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Blizzard recently announced a new partnership with Random House LLC to publish new novels set in Blizzard's various universes. While only novels for Warcraft and StarCraft were disclosed, the announcement did hint that there may be future plans for tales set in Blizzard's other IPs.

This new publishing line will launch in March 2016 with the novel World of Warcraft: Illidan by William King, followed by an original StarCraft novel by New York Times bestselling author Timothy Zahn.

 

This announcement marks the first true StarCraft novel since Heart of the Swarm's 2012 Flashpoint by Christie Golden. However, several other short stories have continued to be published on Battle.net in the intervening years. The most recent of which was The Exit by Danny McAleese. Not only do expanded universe projects benefit the fans, they also provide yet another means for players to become engaged in the universe. For people already invested, additional transmedia works reinforce that loyalty and passion. Perhaps it is most fitting for StarCraft branded projects that they form and maintain such a unique and powerful symbiotic relationship. Abathur would likely approve of the elegant efficiency.

 

 

It appears that the StarCraft novel by Timothy Zahn will provide Blizzard an opportunity to push the story forward, past the StarCraft II game trilogy and focus on the aftermath of the Koprulu Sector as we have known it so far. Utilizing novels, with their limitless potential for world building, seems to be a good move by Blizzard to bridge the gap between the current story and whatever is next. Hopefully, the novel(s) will be long enough to provide serious depth, mature story lines, compelling characters. One of the developers once told us that the novels give the Blizzard the opportunity to illustrate a particular aspect of the story definitively. With fidelity to that vision and high caliber writing, quality StarCraft lore could live on beyond the games for years to come.

Sources:
Battle.net - Blizzard Entertainment and Random House LLC Partner for New Novels
YouTube - Blizzard Entertainment Partners with Random House!
Battle.net - StarCraft II - The StarCraft Universe

The winners have been announced for the 2014 Blizzard Stream Awards, with over $100,000 being given to various streamers throughout the community. The list of winners is quite long, so check out the official post for more details.

Source:
Battle.net - And the Winners Are …

Ryan Schutter, creator of the GameHeart overlay for StarCraft II, has joined Blizzard as a StarCraft II Technical Designer. Through his work with GameHeart he has contributed a great deal to the eSports community, and is warmly welcomed as a part of Blizzard's development team.

We’re extremely happy to have Ryan onboard, and so grateful to be bringing on someone with so much passion for this game and its community. Ryan’s work in those areas is bound to continue. Moving forward, you can expect to find Ryan posting on forums, social media, and continuing his work on GameHeart and other arcade projects.

 

Source:
Battle.net - Ryan Schutter Joins Blizzard Entertainment

It's a big moment right now among Blizzard fans because of some sudden news. Rob Pardo, Chief Creative Officer of Blizzard Entertainment, has resigned today. After a long, nearly two-decade period, he's leaving to pursue other opportunities. The following is the full post by Rob Pardo, talking about his resignation.

Every ending is a beginning and today marks a new beginning for me.

After 17 years at Blizzard, with long and careful contemplation, I have made a difficult and bittersweet but ultimately exciting decision to pursue the next chapter in my life and career.

Before I even joined Blizzard, I was already a huge fan of the company and its games. In particular, I was extremely passionate about the emerging genre of real-time strategy games. It was a dream come true when I was given the opportunity to work on StarCraft, which at the time was being created by a very small team by today’s standards. It was tremendously fulfilling to get to know everyone on the team personally and to contribute our energies toward a shared goal in such a creative and engaging environment.

Blizzard Entertainment has been simply the best place in the world to be a game designer. The best aspect of designing games at Blizzard is that the entire company is passionate about the gameplay within each and every product. From the executive team to customer service to our global offices, every single person is a player and contributes to making the best possible games. It’s for very good reason that the first credit on every Blizzard game is “Game Design by Blizzard Entertainment.”

I’m really proud of the contributions I was able to make to Blizzard’s accomplishments. From building lasting games, to supporting the growth of eSports, to extending the Warcraft world into a feature film, and of course to being able to celebrate our shared passions with the Blizzard community online and at BlizzCon.

The Blizzard community is ultimately the reason why we come to work every day and pour our souls into every world and experience we create. Blizzard’s players are the most passionate in the world and your commitment and dedication are truly awesome to behold. Creating entertainment for you has been an incredible opportunity, and I know that you will continue to grow and become even stronger as a community over the years to come. It has been so meaningful on a personal level to help create joy for all of you.

I’m looking forward to new challenges in my career, but I will always cherish the time I spent with you all and the amazing and collaborative teams at Blizzard. It was both satisfying and humbling, and it made me a better developer and a better person. I look forward to playing Blizzard games as a player for many years to come. Most important, now I have plenty of time to learn how to build a competitive Hearthstone deck.

