 years, although the updates have kept it fresh, its still the same old things over and over and over again. as much as i loved it thruout vanilla, bc and lk, it just feels old now. bliz have 1 more shot at this imo, id love to see a new engine somehow merging over the old one?.. dunno how if at all, but i do know that id def play again for even just shiny new "round objects :P"(look for a curve anywhere ingame u wont find one.. all straight edges..seriously) for now d3 is where my excitement is from bliz

Gamerfan2011
Gamerfan2011

CoD elite is not going to take off its a retarded idea from activision just to make a quick buck off us.

JackFlakk
JackFlakk

If it's true that this is the new WoW expansion (and let's be honest, it's a pretty colossal "if" at this point), this would seem to be a fairly transparent reach toward an emerging market in Asia. That may make sense from the standpoint of ginning up new business out east, but if it comes to pass I wonder how many Western gamers will question if ACTIVISION Blizzard's WoW has finally jumped the shark.

drummerdickens
drummerdickens

This seems like the beginning of the end to me. Like they're trying to cash in on a cutesy, novelty idea.