Proving that Blizzard are the kings of the game industry when it comes to the long-con, the publisher announced today at its annual Blizzcon event that Mists of Pandaria, an expansion with roots originating in an elaborate April Fool's Day joke back in 2005, is actually a real thing that Blizzard is releasing next year.
Originally joked as a mysterious "fifth race," the Pandaren have nonetheless been a much talked-about part of the lore of World of Warcraft in subsequent years and expansions. Now, this new expansion will finally let you create a giant Panda Bear with a penchant for kung-fu fighting, and play him/her as a member of either the Horde or the Alliance. This is the first race in the game that doesn't automatically start out as part of either faction, once again proving that bears cannot be trusted.
In addition to the new playable race, Mists of Pandaria will up the level cap to 90, and add new talent systems, PVE scenarios, a new pet battle system, and a new dungeon challenge mode. Word on the street is that Mists of Pandaria is playable in some form at Blizzcon, so expect more salient details to flow throughout the web during the weekend.
In the meantime, I present to you the following song in celebration of this new Pandaren dominance.