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Michael Bitton: PAX East 2015 Cometh!

Columns By Michael Bitton on March 04, 2015

PAX East 2015 Cometh!

Despite a few new additions to the schedule this year, PAX East still represents the official kickoff of the video games show season for me. Things have been relatively quiet after the holidays, but now it’s time for developers to show what they’ve been working on over the last few months. This week, we’ve rounded up a couple of games were most excited to see at the show.

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Surprise Me!

No matter how much you think you’ve got a show figured out, there are always surprises. At my last PAX, the standout surprise of the show for me was an amazing indie game called Hand of Fate. I had zero expectations for the game going into the appointment, but I was completely blown away with how awesome it was. I’m hoping I find something similarly exciting to catch me off guard at this year’s PAX East.

Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns

Like many of you, I was super excited for Guild Wars 2 on the run-up to launch. But for whatever reason, the game never really dug its hooks into me like I expected it to. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I’ve been away from the game for some time and the upcoming Heart of Thorns expansion seems like a great opportunity to give the game a second look. We’ve put together some great coverage this week, but I’m eager to check it all out for myself at the show. The Revenant is a pretty interesting and flavorful class and I’m hoping for some new reveals on the expansion’s Mastery front.

Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward

I haven’t played Final Fantasy XIV in a long time, but the game’s comeback story is truly one for the ages. Not only did Square Enix manage to turn the ship around with Final Fantasy XIV, but they’ve also managed to set the gold standard for how you run a subscription MMO in today’s environment. The game’s continued success is proof that while F2P is a trend that can’t be ignored, subscription based MMOs aren’t necessarily dead. You just have to give your players value for their money and Square Enix has done this in spades. Meaningful content is added to the game continually and now Square Enix is prepared to launch the game’s first expansion in Heavensward, and from what I can tell it’s shaping up quite nicely. I don’t know how much else is left to reveal at this point, but I doubt Square Enix will disappoint at this year’s PAX East.

All Eyes on Blizzard

Prior to the launch of Hearthstone, I hadn’t really cared about what Blizzard had going on since the launch of StarCraft: Brood War. Yeah, it’s been that long.  With that in mind, it’s nothing if not ironic that I find myself looking to Blizzard for my main source of excitement at just about every game con I attend these days. With Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, and now Overwatch, Blizzard has really turned a corner for me, and it sounds like they aren’t going to be pulling any punches at PAX East. Rumors include the reveal of a new Overwatch character and the announcement of Hearthstone’s next adventure mode (Black Rock Mountain, anyone?). I haven’t heard anything on Heroes of the Storm just yet, but I’m hoping Sylvanas makes a splash and we at least get to see that snazzy Diablo III themed battleground they teased at last year’s BlizzCon.

What are you looking forward to from this year’s PAX East? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Michael Bitton / Michael began his career at the WarCry Network in 2005 as the site manager for several different WarCry fansite portals. In 2008, Michael worked for the startup magazine Massive Gamer as a columnist and online news editor. In June of 2009, Michael joined MMORPG.com as the site''s Community Manager.