Despite the aftermath of the Blitzchung debacle and pro-democracy protests for Hong Kong, BlizzCon 2019 reportedly went without a hitch. Blizzard Entertainment's annual showcase was filled with big announcements curated for its fans. Among the games that were paraded on stage. "Diablo IV", "World of Warcraft: Shadowlands", and "Overwatch 2" were perhaps the most eagerly awaited. Moreover, each title's respective developers were on hand to introduce their projects. However, leaks prior to the show had apparently ruined the surprise, as indicated by analysts.
It has become a routine wherein each time a prominent game studio teases something new, insiders spoil the fun by leaking information. While this can be a form of publicity, fans and people working behind the scenes on the game are evidently not thrilled by it. In fact, a report from Kotaku talks about Jeff Kaplan's thought on the "Overwatch 2" leaks. Prior to his BlizzCon 2019 presentation, key details regarding the animated short, as well as gameplay details were shared online.
"Leaks are very interesting in that they have a moral impact on the team than anything else," said Kaplan. "It's extremely demoralising. You feel totally deflated," he added. In contrast, the "Overwatch" lead game designer likewise illustrated an example where an older project he was working on was also preemptively revealed by an Italian magazine. Nevertheless, years after becoming a big hit, not a lot of people can recall it was even leaked in the first place.
On the other hand, the majority of gaming journalists and industry analysts felt Blizzard Entertainment could have done better. Others point out the accuracy of the leaks pertaining to key BlizzCon 2019 reveals took the surprise out of the event. A report from CNBC suggests this led to investors hesitating to make purchases during the weekend, which hints at no movement for Activision stocks in the near future.
Experts weighing in on the situation believe the lack of information regarding launch dates, post-launch paid content and pricing might be to blame. Until the management at Activision or Blizzard Entertainment discusses the details, investors are likely to stay on the fence for the time being. This seems to be a case where leaks have a negative effect on the company and its shareholders.