Blizzard three-year plan includes two World of Warcraft, Starcraft II add-ons

[UPDATE] Activision Blizzard COO Thomas Tippl says publisher expects six releases from studio, including Diablo III and one expansion.


Blizzard Entertainment is notorious for not committing to a release window until it is absolutely sure the game is done. However, the studio remains but one among the Activision Blizzard umbrella, and its corporate partner is expecting Blizzard to release a number of products over the next three years to grow the publisher's top and bottom line.

Tippl believes the Starcraft II trilogy will conclude by 2014.
Tippl believes the Starcraft II trilogy will conclude by 2014.

Speaking at the Citi 2011 Technology Conference today, Activision Blizzard COO Thomas Tippl said that over the next three years, the publisher is expecting six "proven property" releases from Blizzard. These releases include two expansion packs each from World of Warcraft and Starcraft II.

While Blizzard has not indicated any expansion pack plans beyond WOW's Cataclysm, it has been more forthright with its Starcraft II plans. The game's second installment, Heart of the Swarm, focuses on the Zerg faction, and project director Greg Canessa indicated it will be available in mid-2012. The series will conclude with Legacy of the Void, which focuses on the Protoss camp.

The remaining two releases pertain to Diablo III. While Blizzard maintains that it hopes to release Diablo III in 2011, Tippl said that the game has not been factored into its earnings report expectations for the calendar year. Tippl also expects that a Diablo III expansion will be available before the end of 2014.

Of course, Tippl's word choice also left the door open for Blizzard to release an as-yet-unproven property in the next three years, namely its newest massively multiplayer online role-playing game, Titan. According to a purportedly leaked, and thus far accurate, release schedule, Blizzard is planning on releasing Titan in fall 2013.

[UPDATE] For its part, Blizzard is maintaining a veil of secrecy on its upcoming lineup. "We haven't made any announcements in regard to plans beyond our current slate," a Blizzard representative told GameSpot. "Currently, we are focused on the next content update for Cataclysm, the upcoming release of Diablo III, and continued development on Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm."

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Avatar image for -Saigo-

By Blizzard saying, "We hope to release Diablo III in 2011" they really mean, "We hope that Star Wars The Old Republic is released in 2011 so we can release Diablo III on the same day."

Avatar image for grove12345

So their 3 year plan is to do exactly the same thing over and over and dont make anything new. Great policy for a video game company. Especially one with this much respect from PC gamers. Well i guess redundancy is the new trend. Apples 3 year plan.... I pad 3 and Iphone 6. Blizzards plan another WOW, more SC 3 campaign, and finish Diablo 3 one day. What a shocker. God i hope this lack of innovation ends one day.

Avatar image for Nodashi

@SeptuagintXXX That only proves how unfinished games can destroy the experience to the consumers. I hope Bethesda learned this after New Vegas and Brink and release Rage and Skyrim at PLAYABLE state.

Avatar image for atopp399

Too bad WoW is still getting expansions. I am 29 years old now. I wonder what my age will be when a WoW 2 is released?

Avatar image for -MordeN-

This is damn terrible, Activision is starting to change Blizzard's policies. They obviously had deadlines for their games previously, but this kind of publicly known requirement only adds pressure to the developers and makes them release unfinished, unpolished products. We love blizzard for their meticulousness, their huge attention to detail and the overall incredible quality of their products, I just hope they can still deliver and not suffer in quality because of their associates' requirements.

Avatar image for SeptuagintXXX

You know what's funny? Blizzard takes forever to release its games, it never releases them on time, and by the time the games are released the graphics are dated. But, despite all this, they're still the best games available. So many companies are producing nothing but garbage.

