Blizzard trademarks Mists of Pandaria

Is Mists of Pandaria the next World of Warcraft expansion? It seems that Blizzard may have let the proverbial Pandaren out of the bag, as it’s revealed the company has registered a brand new trademark.

World of Warcraft: Pandaren Monk

Pandaren Monk

And yes, Blizzard does create a bunch of products that aren’t just games. “This could well be a book,” I hear you cry. Potentially, yes. The registration doesn’t specifically state that this is a video game – not in so many words, anyway. But the trademark is registered under international codes 009 and 041 – exactly the same codes used on the company’s other online games trademarks. (That is, “Computer game software” and “Entertainment services”, by the way.)

…seems less likely to be a page turner now, right?

The timing also hints that this is an expansion we’re likely to see at BlizzCon. In previous years, we’ve seen both Cataclysm and Wrath of the Lich King filed in late June (2009 and 2007 respectively), both mere months ahead of the celebration of all things Blizzard.

So – what does this all mean?
Current thinking is that Mists of Pandaria will open up a new bunch of islands in Azeroth, giving gamers an opportunity to get out and explore the world a bit more. Deathwing has – predictably – met his demise, and there’s plenty more terrain for the Alliance and the Horde to battle over.

Pandaria itself is an ancient, distant island (presumably a misty one), with ties to both the Pandaren and the Night Elves. Of course, the big question now is how large a role Samwise’s beloved Pandaren – the panda people – will play in the game. Will they simply be the native inhabitants, or are we looking at the next playable race?

BlizzCon kicks off in Anaheim on October.

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