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 vault-boy

WoW has past it's expiration date in December 2010. Now it's just moldy goo sitting in the refrigerator yet people still eat it up.

Avatar image for jmrwacko

Hmm, so this must be where the whole 3 tiers of content per WoW expansion and full price Starcraft 2 expansions ideas came from.

Avatar image for spartanofhell7

OH okay i thought they were coming out with a new world of warcraft, and I'm just thinking what kind of name it would have. They had some pretty awesome names like Wrath of the lich king ( i didn't personally like caty) I was just thinking mabbe they'll bring another lich king or something? or another dragon out of the ground or out of their tunnel. OH OH OH i know they'll focus on the titans part of the story, remember uldar etc in world of warcraft? it'll be wrath of the TITANS XD

Avatar image for MOwens9512

@CTBradums I understand what you're saying. I am pretty sure I'm not going to wait until they are all completed (cause with Blizzard who knows, could be completed in 2027 lol but still would be worth it) but probably will let it slide a little more in price at least. @JM_Lerris LOL I honestly like that analogy, especially considering that you're doing almost the exact thing you did with the original Star Wars trilogy: waiting 3 years in between each of them to complete the tale. But honestly it's more about the economics than the irritation. Your arguments have definitely me leaning towards getting it soon, though. Especially since it's down to $50 lol hope Amazon does a $35-40 sales soon.

Avatar image for CTBradums

@MOwens9512: That's how I felt initially, but then I compared the new SC2 trilogy to SC and BW. In SC and BW, each faction had 8 missions, and it was pretty straight-forward. You beat the 8, see the "ending" for that race, then continue the story with the next race. Essentially, this is the same thing, but a lot bigger, with more additional aspects, storyline, and gameplay - just split into three games. So, you're still getting your money's worth. It's not like they're only giving you 8 missions of a race, then cutting it off and saying "Ha, now you have to pay $50 for the next 8!", y'know?

Avatar image for JM_Lerris

@MOwens9512 That's like saying you watched the original Star Wars and were upset you didn't get the whole story at once.

Avatar image for gix47

lol, no warcraft4..thats silly only thing i really look forward to is starcraft which,imo...titan is world of starcraft.

Avatar image for MOwens9512

@shadow580 oh I know i won't be dissappointed. I can't think of a Blizzard game that I've played that I didn't like. Just want all three campaigns at once and not have to pay $180 for the complete story LOL Trust me, it will be owned...eventually LOL

Avatar image for shadow580

@MOwens9512 dude, you're really missing out. Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty is already a whole experience by itself. It has a great story that finished nicely with no big cliff hanger. Think of it like The Matrix, you can enjoy it without ever watching the sequels. Sure it has loose ends, but the main objective was completed. Seriously, play it. You won't be disappointed.

Avatar image for Mariner32

Amid all this, I think what I would be most interested in hearing is if they announced Warcraft 4. Don't get me wrong, I am loving SC2 and can't wait for the Zerg campaign and D3, but I miss the proper Warcraft installments. I suppose the only problem with that is, as WoW exists within the same timeline as the other Warcraft games, then WoW needs to be over before they make Warcraft 4 and I don't see that happening anytime soon...

Avatar image for Alex055

My god all the Blizzard hate is stupid. Are you guys idiots? Blizzard never "sold out". You sound like those stupid hipster idiots who criticize music just because it's popular. By that definition, metal and other good music is just as much crap. Blizzard did plan to release 2 expansions for SC2. They were going about making the Terran campaign and realized they had enough content for a FULL GAME already, and that simply waiting longer to release the campaign or trim down the Terran plot and make it convoluted and make the other two racial plots rushed and lower in quality was not reasonable. The expansions are priced as expansions, and the developers have said themselves that the plot from WoL to LotV is the same that would've been had there been 3 campaigns in the first game and then 2 more expansions, still. The story wouldn't have gone farther by the 2nd expansion than it will now in LotV. HOW or WHAT has changed since Blizzard "allied" themselves with Activision? Let's face it, all you haters who think it's the same as when EA bought Maxis and Westwood are just that, haters. Blizzard has clearly said that this is not Activision buying out Blizzard and that Blizzard will still independently develop its games and Activision will have no say in it. They are on equal footing. So far, Blizzard is still Blizzard. Bobby Kotick said he'd want Blizzard to do CGI movies and that he wanted to close BlizzCon and have Blizzard appear at normal game events like E3 and GamesCom. Guess why that didn't happen? Because Blizzard still directs its own company and interests.

