While World of Warcraft has been immensely successful and the clear direction for the franchise for the foreseeable future, fans have been clamoring for the series to return to its real-time strategy roots for some time now. Every Blizzcon sees rumors of Warcraft III remasters pop up, but every year fans who expect or hope to see such an announcement are left disappointed.
That may be about to change. Many well-known Warcraft III players, such as Happy and HawK from Russia, have been seen applying for US Visas, leading to speculation that Blizzard has invited them for some kind of an event at their Irvine, California headquarters. According to Wowhead, player Happy told Russian game site GoodGame.ru, "at the end of this month, there will be a certain offline event – what will be there is still a secret."
There have been at least three well-known players spotted attempting to obtain visas to visit the United States in the very near future, leading credence to Happy’s claim. Some kind of a Warcraft-related announcement, outside of World of Warcraft, is expected within the next few weeks.
Warcraft gained popularity through its real-time strategy games, Warcraft, Warcraft II: Orcs and Humans and Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. The latter two spawned two massively successful expansion packs as well, including The Frozen Throne, which was later used as the basis for one of the most fondly remembered WoW expansions, Wrath of the Lich King. Warcraft III also essentially created the MOBA genre of games, as the original DOTA was a modded Warcraft III map. Blizzard’s own MOBA, Heroes of the Storm, is built on the remnants of the Warcraft III engine.
Since Blizzard recently remastered Starcraft, and Starcraft II has completed its three installment roadmap, it seems logical that Blizzard would set their sights on remastering Warcraft III. A fourth installment in the RTS series is not impossible, though it is unlikely. Blizzard does not seem interested in releasing games they cannot continually monetize, as evidenced by Diablo III‘s status as an all but forgotten game. A fourth Warcraft game could have serious storyline implications for World of Warcraft as well, which shows no sign of slowing down any time soon.
What does it all mean? Only time will tell — but expect some form of a Warcraft-related announcement soon.