It’s Fun To Speculate: Another New Blizzard Game?

By Alec Meer on March 26th, 2009 at 11:27 am.

While we’re being all mainstreamy this morning, it’s worth nodding over at BlizzPlanet’s canny sniffing around the Blizzard haunches. We already know they’ve a mystery MMO in the works as well as Starcraft II and Diablo III, but if this direct quote is gen-ooo-ayne, it seems the king o’polish has a fifth game up their sleeve…

1. This brand-new game is not a World of Warcraft expansion, and it is not related to the Next-Gen MMO.

2. In the present, the brand-new game is using the World of Warcraft engine merely for testing purposes.

3. The Client Software Engineer job opening is to hire the person that will have the responsibility to develop an engine from scratch for this game. This new engine will be built depending on the skill and interest of the person hired for this position.

Whether this game is based on the three major franchises (Warcraft, Starcraft or Diablo) or a new IP, that remains unknown.

Warcraft IV? World of Starcraft? World of Warcraft For Kids? Speculation Rangers, GO!

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68 Comments »

  1. ChaosSmurf says:

    StarCraft has a capital C dammit Blizzplanet/Alec.

    It’s interesting, and I mean no disrespect, that in 90% of the cases where Blizzard says they’re working on new stuff, most people immediately go for WarCraft 4/Some MMO Related to an IP already in production. Is it so difficult to imagine a totally new IP from Blizzard?

    Be interesting to see if it’s a shooter of some sort – either third-person (ala StarCraft: Ghost, since I assume that code is still lying around somewhere and the guys who made it are still employed) or something first person, I’d like to see what they’d do with either.

  2. Optimaximal says:

    Could this be related to the fact they are discussing the next Xbox with Microsoft? They could be looking at their first proper console game since The Lost Vikings 2!

  3. Larington says:

    Hmm, a third-way house between starcraft ghost, Left4Dead and planetside?

    A man can dream.

  4. no says:

    If it’s using the WoW engine, it might be Warcraft 4.
    After all, WoW’s Engine was originally based on the Warcraft 3 engine…
    (Plus, it is suited rather well for the task. WoW PvP battles from high above, do look a bit like Warcraft 3 battles after all… If all the units were brain dead, that is *ducks*

  5. ChaosSmurf says:

    @Larington – a … third-person … squad based … MMO … horde killing … two sided … coop … team game set in the StarCraft universe?

    They’d have fun with the back-of-the-box with that one.

  6. Jazmeister says:

    Maybe it’s World of WarKart, where you race around Azeroth and… uh…

  7. NuZZ says:

    They won’t even hint at its nature for another few years or so; so I wouldn’t bother speculating. After all, it could be canceled.

  8. ChaosSmurf says:

    @Nuzz – you’re gonna die eventually, why bother doing anything :P

  9. Kommissar Nicko says:

    @ChaosSmurf: Blizzard hasn’t created a new IP since 1995, so I think it’s reasonable to assume they’re not really going to be doing anything new. 14 years beating the ever-loving-shit out of the same three dead horses is quite a long time to be at it.

  10. ChaosSmurf says:

    @Kommissar Nicko – er. StarCraft was released in 1998 and was a new IP. So 10 years – and they haven’t really been … er … “beating the ever-loving-shit out of the same three dead horses” since they’ve only released … 1 or 2 title in each of those franchises since then? (and expansion packs of course). They’ve also released titles outside of the main 3 franchises, although they were admittedly remakes (the GBA stuff)

    Not to mention that usually that kind of phrase would be related to, you know, bad games. There’s been plenty of titles in development by Blizzard that have been canceled that look like they were set in new universes – can’t remember all the names but there’s a screenshot of all of them out there somewhere.

  11. Vandelay says:

    “3. The Client Software Engineer job opening is to hire the person that will have the responsibility to develop an engine from scratch for this game. This new engine will be built depending on the skill and interest of the person hired for this position.”

    I don’t know much about game development but this sounds weird. Is it normal to hire someone to construct the game engine from scratch and someone who has no prior knowledge of the game? Surely it would be more productive to use someone already working on the project who knows exactly what the engine will need and the art style that the team want to strive for (obviously they won’t be creating the art for the game but different engines suit different styles.) If they are going to hire someone else to construct the engine based on their “skill and interest” couldn’t they end up with something completely different to what they originally envisioned? Sounds to me as if they don’t really know what they want to make yet.

  12. ChaosSmurf says:

    @Vandelay – I agree, it sounds to me like (as Nuzz said) the game really is in the preliminary stages. Pre pre pre pre pre pre pre alpha, if you like :P

    It’s possible all they have at this stage is an idea of how gameplay is going to work, some concept art and a story.

  13. Valentin Galea says:

    I say this again and again:

    Blackthorne 2

  14. yutt says:

    @Kommissar Nicko

    Dead horses? I wish more companies had such high quality dead horses. I’d bet most game companies wish they had such profitable dead horses, as well.

