What's Next for WoW Shadowlands?: BlizzCon 2022 Cancellation, Update 9.2 predictions

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The future of WoW Shadowlands is in question after the slowest phase one in the game's history, the cancellation of BlizzCon 2022, and more.

With all this in mind - what's next for WoW Shadowlands?

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The Future of WoW Shadowlands

WoW Shadowlands has had an uncertain path from launch. The wait for Shadowlands 9.1 was an extended one, lasting over 200 days. This period was the longest in the history of World of Warcraft between an expansion's release and the first major .1 update.

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A LONG FIGHT: Shadowlands has been the slowest paced expansion in WoW history

This, compounded by rising uncertainty around Blizzard following claims of sexual harassment, has given players the most uncertain World of Warcraft expansion yet.

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While WoW Shadowlands 9.1.5 finally has a firm release date of November 2nd, after that, things are looking grim. This is, of course, is in part due to the cancellation of BlizzCon 2022.

BlizzCon 2022 cancellation is a terrible sign for Shadowlands

BlizzCon 2022 was officially canceled on Tuesday, October 26th.

The massive event has been an annual celebration for gamers to cover all of Blizzard's titles, from Starcraft to Diablo, and from World of Warcraft to Hearthstone, and everything in-between.

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CHECKING IN: BlizzCon 2021 took the show entirely digital, but BlizzCon 2022 is taking the show offline thanks to its cancellation
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Complete with competitions and tons of Q&As with pivotal figures around Blizzard's many games, Blizzcon is one all fans have marked on their calendars for years.

With the cancellation of BlizzCon 2022 - the company continues to show damage that may be irreversible, and this could be reflected in WoW Shadowlands more than it already has.

This is because the cancellation of BlizzCon 2022 likely means the next year will be a very quiet one for all Blizzard titles, including World of Warcraft. And while Blizzard got ahead of these fears by stating BlizzCon would be reimagined and updates would still be revealed, it's easy to be cynical after the company's recent product.

BlizzCon was tailor-made to showcase what's next for Blizzard games, and its cancellation along with the slowest pace of an expansion in World of Warcraft history means players can't have high expectations for 2022 after such a slow 2021.

WoW Shadowlands 9.2

While players can look forward to WoW Shadowlands 9.1.5 which is just a week away now, players may be stuck with Sanctum of Domination for much longer than anyone would like.

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LOOKING AHEAD: WoW Shadowlands 9.2 will need to do a lot to save the momentum of the game's slowest expansion yet
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After the slowest phase one in WoW history, WoW Shadowlands 9.2 may not even arrive until late 2022.

Sure Blizzard offers some other options during this time, with WoW Classic TBC raging on and WoW Classic Season of Mastery just beginning. But these won't substitute for retail players, and if Blizzard's best prospects are from recreating its work 15 years ago, the future of the game and the series is in peril.

All in all, many World of Warcraft players are rightfully concerned about the future of the series and the future of the company at its helm. From here, little about WoW Shadowlands is certain - but we can only hope for a quick release of WoW Shadowlands 9.2, and some engaging new content to bring players back in droves for more than a nostalgia log in.