Blizzard’s Next MMO: Not WoW 2

By Alec Meer on October 20th, 2008 at 10:03 am.

I can’t find the source for this on Wired’s own site, so presumably it’s only in the print mag for now. Original source found (thanks, Zuffox). Mike Morhaime dropped the following uber-hint whilst chatting to the US tech mag:

“Let’s just say it’s going to be different and it’s not going to be a sequel to World of Warcraft. It will be different. We’re not trying to replace World of Warcraft with this new MMO. We’re trying to create a different massively multiplayer experience, and hopefully World of Warcraft will still be going strong when that one is released.”

Hmm. I’m still banking on it being something Eve-y or Planetside-y, possibly in the Starcraft universe. It seems hugely unlikely Blizz will move to a new IP – but it would be nice. Do spill your own theory-o-thoughts below.

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103 Comments »

  1. Nick says:

    I’d say it won’t be anything as inaccessible (to the masses) as EVE, Blizzard just don’t do inaccessible.

    Some action-slanted MMO in the Starcraft universe would be my guess.

  2. Ian says:

    Starcraft: Ghost: Online.

    ;)

    Man I wish that game hadn’t been binned.

  3. dust says:

    Rock’n'roll racing universe.

  4. Bobsy says:

    Pretty sure we already knew this. Haven’t they saying since forever that their mysterious MMO project was something new?

    And I think it’s rather over-optimistic to hope for anything comparable to Eve, or even Planetside. It’s not Blizzard’s style to go so radical. They make the same game everyone else has made, only 10 times better.

  5. Heliocentric says:

    When did Blizzard last make a new ip?

    Starcraft? Wiki says that was 1998, I hope they make something new, it could be lovely but no, Starcraft mmo is it.

  6. Bhazor says:

    Reply to Ian
    It was a damn fine pair of buttocks the character designers had made. Be a shame to waste them.

  7. Theoban says:

    Justice League Task Force: Online: 2

  8. Alec Meer says:

    Bobsy: exactly. Which is why a super-shiny, super-mainstream take on established concepts like spaceshippery or massively multi FPS makes a lot of sense. Treading on WoW’s toes with another EQalike doesn’t.

  9. Little Green Man says:

    You have a point there Alec, if they make another game similar to WoW they won’t get any customers as all of them will be playing WoW. However Planetside and EVE I think are just a bit too different for them to be doing it. Always can have hope though.

  10. alphaxion says:

    Lost Vikings online… Hmm, that lone might be a little difficult to MMO-orise.

  11. Zuffox says:

    Here, gents:

    Wired.com: … You guys have had a lot of job postings, things that hint at a “next-gen MMO.” It’s a “secret,” but it’s not a very well-kept secret. I’m not going to ask you to detail the game — because you’d say no — but, is it going to be … are we looking at a World of Warcraft sequel or is it going to be something totally different?

    Morhaime: I can answer that. It’s not going to be a World of Warcraft sequel.

    Wired.com: Something totally different?

    Morhaime: [Pause] It’s gonna be different.

    Wired.com: Just “different?” Not “totally different?”

    Morhame: Uh … that’s starting to get into details where I’d have to start explaining things.

    All: [Laughter]

    Morhaime: … So let’s just say it’s going to be different and it’s not going to be a sequel to World of Warcraft. It will be different.

    We’re not trying to replace World of Warcraft with this new MMO. We’re trying to create a different massively multiplayer experience, and hopefully World of Warcraft will still be going strong when that one is released.

  12. Stromko says:

    My first guess was a Diablo MMO, like Dungeon Runners but of course bigger budget and more polished. However, I’m sure they have some online plans for Diablo III, so that seems unlikely.

    Making a Starcraft MMO when they’re already going to be rolling out three ‘modules’ of Starcraft II also feels unlikely to me, because I’m assuming they’re going to use the seque-trilogy to flesh out the Starcraft universe and ready it for an expansive component later that draws it all together, much as they’ve done with Warcraft. That way while they’re hyping people on the MMO, folks who can’t wait will go out and collect all the RTS games for it. Who wouldn’t try to scrape 150$ a peace out of millions of crazed fans?

    On the other hand maybe they’ll have a deal where if you preorder Starcraft II: Part Three Special Awesome Expensive Edition you’ll get a spot in the Starcraft Online beta. If they want to make that move then SC:O might be out in a few years and might be what they’re announcing now. My initial thought is they wouldn’t want to compete with their own product or cross any wires in the PR campaign, but maybe the two genres are diverse enough they’ll do it anyway.