    It has been strongly hinted that their next MMO is a new IP.

  15. ChaosSmurf says:

    @Valentin Galea: The Death and Return and Death and Return of Superman.

  16. Dreamhacker says:

    LOST VIKINGS, GO!

  17. SirKicksalot says:

    I think the new game is Speculation Rangers.

  18. Surgeon says:

    MMOFPS/RPG/RTS

    Come on you point and click non-twitch based developer slags.
    You know it makes sense.

  19. Tabasco Joe says:

    @ ChaosSmurf – “StarCraft was released in 1998 and was a new IP. So 10 years” …2009 – 1998 = 11, not 10. lrn2math =P

    Anyway, I’ll take a few guesses at the new game:

    Warcraft 4
    SC: Ghost
    Warcraft Adventures (the well publicized cancelled game from the 90s)
    The Lost Vikings 3

  20. phil says:

    I could make a point that it was rampant speculation that caused our current moneygeddon, so perhaps the speculations rangers should trend lightly, least they cause a bank to fail – but instead I’ll suggest Blizzard’s latest could be a co-op 3D Lost Vikings.

  21. ChaosSmurf says:

    @Tabasco Joe – Funny story, it’s the 11th birthday of StarCraft in a few days. Also, it’s so obv. still 2008.

  22. Downloads_Plz says:

    Honestly, as much as everyone rags on Blizzard for now producing a new IP, that’s exactly what I think this will be.

    We can assume (though not safely) it won’t be Starcraft or Diablo related, since both of those games are coming shortly. And I can’t see them putting out WC4 with SC2 coming out. Not to mention they have to realize that they’re going to need a new IP sooner or later.

    So that’s my bet for now.

  23. cyrenic says:

    If there’s only one person developing the engine for the game, it makes me think of the announcement several months back where Blizzard said they were looking into cell phone/mobile development.

    Other sites seem to be thinking the same thing: http://hellforge.gameriot.com/blogs/Hellforge/Blizzard-Developing-New-Unannounced-Game-Possibly-For-Mobile-Platform

  24. BooleanBob says:

    I think you can quibble as to the severity of the wounds on said dead horses’ flanks – but this is a matter of semantics. Surely we can all agree that Blizzard are a developer (much like any developer working under a publisher, or that has swelled to a size where it can self-publish) that makes its money from the exploitation of proven properties. What we can extrapolate from that is a surmisal that this is unlikely to be a new IP. Which is why people can bandy names like Blackthorne and Lost Vikings around without sounding like crackpots, joking or no.

    For this very reason, I think Blizzard are perfectly positioned now to blindside us all with a dynamic new franchise – a graceful young stallion, if you will, sinewy and strong, with a mane that thrashes in the breeze like wild heather. If you look closely, you’ll be damned if you don’t recognise – in some of this magnificent beast’s features – horses from other established, successful stables. This bothers you, but the gaming press [ahem] er, the bookies and racing experts assure you that this is purely down to good breeding and takes nothing away from the pure ecstasy of riding this beast across the loamy earth, through azure forests and over the purest, most crystalline dunes of sand which make up the game’s locations erm… the.. the stable’s… sponsored.. trekking paths.

    Eventually the appointed day comes when you- yes, you, the gamer [fuck] rider(?) are finally allowed to play the horse! Play.. with the horse. But to your dismay, when you unbolt the paddock door (a lengthy process which involves the occupation of dozens of giga-metres of space in your hard-paddock), you discover only the severed head and neck making a big bloody mess of your nice hay-carpeted floor. ‘Not to worry!’, exclaims a cheery Blizzard rep, emerging from the shadows. ‘The remaining two-thirds of the horse will be made available to you as downloadable content as… an extra..equinal..enhancement. Of course, you’ll have to pay us a little more sugar. By the way, while I’m here, can I interest you in buying some nice new armour for your horse?’

    The analogy is stretched a little at some points but I think my basic argument comes across perfectly well.

  25. jsutcliffe says:

    I am still waiting for SC:Ghost — I picture it as Splinter Cell in space, and I am 100% behind the idea of Games I Love Being Ported To A Sci-Fi Setting, e.g. Rainbow Six (a proper one, mind, like Raven Shield) on a space station would make me fall over with glee.

    Anyhow, what could this be? The Diablo setting has a new game coming, StarCraft has a RTS sequel. Assuming it’s not a new IP, that leaves:

    WarCraft 4? Possible – god knows many more people are aware of the franchise thanks to WoW, so it’d do well

    StarCraft MMO? The use of the WoW engine for makes me think it’s possible, but WarCraft’s setting really is generic fantasy, which has broad appeal, while the StarCraft setting is more esoteric. I also suspect the majority of players would be people migrating from WoW so it wouldn’t generate a whole lot more revenue overall, as WoW would take a hit.