Avatar image for Tyrael696

i just want one more expansion for wow and finish SCII with diablo i should not expected so soon besides why more expansions for wow if Titan is coming out i'm loyal to blizzard since day 1 and I'll stay with them till the end they've gave me everything that i want in their games

Avatar image for beuneus12

man i just want my starcraft 2 expansions! Already waited 10 years on the sequal, now these expansions are taking forever

Avatar image for pinicolaroxa

I heard that Warcraft 4 is gonna have 48 parts. Its going to be one mission per year

Avatar image for pinicolaroxa

Release dates from Blizzard? If i were Shao Kahn i would say: Don't make me laugh

Avatar image for lfebaggins

@Wedge_55 I know about the MMO they have been developing, I meant they should make that their top priority instead of more WoW expansions. Whats the point? Everyone is already prepared to jump ship already. They're going to lose a chunk of subscribers to Old Republic, whos to say the leftover WoW subscribers won't jump boat to the new Blizzard MMO? Trust me, a majority of them will. Why? Because Blizzard makes quality games and they already know Blizzard can make a good MMO. No one will care whether its in the Warcraft universe or not, WoW has already destroyed most of the Warcraft lore. The faster they get the new MMO out the better for all.

Avatar image for raptures330

@OJdaLIONKing "that will probably ever exist" Sorry, that is very improbable. The human population is only increasing. Something else will come along and simply because there are more people on the planet then this MMO will have more people on it. "I know that part of the reason for that quality is because they really don't release a game until it's done." That's the awesome bit. They take all their time making a solid base on which to expand. Building and creating the pillars on what the rest stands takes the most time. In 3 years they will only release 1 expansion pack for D3, 2 for WoW, and the last two parts of SC2. Doesn't sound so bad now does it? :) They are simply supporting their games with content (in the case of WoW) and only confirming what we already know (Protoss SC2 part will be a year and a half after Zerg, which is a year and a half after Terran... give or take) and in all that time... one expansion pack for D3, which is nearly half the development time for the full title. ^_^

Avatar image for TheFreeloader

While bringing out some more expansions for WoW is better than doing nothing, what they really need to do is to speed up getting a new MMO out. The MMO market is together with social gaming the most lucrative market in the gaming industry, and they ought not to risk their dominance in that market by betting on the hope that a 7 year old game can stay relevant in the future.

Avatar image for sean0331

GOD, whats keeping them from releasing Diablo III? Wait for GAMES like MW3 and BF3 to clear their dusts?

Avatar image for Nekromenos

Here we go...

Avatar image for OJ_the_LION

@lfebaggins You're talking about killing what is still, by far far far far far and away the most popular MMORPG that will probably ever exist, just because you don't like it even though millions of others still do. I myself think the game has been steadily improving, but took a bit of a stumble exactly because it listened to "purists" too much with Cataclysm regarding endgame content and they've spent the rest of the expansion trying to fix the damage. Still, good luck convincing them to kill a cash cow for no reason. I have liked basically everything Blizzard's ever done, although I'm not too fond of the always-on nature of Diablo III (I liked to cheat in single player and play honestly with my friends in multiplayer with the first two). However, I know that part of the reason for that quality is because they really don't release a game until it's done. Seeing this kind of scheduling worries me a little, but I hope that Blizzard doesn't let Activision force it to come out with a mediocre game on schedule that would ruin their reputation. We've seen Bioware's previously pristine reputation get damaged by Dragon Age II that seemed to have some EA influence behind it, I don't want to see the same happen to one of my favorite companies since I was a kid.

Avatar image for Wedge55

@lfebaggins Right, because they can magically pull a sequel out of their butts just because they aren't developing for WoW anymore. They've already been working on a new MMO for a good 2-3 years now.

Avatar image for m4rkoca

This is old news, there has been a leaked Blizzard release graph months ago.

Avatar image for lfebaggins

I'm thrilled that they have not forgot about their proposed Starcraft II expansion packs, but more WoW expansion packs?? Vanilla was great, BC wasn't as great but still good, WotLK sucked, and Cata is more of the same recycled garbage. Why keep adding to a game thats grown stale years ago and whose subscriber numbers are dwindling by the day? Just dead it and make a World of Warcraft II.