Avatar image for Darkreaper_1

I would really like to know how many staff Blizzard actually have and what titles they are working on? I honestly think Blizzard should dedicate all their staff (bar those keeping the Wow game up and running) to a single project, get it out ASAP (by Blizzard standards) and then move onto something else, like they use to do before Activison came into the picture. At the moment it looks like they are spreading a small number of staff across multiple projects which is resulting in very long developments times. I know i'll probably get grief for this but Starcraft 2 was a bit of disappointment for me. I was expecting something on par with the first SC and Broodwars. Don't get me wrong, it is a good game but my expectations from Blizzard are very high because of the games they've released in the past. Plus the fact they're planning an expansion pack before Diablo 3 is even released just doesn't sit right with me. They should concentrate on getting D3 out ASAP and keep any plans of an expansion on hold until it is or at least keep it quite. I'd much prefer them to come out and say something like "we're going to work on D3 until it's done, then we're moving onto a SC2 expansion, then when that's done we'll work on a Wow patch, etc, etc" rather than list 3 or 4 or 5 games/expansion they are working on at the same time over 3 years.

Avatar image for djwood84

No no no Gamespot, you forgot the zero. These are the games Blizz is expecting to release in the next THIRTY years.

Avatar image for jollybest1

i will probably play diablo 3 with all of the expansion when the pigs will fly or probably when we will travel between star systems ........probably wow will exist until the end of our time and they will release expansions for that game even afther the end of earth ............Jeeez Blizzard stop planing and start acting a little ,some of us will die until you will release a game , at this rate i will play diablo 3 in my grave

Avatar image for yellosnolvr

i hate when developers announce add-ons before the next one (and in this case: the actual game) is even released.

Avatar image for bonzibuddyxxx

Im getting all 6 games whos with me?? And some people's comments are hilarious. This is bad because "activision". Get over your irrational hatred.

Avatar image for valent1n

ps: it must be free-to-play, otherwise it will die fast

Avatar image for valent1n

and no Warcraft 4, well this should be interesting, i'll be in my 30s when this will be out.... - hopefully not!

Avatar image for m30w_cP

can't wait to see what they release .. more classes for diablo 3 like they did diablo 2 and 1(hellfire)... if you haven't played diablo 1 havent played diablo 1.. made by sierra...the same ppl who helped w/ half-life

Avatar image for FkThisName

What the hell is Blizzard doing at a technology conference. They have been 5-10 years behind the times (technology wise) for the past 20 years.

Avatar image for 856891

Honestly for the amount of time us fans waited for starcraft 2, it really didn't blow me away. It felt like any other RTS game and yes I have played the 1st one. Besides blizzard takes way to long to develop games. At this rate I'll be an old old man by the time the 3rd game in the starcraft 2 trilogy is released.

Avatar image for matchpenalty11

There's nothing wrong with milking a franchise that's still going strong. It is a business after all.

Avatar image for cboyuno

Why I don't play Starcraft II: The first three leagues are simply memorization and speed. Yes there is a bit of "skill" mixed in there but its not until you reach diamond league and platinum league that skill comes into play. I don't have the patience to memorize and speed up.

Avatar image for deactivated-5ae060efb3bf6

Sounds like Blizzards "GOT MILK" for the next 3 years.

Avatar image for ZeroX91

Is it ok to say I love WoW ,but hate the other people in it?

Avatar image for MOwens9512

Still haven't picked up Starcraft II and still don't plan on it until they finish releasing the entire game LOL. I'm so praying that they don't do Diablo III the same way. I love their games, but I liked Blizzard better when they made you wait forever for a full game that would blow your mind. Not with their trickling in stuff.