    Diablo MMO? I know nothing about Diablo, as I’ve never played it. Could it work as a MMO? I have no idea. See also the issue of it not making much sense for them to have two MMOs going at once, above.

    Or, handbags at the ready, please … something for those consolotron devices I hear so much about. That’s an area Blizzard hasn’t tapped into (other than explorations with SC:Ghost), and console RTS games seem to be finally getting decent.

  26. Gurrah says:

    World of StarCraft: Return to Tristram IV

  27. Carlo Zottmann says:

    Massively multiplayer science fantasy dating sim.

    You’ve heard it here first.

  28. SirKicksalot says:

    @ Cyrenic

    Warcraft Adventures for the iPhone, lol.

  29. Steve says:

    Blizzard making a new IP? Not likely. Their cashcows are still ripe for milking.

  30. Tater Po says:

    Since it’s an MMO, it can’t be WarCraft or Diablo based since it would compete with other Blizzard titles (WoW and upcoming Diablo 3). Therefore, it must be StarCraft based. I’m guessing that it would be a MMO shooter based on StarCraft.

  31. jsutcliffe says:

    @Tater Po

    That’s a delicious possibility I hadn’t thought of. Something with large-scale battles like Battlefield/Tribes/Planetside in the SC setting would be quite enjoyable, especially if there was some notion of persistence. Blizzard have no kind of track record with FPSs, but I’d trust their QA not to put out a pile of garbage (e.g. they had the sense to pull Ghost when it wasn’t working).

  32. Nick says:

    World of Micropayments?

  33. bildo says:

    Since its now Blizzivision, I can see the mega cororate gears turning:

    GuitarCraft: Universal Tour

  34. Tworak says:

    Diablo in space. Spaceblo. Chase a space-demon all over… space.

  35. Vincent Avatar says:

    The greatest problem with the idea of Warcraft IV is that it would effectively freeze the advancement of the “plot” in World of Warcraft. The next Warcraft RTS, I deem, will herald the end of expansions in WoW, unless they release a concurrent expansion with WCIV that brings the WoW world up to date with the events of WCIV or leapfrogs over said events.

    But who are we kidding, here? It’s gonna be iBlackthorne.

  36. Ian says:

    “Play.. with the horse”

    EquusCraft?

  37. P.T. says:

    Space Taxi 2.

    Or, Blizzard is outsourcing game idea brainstorming to RPS.

  38. Cooper says:

    Blackthorne 2

    seconded

    That game was fantastic. Like a proto Oddworld, but with a cool gun. That rear-shooting animation has to be the COOLEST thing evar.

  39. Erlam (Shalrath) says:

    Get ready for a lot of cynicism, but:

    It’s not a new I.P. – Activision would never agree to that.

    It’s a World of Warcraft… ‘mod’ if you will for things like the iPhone, so you can check your mail/auction house stuff at work.

    Seriously, asking one guy to work on an engine? Either they’re looking for the next Carmack, or this is a small, small game.

  40. Half Broken Glass says:

    In two years it will be cancelled anyway, and any whiners silenced with fifth WoW expansion.

  41. PC Monster says:

    I’m going to put all my money on it being a new IP, just to see all you cynical, unimaginative naysayers eat your own ‘cash cow’ comments. You want fries with that?

  42. jonfitt says:

    A new IP? In mah Blizzard?

  43. Nelson says:

    TURN-BASED STRATEGY FTW! *maniacal laughter*

  44. jalf says:

    Lost Vikings, woooo!

  45. Uglycat says:

    Dungeon Keeper III gets my vote

    /i can dream…

  46. Tei says:

    World of Warcraft Blood Bowl?

    You know, play soccer with WoW characters. Something totally PVP focused, with ladders, maybe some trading cards elements, off-online mode (training),

  47. Xocrates says:

    Woo! Speculation \o/

    A new IP seems a possibility, although I say this mostly because all their three main IPs are currently active (with Starctaft and Diablo getting a sequel, and Wow will probably still get a few more expansions).

    If it’s not a new IP, then I would hazard a guess it will be a console game based on Blackthorne or Lost Vikings.

    Regarding Blizzard beating a dead horse: By current standards they are positively tame.
    Most big franchises now a days were born after all Blizzard IPs and probably have more sequels than any of the Blizzard games (not counting expansions).
    Heck, Tomb Raider has more games than the Warcraft/Starcraft/Diablo Series combined o_O

  48. Bobsy says:

    Since the new MMO has been confirmed as a new IP, I think that lays the gate open for this being one too.

    And like everyone and their dog, I’d love this to be a Lost Vikings game. Or Lord of the Clans.

  49. jonfitt says:

    Actually a Dungeon Keeper-like game with you playing as Diablo would be cool. It could even be online versus compatible with other players playing the adventurers.

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