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More Blizzard novels on the way for Warcraft: Legion and Legacy of the Void

Blizzard has teamed up with a best-selling author and publishing giant to flesh out their already in-depth universes - starting with Illidan.

Last week Blizzard announced a partnership with publishing giant Random House, LLC. The team-up heralds the arrival of new novels for each of its franchises next year, the first of these being from the Warcraft universe. Corresponding with the next World of Warcraft expansion, Legion, everyone’s favorite demon hunter, Illidan Stormrage, is going to take center stage. World of Warcraft: Illidan by William King is currently slated for March 2016.

"[The novel] will show that he's not just a villain," declared Chris Metzen, SVP of Story and Franchise Development.  The story is an opportunity to explore the "character and his history in a way that that fans haven't seen before."

Illidan will be on a "super heroic mission" to end the Burning Legion once and for all. If anything, this confirms the novel's tie-in to Legion, so the book will likely be released alongside or shortly before the expansion, potentially giving us a ballpark release date for the next chapter in World of Warcraft.

Current information on the expansion and its new Demon Hunter hero class indicates that players starting as the new class will begin their game sometime before the current WoW timeline and find themselves in Illidan’s base at The Black Temple, where the Lord of Outland will send them on a seemingly suicide mission to Mar'dun, the demonic prison world created by Sargaras, the lord of the Legion, before his corruption. Could this be expanded upon in the upcoming Illidan novel, referring to the “heroic quest” alluded to by Metzen?

“At Blizzard we don’t just make games, we create universes," said James Waugh, Director of Story Development, and the partnership with Random House will mean "we're going to....really explore all of our IPs."  Particularly, after Azeroth, Blizzard intends to take readers to the Korpulu Sector with a Starcraft novel by New York Times best-selling author, Timothy Zahn, known for the popular Star Wars series, Heir to the Empire. The plot will deal with the aftermath of the primary Starcraft II storyline, which concludes with the Legacy of the Void expansion to be released next month.

The company has a long history of supplementing its already quality in-game story telling with a high quantity of novels, short stories, comics, manga and even short films. These alternate mediums "provide a deeper level of engagement beyond the gameplay," explained Metzen, "You're entering the realm of imagination."

Which universe and character or story arc would you like Blizzard to explore next?

Published Sep. 24th 2015

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