As to what I will be doing next, I don’t have an answer for you yet . . . but I will “when it’s ready.” My priorities are to enjoy the summer with my family, play plenty of games, and think about what’s next. The game industry is such an exciting place right now with PC gaming thriving, the new consoles, mobile games, and virtual reality becoming an actual reality. It’s like having an empty quest log and going into a new zone for the first time.

In the past, I haven’t been the most avid Twitter user, but I’ll strive to do better and keep you updated there—@Rob_Pardo. Please stay in touch!

Rob

 

Fond farewells. We'll miss you.

Source:
Battle.net - Message from Rob Pardo

It's the 2nd of April, which means all of the April Fools jokes are revealed to be false and everyone can rest assured that news will no longer be riddled with fabrications. There were a variety of April Fools posts that were on Blizzard homepages yesterday, which ranged from the horrifying to the hilarious. There were quite a few StarCraft-related ones this year, so let's get started.

First up was Herald of the Stars, the "new title" for the upcoming Legacy of the Void expansion for StarCraft II. With various abbreviation-themed jokes (hint: Herald of the Stars abbreviates to HotS) and ludicrous changes to the expansion's plot and gameplay, the Herald of the Stars news post wasn't fooling anyone, but was comical nonetheless.

Next up was an upcoming hero for Heroes of the Storm, Pajamathur. Pajamathur is the baby incarnation of Abathur, and has all the abilities that such an adorable little Zerg-spawn deserves. With a hilarious custom model (how can this not make you laugh) and nonsensical abilities, this new hero was on everyone's mind this April Fools Day.

The last StarCraft-related April Fools joke is Blizzard Outcasts: Vengeance of the Vanquished. This new fighting game from Blizzard brought all of the unsung heroes from each of their franchises into a deathmatch of unepic proportions. With characters such as Arcturus Mengsk and Deckard Cain exchanging punches and hurling swords, this joke was definitely the strangest of all of them.

Other than the aforementioned posts, there was also Happy Reaper, the Flappy Bird clone based off of Malthael, the angel of death from Diablo III: Reaper of Souls. With a playable version that's accessible right from your browser, there's no excuse for you to not be decimating Nephalem right now. On the World of Warcraft side there was the new Draenei models and fake patch notes. Both are worth checking out for the horrifying possibilities of bad design choices.

That was it for this year's April Fools Day, at least in regards to Blizzard games. We hope you all enjoyed the jokes and pranks that you experienced, and here's to a great Spring!

Source:
Battle.net - April Fools!

The winners for the 2013 Blizzard Stream Awards have been announced! With a ton of award categories and thus a ton of winners, the list is simply too large to put here. So, to see all of the winners and runners-up of the 2013 Blizzard Stream Awards, click here.

Source:
Battle.net - And The Winners for the Blizzard Stream Awards Are

Christmas time is fast approaching, and to celebrate the holidays, Blizzard has put some of their games on sale! For a short time, you can buy the games below at discounted prices:

SAVE 75% on World of Warcraft
    World of Warcraft — Now $4.99 (Reg. $19.99)
    World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria — Now $9.99 (Reg. $39.99)

SAVE 50% on StarCraft II
    StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty — Now $19.99 (Reg. $39.99)
    StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm — Now $19.99 (Reg. $39.99)
    StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Digital Deluxe Edition — Now $39.99 (Reg. $59.99)

 

Visit the Blizzard Shop to purchase them.

Source:
Battle.net - Holiday Sale: Save up to 75%

Blizzard music is now on Pandora!

The Video Game Music Station on Pandora is now playing StarCraft, Diablo, and Warcraft music in its rotation, allowing fans to hear the best of Blizzard through the accessibility of Pandora.

You can check out the Video Game Music Station here.

Source:
Battle.net - Blizzard Music on Pandora!

Blizzard has posted an announcement that there was a security breach into their internal network within the past week. Blizzard reacted quickly to secure all information, and does not believe financial information such as credit cards, billing addresses, or real names were compromised. They describe what information was illegally accessed in the paragraph below:

Some data was illegally accessed, including a list of email addresses for global Battle.net users, outside of China. For players on North American servers (which generally includes players from North America, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia) the answer to the personal security question, and information relating to Mobile and Dial-In Authenticators were also accessed. Based on what we currently know, this information alone is NOT enough for anyone to gain access to Battle.net accounts.

 

Also, scrambled versions of Battle.net users' passwords have been stolen, and as a precaution, Blizzard advises everyone to change their passwords, secret questions, and the answers to those questions. For the full Blizzard post written by Mike Morhaime, click here.

Source:
Battle.net - Security Update

Activision Blizzard is to release fourth quarter and calendar year 2011 results on February 9, 2012. In conjunction with the release, they will host a conference call that will be broadcasted over the Internet. The conference call could hint about Blizzard’s upcoming titles Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm, Diablo III, World of WarCraft: Mists of Pandaria, and their unannounced MMORPG codenamed “Titan”.

Source:
Activision Blizzard - Fourth Quarter Results Conference Call
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