  13. Rekki says:

    with any luck it will be a planetside’ish game now I would give blizzard more of my hard earned money to play a good fpsmmog*

    *that just doesn’t roll of the tongue like mmorpg

  14. seraphim says:

    this should be the chance for blizzard to do something different and get everyone looking in a new direction. god knows they’ve got the money to do something truly different and take a big risk. the deciding factor is whether they’re going to take the risk and aim high.

  15. Bobsy says:

    Interesting idea Alec, and I’d love nothing more than to see exactly that – a Blizzard-helmed Planetside/Eve mashup. But I still don’t see it. Both games are/were rather experimental (and Planetside in particular cannot be really considered a success), while the Everquest model was well trodden ground on which Blizzard could build.

    As for a new IP, it’s incredibly unlikely. The money’s still on Starcraft because it follows the release strategy for WoW. Warcraft III was (relatively) quickly followed up by its MMO big brother, which turned out to be a very successful ploy.

  16. Bobsy says:

    @Seraphim:

    Actually it doesn’t work like that. Blizzard’s money is tied up in shareholders and all that guff, who’ve placed their confidence in the company on the strength of safe, high-quality products which turn a large profit. Blizzard’s reputation as a conservative developer/publisher actually means they’re going to continue to be conservative.

  17. Meat Circus says:

    Pirates of the Burning Onlines.

  18. Meat Circus says:

    I mean, if you wanted to play EVE, you could just play EVE. Also, Planetside.

  19. Kazz says:

    alphaxion beat me to it :(

  20. pkt-zer0 says:

    World of Starcraft, a massively multiplayer online RTS!

  21. Premium User Badge

    Seniath says:

    Didn’t they announce at Blizzcon that the MMO will be based on a brand new IP?

    Indeed, yes, taken from MMO-Champion:
    Blizzard’s “secret project” is confirmed to be a new MMO with a brand new universe, but we won’t hear anything about it before a while.

  22. yns88 says:

    WORLD OF BLACKTHORNE

    You heard it here first, folks!

  23. Lu-Tze says:

    They’ll make World of Starcraft and then 5 years later Mythic will make Warhammer 40k Online. And everyone will claim they ripped off the art style and that Space Marines are just Terrans.

  24. Cataclysm says:

    I think it will be Ninja orientated…

    …Cos everyone loves Ninjas… Amirite?

    Or Pirates.

  25. Ian says:

    World of Ninjas vs. Pirates?

  26. Angry Internet Man says:

    I think it is very likely Blizzard will do for Eve/planetside what they did for EQ. When WoW came out, fantasy MMOs were a relatively small section of the PC market, because they were (compared to today’s MMOs) complex and demanding. WoW made them much more accessible, and got millions of subscribers. I think Blizzard will do the same thing again, take an MMO type that is currently viewed as complex and difficult, polish it, make it accessible to the masses and hopefully profit.

  27. rocketman71 says:

    Dammit, Yns88 got it first!

    I was going to say Age of Blackthorne ;)

  28. unique_identifier says:

    blindfiring your shotgun at targets behind you nets triple experience.

  29. Kommissar Nicko says:

    I honestly find it very unlikely that EVE or Planetside would find themselves as inspiration for a Blizzard IP because if that were to be the case, you probably would have seen elements of either one in stuff they had already done, as an indication that they had learned something from them. I see almost nothing of EVE or Planetside in things that Blizzard has done so far, so there’s no good reason to assume they’ll be taking things in that direction at all.

    Looking at their record, I think a Battle Chess MMO would be neat.

  30. NegativeZero says:

    Since they’ve said it’s a new IP, let me throw this out here: World of Steamcraft. More action-oriented than WoW, probably with a bit more of a console slant (it’s a huge market and those console guys that were working on Ghost have to be up to something) set in a Steampunk world. Ideally involving a setting somewhat along the lines of Skies of Arcadia, with airships and floating islands in the sky and stuff.

    I’m still personally thinking that they’ve got to be considering the Starcraft setting for a Planetside/Eve-style game though. If they don’t do it you’ve got to think that the Warhammer 40k guys would be thinking similarly. And if not them then there’s bound to be some eggheads at MS that remember that that’s basically what the original concept for Halo was.

    I want a modern planetside :(

  31. Mogs says:

    It’ll be some casual monstrosity. They are owned by Activision now. Guitar Hero Online? Kitsch Cartoony Bollocks Universe?

  32. Gap Gen says:

    World of Needlecraft?

  33. qrter says:

    A platformer MMO, about a bearded carpenter called Marco and his brother Louie.

