If you can count yourself among the lucky 100,000+ fanboys and girls with a badge and a hotel for San Diego’s International Comic-Con this year, it’s time to start planning your trip. The programming schedule for Thursday, July 9th is now available on the official Comic-Con website, and in the first day alone, we have a number of video game panels and previews to look forward to. Here’s a list of highlights that conventioneers may want to squeeze into their schedules. I’ve included my own commentary in italics for those who want some opinion, conjecture, and backstory to go with their hard facts.
10:30 AM: A Rare Chit-Chat – “Developers from legendary game studio Rare celebrate 30 years of creating hits like Battletoads, Banjo-Kazooie and Perfect Dark. Explore the origins of classic titles, see how the rare magic continues to shape future projects and share over 70 years of combined experience by meeting the team behind some of gaming’s best-loved icons.”
There are a lot of questions surrounding this panel. Are they bringing in former members of the Rare dev team, or are they merely name-dropping the company’s library of classic titles to drum up interest in the brand after a disappointing run in Microsoft’s corner? Will we see more of the recently-announced Sea of Thieves? Even if this is nothing more than a retrospective to play on gamers’ nostalgia for Rare’s glory days, games like Banjo-Kazooie and Perfect Dark are so near and dear to the hearts of many gamers that it should be worth a look regardless.
11 AM: Transformers Generations: More Than Meets the Eye – “Come see what the Transformers characters are up to as you are entertained with sneak peeks of the all new Activision video game trailers, IDW comic prints, and other special surprises. Then get your collector action on as you get an exclusive glimpse at the latest and greatest Transformers generations combiner wars toys that have yet to hit toy shelves. The Transformers team members will also host a Q&A session to answer your burning questions.”
While there’s a lot of Transformers business going down here, the schedule does mention video game trailers, which means we’re either getting multiple trailers for Platinum Games’ Transformers: Devastation, or another new Transformers game will make its debut.
11:45 AM: Street Fighter V – “Moderator Francis Mao (Capcom) and a panel of Capcom’s Street Fighter experts share the latest news on Street Fighter V, the exciting, new entry in the world’s greatest fighting game franchise coming out console exclusive to the PS4 and on PC in 2016! Ultra-special guest Yoshinori Ono (executive producer, Street Fighter franchise) returns to SDCC for another of his trademark special appearances, and who knows what exclusives, surprises, and hijinks are in store? Learn how you can earn big money and everlasting fame by competing in the Capcom Pro Tour, culminating in the Capcom Cup Finals later this year. Plus, get a first look at all the must-have Street Fighter and SFV-licensed products and promotions in store for the rest of the year! A must-see for any video game fighting fan. Hadoken!”
An exclusive look at the latest entry in one of the fighting genre’s most hallowed institutions. An appearance by eccentric producer Yoshinori Ono (this is a man who once shrugged off his detractors by saying “As long as nobody stabs me I am happy to receive criticism.”). Details on the next official Capcom fighting game tournament. This is a big one for gamers everywhere, and if you can’t make it to Comic-Con, expect us to keep you informed on the latest from this panel.
1 PM: Call of Duty Black Ops III: Zombie World Reveal – “Call of Duty invades Comic-Con for the reveal of Black Ops III’s highly anticipated new Zombies Mode. Be on-hand as Zombies director Jason Blundell unveils Treyarch’s new mind-bending tale of the undead. Don’t miss the onstage reveal of the star-studded cast. Attendees will also get an exclusive first look at the Zombies reveal trailer and receive limited edition Zombies memorabilia only available at Comic-Con. Plus, catch additional Black Ops III news as it breaks live, including the official announcement of the Call of Duty: Black Ops III Collector’s Editions.”
The zombie pop culture bubble shows no signs of popping any time soon, and a Call of Duty game wouldn’t be complete without its zombie mode, so here we are again. Activision’s event promises exclusive loot and information on the game’s Collector’s Editions as well, so fans of Call of Duty, zombies, free stuff, or all of the above, will find plenty to love at this year’s program.
There’s plenty more where that came from, and this is just the first day! Check back tomorrow for updates on Friday’s schedule.