Avatar image for Ghkk

Diablo 3 will look seriously dated, the graphic is too bad for 5 years ago. And I don't think it brings anything new on the table at all, 'cause the idea of this game started 3 years ago...... a lot of things happened during last 3 years. I know developers should take their time and make good quality game, but 3-5 years per game is just ridiculous. They make expansion for WoW pretty fast, but 2 out of 3 of them are really bad. BC is only all right

Avatar image for bmorgan303

Get Mike Morghain up there and stick that douchebag back in the boardroom where he belongs. Love this post...The fact that D3 wasn't factored into their 2011 earnings forecast is bad news for fans hoping for Diablo to drop this year. Top IP at Blizzcon this year: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Avatar image for nurnberg

I am afraid that we are witnessing the last good years of Blizzard. The Bobby Kotick mentality is slowly ruining the company. Soon we will have yearly Starcraft and Diablo games of low quality, filled with DLC. Blizzard won't be known for their quality much longer.

Avatar image for Richardthe3rd

It pisses me off that Thomas Tippl is making Blizzard announcements. Get Mike Morghain up there and stick that douchebag back in the boardroom where he belongs.

Avatar image for tufann

bring me Starcraft - Ghost!

Avatar image for Joedgabe

Blizzard makes great games because they take their time doing them ( Idk if they're understaffed or w/e ) but the point is these type of News is to remind us that Blizzard still exists. I honestly forgot about them and those game because the little scrap of news that you hear about them every year.

Avatar image for crossdudu

I like that people always complain when a game is shipped with bugs and minor issues but when a dev takes a few more months than planned to fix all the bugs and issues, people complain even more!

Avatar image for PcGamingRig

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

Avatar image for siddarthshetty

I want SC2 HoS soon.

Avatar image for good_evil

Point me other company, which make one perfect release a year, or quit bragging around. How you can have a job, a social life and still have enough time to finish all the games and then whine about long development time? Guess you don't have regular job or one at all. @Frosty192 I presume you just love EA, don't you? Instant releases of multiple crap filled games :)

Avatar image for DeliCiousTZM

Nice. Still Warcraft 4 :( bring Blizzard out of the custom map slump

Avatar image for Frosty192

Blizzard really sucks. There are these things called "patches". Use them or don't announce a game that will not come out for the next 5 years because you guys take too damn long. (Starcraft ghost anyone?). Diablo 3 was supposed to come out 2 years ago so it is already going to be outdated awesome.

Avatar image for demondogx

3 years for 2 expansions is longer then you might think at first tought

Avatar image for sandgroper

how is this 'news' in any shape or form

Avatar image for Zophar87

@UnknownPerson55 Agreed, a lot of great games are out and even Blizzard is about to release a big one in Diablo 3. I don't see myself playing WoW much longer.

Avatar image for RockySquirrel

Meh... three years is a long time... Beware the hype-machine!

Avatar image for UnknownPerson55

After my recent experiences in WoW, Ill be hard pressed to buy into it anymore.

Avatar image for jporter313

@nigtlicroco: if I were you, I wouldn't hold my breath.

Avatar image for gommybear

It hasn't affected how Blizzard operates. SC2 delayed until it was 'ready' as always. SC2 expansions taking MORE time than SC1/WC3 expansions... Diablo 3 being delayed until it's 'ready' as always... Stop complaining just for the sake of complaining.

Avatar image for Zophar87

So at BlizzCon we'll probably see another WoW expansion with the potential release dates of HotS and Diablo 3? They can keep the WoW expansion just give me more Diablo 3 info.

Avatar image for nigtlicroco

wheres WARCRAFT 4 ???!!

Avatar image for LokiHero

Once upon a time, I didn't think the merger was going to affect how Blizzard operates. I thought wrong.

Avatar image for ohitsray

Damn two more WoW expansions!?