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I've seen coming Soon™ attached to some Valve and Blizzard products, but did it start with one of them (and if so, which)? What was the first game (or other product) that was to be launched with the blatantly tongue-in-cheek Soon™?

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I believe the phrase you're looking for is "when it's done?" – Jeff Mercado May 25 '11 at 3:28
No, he's looking for "Soon™" - it's a standard catchphrase for Blizzards CM's. I wouldn't be surprised if people started tagging Valve announcements with it, or even if Valve adopted it themselves though. – LessPop_MoreFizz May 25 '11 at 3:30
Valve doesn't have "Soon™", Valve has Valvetime – Raven Dreamer May 25 '11 at 3:44
Well Valve has it's own "Soon"; what means 9 years ;) ( – Joe Scylla May 26 '11 at 7:01
I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this question is more about gaming culture than it is about a specific game. – Shaun Apr 26 '15 at 2:23
up vote 15 down vote accepted

I think the phrase itself is older than World of Warcraft; certainly older than the Burning Crusade expansion. I remember seeing the phrase on Bungie fan sites during the Marathon and Myth heyday. For example, here's a post from 2001 on where Soon(tm) appears, and here is a page on the Marathon's Story website that contains the phrase all the way back in 2000 (you'll have to search the page for "soon(tm)" as it's a big page). Both of these predate WoW's announcement in September of 2001.

I would venture to guess that the phrase has been around almost as long as release dates have been left unannounced for popular titles, which is a very, very long time and may even predate the web (which is to say, you may need to dig through AOL discussion board or Usenet archives to find the real origin).

Given that it's been around so long, I'd be surprise if Blizzard were the first to ever "officially" use the term as a way of saying "we aren't telling you the release date yet."

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I'm fairly certain I've seen it in EVE devblogs. I think there is some veracity to this answer. – aslum May 25 '11 at 15:45
Recently it was used as website, for Egosoft's new X installement, X Rebirth: – Assylum Jan 27 '14 at 16:04
EVE was definitely the first place I saw it used, long before WoW was released. – Ben Oct 21 '14 at 16:32

It's a standard catchphrase amongst Blizzards community team, specifically the folks working on the World of Warcraft forums.. I'm pretty sure they were the first to attach the ™ onto the end, sometime during the Burning Crusade, in reference to some upcoming patch notes.

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That timeframe sounds about right. I'd say that, honestly, it's bordering mimetic status now. – Raven Dreamer May 25 '11 at 3:42
I thought it was around the time of diablo 2, to describe patch 1.10. – Resorath May 25 '11 at 6:13
@Resorath: That may have been the first use of 'Soon', but I distinctly remember the adding of the ™ in connection with either WoW patch 2.1 or 2.2 and it getting a reaction from the forums. – LessPop_MoreFizz May 25 '11 at 10:51

A bit late, but we used to use it back in the pre retail phase for Tactical Ops: Assault on Terror, back in 1998/99. I'm not sure where it came from before that though.

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Actually, I used to use it in a game called EverQuest back in 1999. Before that, I used it on a BBS called "HOT BBS" as far back as 1982. I used to have a submenu on my BBS where I listed features that were coming. It was called "Coming Soon" for a while, but the jokes started that I never finished things on my Coming Soon list (I was a teen, and girls had started becoming interesting). So, as a self-deprecating joke, I changed it to the SOON(tm) page.

Years later, when I was a guide and eventual coder on EverQuest, I used to constantly respond to questions about bugfixes or features with the simple phrase "SOON(tm)". It caught on, particularly when some players started attaching SONY = SOON(tm) ONLY NOT YET.

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You're going to need to provide an authoritive source for this for it to really be believed. – Frank Jan 26 at 5:02

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