  34. Meat Circus says:

    World of Monetized Content & Unnecessary Expansion Packs: Online

  35. Comstar says:

    Well whatever it is, we can all agree the background won’t have any originality. It will also be very very polished and cost 100+ million.

  36. IIshin says:

    Shattered Universe Online, the game that was scrapped all the way back, will be brought back. I wish they would do something like that. Something like fallout in mmo, kindof like Urban Dead with graphics.

  37. TooNu says:

    Knowing Blizzard it will go like this:

    It will be something new for them, so FPS. It will more than likely go into space because space is the new DnD. It will take years and years to develop. Upon release it will get 98% review score from Ross Atherton and Kieron. After a few months the space demon summoner will get buffed because it is broken, much crying will happen. Rob Pardo will hate the space demon summoner and thus it will feel the nerf bat upon every patch day there after. The first expansion will come out and ruin the great original game. Nothing will happen for 2 years then a crap free content expansion will come out and be crap. The next expansion will come out shortly after and signal the end days of another Bliz MMO.
    Bliz will mention something about a “new game that is completly different”.

  38. TooNu says:

    Oh, and by the time it comes out there will be a whole new generation of children to focus the new game on, so don’t be suprised if it is “well made yet lacking something” yes we know this as, gameplay.

  39. Surgeon says:

    Hopefully they’ll make an MMOFPS, and in turn, kick start the MMOFPS revolution.
    Down with all this point and click nonsense.
    Twitch skills for the win!

  40. Meat Circus says:

    Nah, I’m going to go with the “It will be a big pile of monetized watery Actard gamepiss. Only lowest common denominator proles and those devoid of any dignity at all will touch this fucker with a shitty stick” angle.

  41. StalinsGhost says:

    I would LOVE to see a Starcraft MMOFPS, though part of me wonders if that’s really that likely. Blizzard have never really released an FPS, let alone an MMOFPS; though I suppose before WoW, they’d not done an MMORPG. Also, Blizz are already working on new installments for its main three licenses already – including Starcraft. It could make sense that they’d like to try somthing new maybe?

  42. Malagate says:

    To quote Negative Zero: “Ideally involving a setting somewhat along the lines of Skies of Arcadia, with airships and floating islands in the sky and stuff.”
    Airships and floating islands…so just like those found in World of Warcraft then? Also you don’t get much more steampunk than the robotic things those gnomes ride around on, whatever they are (is not a WoW player, just watched my friend play it 3 times).

    I will hope against hope that it will be a mmog that places more emphasis on survival and exploration than others. That is to say, a mmog where eating, drinking, finding shelter and adapting to new environments/weather conditions is a big part of the game. If it’s already been done, I would be interested to know about it…

  43. Premium User Badge

    Seniath says:

    (Oblig Over 9000 joke)

    - Vegeta, what does the scouter say about this thread’s cynicism?
    - It’s over NINE THOUSAAAAAAAND!

  44. Arnulf says:

    Allright!

    I’ll bank everything I’ve got on a Tabula Rasa styled Starcraft MMO!

    It will be ready in 2015.

    There.

  45. Dante says:

    It’ll almost certainly be an MMO based on a previous IP with gameplay that is essentially a polished version of someone else’s successful ideas.

    Blizzard don’t really do originality.

  46. Arnulf says:

    Ah yes! I forgot, cetero censeo… Games Workshop still did the wrong thing with choosing Warhammer Fantasy over 40k, or Necromunda, or even Space Hulk. They did miss a huge chance there.

  47. Kieron Gillen says:

    Arnwulf: Someone buys a licence of their game and it’s GW’s fault?

    KG

  48. YogSo says:

    If it is an Starcraft MMO, then it surely will be called Space of Starcratf, and not ‘World’ of Starcraft :P

  49. Dan says:

    Nothing will happen for 2 years then a crap free content expansion will come out and be crap. The next expansion will come out shortly after and signal the end days of another Bliz MMO.
    Bliz will mention something about a “new game that is completly different”.

    You’ve obviously not played the beta of Lich King. There’s more new ideas and more innovations in MMO gameplay in there than in any new MMO released this year.

    Blizzard are now very, very good at making WoW, and the new expansion pretty much guarantees that their subscription base is going to continue to increase for at least another year. Hardly “the end of days”.

    Oh, sorry, I forgot it’s not “cool” to defend a games company when it gets popular and starts to make lots of money by being really good at something. Let’s just get back to the cynical Blizz bashing then…

  50. Dan says:

    That’s what I get for trying to use tags when post editing is disabled… Although I’m certain I put the /blockquote tag in the right place…