Next Blizzard MMO “From Scratch”

By Jim Rossignol on May 13th, 2009 at 4:37 pm.


One of the Blizzardians has been getting a bit talkative over on the Blizzard boards and has stated that the next MMO is an entire new property. No WoW2, no World Of Starcraft. He seems to think that the Internet already knew that, but I can’t recollect when it was confirmed. Blizzard poster “Zarhym” said: “We have nothing to advertise for the new MMO because it’s a shell of a game thus far. We’ve already stated it’ll be a brand new franchise, which means the lore, art, and game play are being developed entirely from scratch. It’s an overwhelming process, but a process through which we excel. Our track record supports this.”

Oh, and Grunty The Spacemarine Murloc (above) will be the in-game gift for BlizzCon attendees this year. Cute.

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92 Comments »

  1. Stupoider says:

    Oh ho ho! A new franchise? Bring it on!

  2. sinister agent says:

    New art, new story (a hearty vomit at “lore”. Seriously), new etc. is all well and good, but it’s all just window dressing, really. We all know that MPOMRPGs are all exactly the same.

    *runs*

  3. The Hammer says:

    Man, intriguing to wonder what they’ll be cooking up. 11 years since their last new IP. Means they can start fresh and not have a load of rubbish lore, retcons, and things they’d rather forget about.

  4. Lorc says:

    This modern use of the word “lore” bugs me way more than it should. I should learn to embrace change.

  5. Ian says:

    I hope they remember that if it has more than 4 colours it’ll be snorted at as a WoW-clone.

    Should be interesting to see what they come up with.

  6. Sonic Goo says:

    The fact that it’s going to be new IP is the only thing that has ever been announced about the mystery MMO.

    It just got drowned out by the fanboys saying it’s gonna be World of Starcraft, WoW 2, or any of the other unimaginative things that fanboys want.

    I’m just hoping that they’re not confusing ‘new IP’ with ‘originality’ like the Dragon Age people see to be doing.

  7. jalf says:

    They “excel” at this? Really?

    I’d say they excel at shining up their existing IP’s. It’s been what, over a decade since they launched *any* new IP?

  8. Gap Gen says:

    I vote for a Grunty MMO.

    But yeah, the new IP could be interesting, even though Blizzivision’s first act was to slough off any remotely original games they were developing.

    Acually, the fact that we’re using the words “intellectual property” is probably a really bad sign for the games industry in general.

  9. Jim Rossignol says:

    I think the “excel” bit is talking the launch of WoW. It was their first MMO, and – people forget this – was seen as a bit of a risk at the time. It might have had the Warcraft IP to lean on, but there was no previous game to reiterate.

  10. mujadaddy says:

    Jalf:“They “excel” at this? Really?”

    My work here is done.

    @Rossignol: No, they said that ‘the process’ means the lore, art, and game play are being developed entirely from scratch.…and that they excel at that process. Cuz, you know, 3 Warcraft games left them with zero useable art & lore. Apparently.

  11. Tums Ultra 1000 says:

    Steampunk MMO from Blizzard. I’m calling it.

    edit: I guess I can’t accuse Blizzard of rehashing if they really are going to make a new IP. That said, I wonder which GamesWorkshop property they will rip off next. (I keed I keed.)

  12. sinister agent says:

    Victorians IN SPAAAACE.

    Philip Larkin had better be involved.

  13. MrBejeebus says:

    maybe it’ll be an mmo set in the present? WHICH WOULD SUCK.

    i feel that i was too late to get WoW, it had been out 2 years before i took any interest in it and i thought it would be a waste of time, hopefully this new mmo will be good.

  14. Legionary says:

    Blizzard have excelled in advertising. Their game is not special in any way really, look at any given aspect of WoW and another MMO does it better. I hardly think that WoW would have been the success it was without having access to the huge and dedicated fanbase the Warcraft games had.

    I don’t think they have any particular skill at designing MMOs per se, I think they have an unbeatable skill at designing World of Warcraft which is why imitators (WAR) have found it difficult to beat them. Oh, and they’ve got a special skill at yoinking features from their competitors’ MMOs.

    Who’s going to play an MMO just because it’s got the Blizzard name on it? Interesting question I think; people played Warhammer Online because it was seen as the successor to WoW (at least it was at first) and then when they saw it didn’t really offer anything much beyond being a WoW-clone they abandoned it in droves. The same will probably happen with Untitled Blizzard MMO: either it will be WoW again in which case players will leave it to return to Azeroth, or it will be markedly different to WoW and we all know how well MMOs that diverge from that formula perform.

  15. Tei says:

    Steampunk will be hella cool. And seems WoW is already on a process of steampunkification, so…

  16. Baris says:

    @Legionary: How long have you actually played WoW? I only played for around 5 months and that was last year, but any MMO I’ve tried since has been a huge disappointment in all areas except the one new thing in whatever MMO it was that the devs thought would make it huge.

    You’re free to dislike WoW all you want, but it certainly is very special in many ways.

  17. AlexW says:

    If I recall, Warcraft is almost a direct lift from Warhammer, and Starcraft is almost a direct lift from Warhammer 40k. So… how do they make this claim?

  18. Steve says:

    Holy cow, Blizzard launching a new IP? Who would have thought they could do anything other than rehashing their existing ones!

    I thought that was why they joined forces with Activision, the other rehashing champions – so they could make double the rehashes.