Avatar image for Suikogaiden

Give me my Defilers w/ plague back! And please tone down the Protoss a little.

Avatar image for max_1111

@Buck_Swaggler Nah... We've still got Valve...

Avatar image for Buck_Swaggler

The day Activision manages to force Blizzard into a release window is day one of The Fall of Video Games.

Avatar image for bigcrusha

I wish they would skip to Legacy of the Void already =/

Avatar image for max_1111

@nevryn None of my comments have been *specifically* about Blizzard if you were paying attention... More to the fact they're on with Activision now and quality has suffered and will continue to do so in my opinion... Furthermore, nowhere have i said anything like, "DURRR MONY BAD!!! COMPNAY NO LIEK MONY!!!".. However i once again refer to my comment about Blizzard having the financial backing, manpower, and talent to put out great games without having to sell out to the likes of Activision... If that's the direction they want to go fine.. More power to them... Yay for corporate prostitution funds! This, however, doesn't mean i (and a lot of other gamers) won't be bothered by it... EDIT: No this isn't some jackass hipster thing either... it's more akin to having your favourite metal band that you've been listening to for god knows how many years getting signed, cutting their hair, wearing Abercrombie and Fitch, then turning into a boy band...

Avatar image for stEElyDaN909

Warcraft 4 please! I love the warcraft universe but I'm so tired of wow and it's crappy characters.

Avatar image for Suikogaiden

My message to the SC2 team would be, stop trying to make SC2 an RPG.

Avatar image for cephas90

I miss Blizzard without the Activision. Oh well, even the most true sometimes sell their souls.

Avatar image for Sigil-otaku

I don't really rate star craft that well, it's a good RTS but not enough content (e.g. there's not really that many races or units for such a successful franchise) but the mechanics are good of course. What I really want from Blizzard though is for Diablo 3 to be better than my current expectations which have dipped a bit with all the bad news recently and for the to go back to a Warcraft RTS and do it well. I mean Star Craft seems in the lime light at the moment but I'd be a bit more interested in Blizzards RPG RTS (warcraft) and Diablo 3. I hope they don't become money spinners due to activision.

Avatar image for Lord_Regnier

I want to know what titan is!?

Avatar image for Pete5506

More Starcraft is fine by me

Avatar image for Jex9

@gameking5000 indeed, good sir. I wanted to like your comment more than once and I hope Activision and Blizzard read your comment because that is a worthy concern. We do not want another EA-Bioware fiasco.

Avatar image for demonic_85

The SC2 expansions better be priced as expansions or i'm not buying them. Something tells me this waiting game is to make them look like full games so they can charge us accordingly.

Avatar image for gameking5000

"the publisher is expecting six "proven property" releases from Blizzard" I certainly hope the publisher isn't calling the shots but rather the developer.

Avatar image for Claytonicus

I lost faith in Blizzard when my expectations were crushed playing starcraft 2. It was nothing at all like the majestic game that Starcraft 1 was, and anyone who has played the original knows exactly what i'm talking about. For them to release a sequel so many years after the original, complete with outdated crappy graphics, an average and non-immersive storyline, and having destroyed what made the zerg a fun race to play in the first game, and then call it "taking time to balance and ensure perfection" is a complete load. I refuse to buy the next 2 "installments" of SC2, when they should have been included in the game i purchased. This jest just screams to me of consumer fiscal raping. I will, however be buying D3, being the sucker that i am for Diablo games, and the online experience it brings, but beyond that my collection of ActiBlizzard games will be originating from torrent sites thankyou very much.

Avatar image for raspotts

I was excited when I first found this on But having read this version, it sounds like it's just a public announcement of what management want the Blizzard developers to do, rather than anything binding. It's interesting in that Blizzard seem to be considering trying to produce WoW expansions a bit faster, and they are evidently planning more than one than one Diablo expansion already, but not solid.

