Blizzard has always been really, really good about keeping secrets. Sure, a few rumors might swirl before a BlizzCon or a major game release, but more often than not, no one really knows what to expect from the mega-developer behind "World of WarCraft," "StarCraft 2" and "Diablo 3." This past week may have shattered their relatively untarnished secret-keeping record, however, as their release schedule for the next five years seems to have been leaked. Adding insult to injury, it appears that an early version of the "StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm" ending cinematic has also been leaked. Yikes.
The first leak, as reported by MMOGameSite, came out late last week and seemed to show Blizzard's release plans through 2014.
Highlights included approximate dates for "Diablo 3" and "StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm," scheduled for Q4 2011. Also scheduled for that time period, a title called "StarCraft 2: Phoneix."
Moving on to 2012, Blizzard seems to have another "World of WarCraft" expansion scheduled for Q2 2012. They also approximate that the "World of WarCraft" movie will release in 2012 holiday.
For 2013, there's a "Diablo 3" expansion pack planned, as well as the Protoss-specific installment of "StarCraft 2," "Legacy of the Void." There's also a mysterious title listed for Q4 2013 called "Titan," which is likely to be Blizzard's long-rumored second MMO.
Lastly, in Q4 2014, there's a second "Diablo 3" expansion pack planned.
The leak is supposedly sourced from China, attributed to Blizzard China's former general manager, Ye Weilun, who has since been fired.
To make matters worse, it seems that an early version of the final cinematic in "StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm" has been leaked. The clip is watermarked as being from The Third Floor, a production company which currently lists Blizzard as one of their "Cinematic" clients. While it's not definitely the official cinematic, you may not want to take the risk if you're not looking to spoil the next chapter of "StarCraft 2" for yourself.
I've reached out to Blizzard for comment on the leaks, fully anticipating a "we don't comment on rumors or speculation."