This morning, Blizzard Entertainment and Z-Man Games have revealed a surprising partnership for a new game set in World of Warcraft.
The official YouTube trailer announcing the game is less than a minute long ( but there is a lot to unpack. First, this new board game set in the world of Azeroth will be using the Pandemic system. Pandemic is Z-Man Games' signature co-op survival game. Players choose different character classes then work together to contain viral outbreaks, set up quarantine zones, and ultimately find a cure for the rampant diseases.
The reason why this is relevant becomes clear as the trailer shows ice and blustering winds before unveiling one of Warcraft's most iconic tragic villains, The Lich King. As the trailer continues, it highlights other characters from World of Warcraft, including an Ork and a Night Elf, before giving a brief overview of the game board. It was quick but it appears several areas on the map include the Icecrown Citadel and The Breach. Finally, the trailer confirms that this board game will be based on the World of Warcraft expansion The Wrath of the Lich King.
Given the fact that the Lich King commands armies of undead and is treated like a walking natural disaster, it makes perfect sense to adapt such an adventure to the Pandemic system. Couple this with potential survival elements due to the ongoing blizzards caused by the big bad as well as novel twists on the system like magic and there is plenty to be excited for even if you're not familiar with either property.
It also opens up the realm of possibilities to adapt the more unique times that World of Warcraft has dealt with a pandemic. The most infamous one that comes to mind is the Corrupted Blood incident. This was due to a loophole with how one of the game's endgame boss encounters worked, a highly contagious status effect ran rampant throughout Azeroth, killing millions of players en masse. It was such a catastrophe that certain Epidemiologists used the behavior of players during the event as a viable case study. On the less horrendous side, World of Warcraft has also been used in a more educational context with the Elysium Project on an unofficial server.
When is the World of Warcraft Pandemic System Game Coming Out?
Either way, barring any delays we won't have long to wonder how exactly this Pandemic/Warcraft crossover works. Aside from a vague "Coming 2021" at the end of the trailer, there is no other information at this time. But given that Warcraft is one of gaming's longest-running franchises, 27 years in total going back to the original RTS games, it's a guarantee we'll be learning more about this project very soon.