Avatar image for nevryn

@BloodMist In all honesty, its most likely wishful thinking on Tippl's part. It is pretty much standard to set high goals that there is really no chance of meeting. It just looks better than saying "We're going to delay everything and actually only put out 1 game in the next 3 years." Investors just simply don't like hearing that. Its all about keeping people hanging on the line waiting for that next product. Blizzard has yet to rush anything out ridiculously early and I don't see them doing so any time in the future.

Avatar image for nevryn

@max_1111 I actually fail to see how your argument even applies to blizzard. At best, they manage to put out a new expansion every other year, while providing free content updates in between. If you consider that spamming them out, then I'm sorry but you're in the minority. For most players, 2 years is too long to wait. Also, sorry to point out but there is a such thing as a casual gamer and they outnumber real gamers by a lot. As a company, if you want to really make money, you have to cater to those that are going to give you money. It turns out, "real" gamers tend to be whiny tightwads that want everything for free. They complain endlessly about having to pay money for, well, just about anything. Meanwhile, Jane Blow facebook mom is willing to shell out $100s for some extra pixels on her farmville. At the same time, her husband Joe can't wait for the next CoD to drop $60 on and scoops up every DLC he can find. So, from an economic standpoint, which would you rather cater to? The L33t G@m3z0r who is going to whine and complain and maybe buy one game, but refuse to pay a subscription or for DLC, or the Blow family who is going to constantly shell out money to you without hesitation?

Avatar image for starduke

Oh great, now we'll have COD: Warcraft for sure. If WOW wasn't bad enough. Activision should shut up and let Blizzard do what they do best, make good games (even if one of them was WOW).

Avatar image for BloodMist

That seems a little uh....overboard, but Blizz hasn't disappointed me yet, and I'm not really expecting them to anytime soon.They obviously put every ounce of their heart and soul into the games they make still, and if you can't see that, then go off and play one of those generic action games that are constantly getting high praise even though they are beyond soulless and lack even a tiny fraction of an attempt at originality or true effort, blind as you are to what real quality is.If you're that type then you are truly lucky, since the average game is made for you.Blizzard games are constantly far above average, so of course you wouldn't enjoy them. Hahahaha, you idiots are pathetic

Avatar image for Frosty3223

WoW needs to die already, i played vanilla till WOTLK and i burnt out. Waiting for titan, diablo iii, and SC series. I heard a rumor about Warcraft 4 in production, and if so id be stoked. WC3 is still one of my favorite campaign games ever. Blizzard always makes its games the best of the best, however i do think that like with wow, they milk their cash cows dry rather than leave them as legends amongst games.

Avatar image for max_1111

@nevryn Why so mad? I'm not shocked... I'm far from it actually... that's the point/problem... For blizzard, there wouldn't have been this "risk" you're talking about as they had the financial backing, manpower, and talent to put out outstanding games WITHOUT corporate whoring but for whatever reason they decided to change their mind. This whole "casual gamer" buzzword crap that's plaguing the internet and video games is annoying as all hell and as far as i'm concerned it's a cancer to the industry. (Yes i realize that's a bit on the dramatic side.) Furthermore i never stated i had a problem with using the same IP's (reading comprehension FTW?)... Hell i've bought (just about) every iteration of DOOM/Quake that's ever been created.. My problem is when companies pump out the same copy and paste hogwash and try to slap a full $60 price tag on it..... and people guzzle it up anyway.... ...Don't even get me started on DLC.

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

Avatar image for nevryn

@max_1111 And you sound shocked that this would be a common business model. The fact of the matter is gamers that want this whole "new and innovative" thing are actually in the minority now. Why should a company take a risk on a new IP that chances are the overwhelmingly larger casual crowd is not going to touch, simply because they have never heard of it? If anything, they're actually doing exactly what the majority of their customers want. Don't like it? Oh well, they can't please everyone. IMO Blizzard has been amazingly resistant to the typical "release a version of the same game every year model" and personally, I rather like their current IPs so am more than happy that they keep making new versions of them. Also, I have to point out, even though I hate WoW myself, 11 million people still play it. The company would have to be nuts not to make expansions (not to mention if they just stopped adding content, they'd probably be lynched by the players).