  19. BarkingDog says:

    Make what claim?
    I personally have high hopes given that every other Blizzard game I’ve played has been fantastic and sooner or later been polished to an eyewatering, skull-fucking sheen.
    WoW is the only MMO I’ve stuck to despite initially vowing never to get started on one, and one I’ve gone back to despite telling myself that this would be the last time, like a battered spouse returning to an abusive partner. LOL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE but there’s nothing funny about that…

  20. Okami says:

    @The Legionary: The only thing not utterly and fundamentally wrong about your post was the punctuation.

  21. Tezka says:

    Blizzard is all but imaginative when it comes to their franchises.

    They know how to make fun games, they mastered the concept of replayability but when it comes to creating “from scratch”, well, let’s say that they have to prove themselves. Warcraft & starcraft are just standard RTS games in some dumbed down versions of warhammer & warhammer 40k universes and diablo is just an action-rpg for power gamers with no background at all.

  22. Dexton says:

    Must disagree with Legionary there, Wow is the most polished mmo on the scene and does most things better than most other mmos before it and after. I grew disillusioned with it as most people have with most mmos after months or years playing, but I can’t deny that wow is very good at what it does. Doesn’t mean you have to like it of course.

    Furthermore WAR was not seen as a successor, just an alternative. The “wow beater” is a phrase that comes up time and again but I don’t think anyone really expects an mmo to come out that is exactly like wow but better. Even blizzards next project might find its own little brother is its biggest competition.

  23. Sourer Grapes says:

    Just you wait! When (next supposed wow-killer) comes along, you’ll see. You’ll all see!

  24. O'really says:

    Runes of Magic…

    Essentially WoW for Free, with dual classes and a different kind of polish.

  25. Trollwind says:

    I for one am looking forward to this. Blizzard has the experience, the marketing research and the development team of WoW at their disposal… Think of all the huge technical and playability issues that new MMOs have faced when they’ve launched. These should be virtually eliminated in Blizzard’s new release.

    Regardless if you are a WoW fan or not, they will have a solid base to build from. They also know the importance of content from the beginning to the max levels, and will be acutely aware of avoiding too much look and feel of WoW.

    I’m not expecting something that is groundbreaking, but I think we’re pretty much guaranteed something that is very good.

  26. DK says:

    “The fact that it’s going to be new IP is the only thing that has ever been announced about the mystery MMO.”
    That and that it would be “next-gen”. Whatever Blizzard interprets that to mean.

    “They also know the importance of content from the beginning to the max levels, and will be acutely aware of avoiding too much look and feel of WoW.”
    They can’t even avoid the look of WoW in their non-Warcraft set games. Why do you think they’ll suddenly be able to do it now?

    Incidentally, WoW hasn’t even had that good of an MMO launch – the benchmark for the smoothest launch of a big budget MMO is Lord of the Rings Online.

  27. Bhazor says:

    Diablo in space.

  28. DK says:

    So Hellgate London?

  29. Russ says:

    Anyone wanna bet that this ends up like every other Wow clone regardless of content, and they have to push it like Vista by killing wow?

    My money is on superheroes just so they can rake in that money too. Also because they wouldn’t have to come up with super power ideas, they’d just buy comic books and steal them.

  30. Nootrishus says:

    @O’really: I think you mean no polish at all….. RoM is conceptually good, but it currently fails in execution.
    Only time will tell if it can get better.

  31. Mad Doc MacRae says:

    I want to play a game where cute tiny spacemarines like the one in the picture blow each other up. Not starcraft. I want it to be cuter and more focused.

  32. Heliocentric says:

    Reminds me of the meccs in giants kabuto. So, blizzard, new property. Its been a while, any guesses on theme? It can’t be fantasy, it can’t be space. So what next?

  33. Stupoider says:

    Western. PLEASE BE A WESTERN.

  34. Eenteresting says:

    That would be cool.

    And no more fallen hero who becomes main antagonist, please.

  35. clovus says:

    @Russ: Um, no, Blizzard will not be trying to push WoW players to new-MMO like XP to Vista. Microsoft doesn’t get $ every month from people using XP. They need you to buy Vista (or please, please, please Windows 7!) in order to make money. Blizzard will gladly keep taking WoW player’s money for as long as possible. I’m guessing that Blizzard’s plan will be to pull in a few new people, but hopefully to hook players on BOTH at the same time. They could even offer a 75% off the price when you sign up for both.

    I for one welcome our new-MMO making overlords. I enjoyed WoW for the few months I played it, but I can’t stand a generic fantasy setting for more than a month or so. That goes for sci-fi too. Maybe Blizzard can come up with a unique and intersting setting for a new MMO. Either way, the game will be fun, intuitive, and content rich. Then again, isn’t it about time for Blizzard to fail at something?? Everyone craps out a Spore every once in awhile….

  36. Jim Rossignol says:

    Bhazor seems closest to me. Just because it’s not World Of Starcraft doesn’t mean it won’t be sci-fi.

    So they create a new sci-fi universe, one that is better suited the trusted WoW template.

  37. Comment system, what comment system? says:

    I’m personally hoping for a Earthbound like suburban fantasy setting.

    That or Napoleonic War era with dragons.

    OR pirates versus ninjas.

  38. Dain says:

    Napoleonic Era with dragons?

    Don’t think we’ll see any Temeraire games until Peter Jackson’s inevitable film is made.

  39. underdweller says:

    It’s kinda logical they’d get working on a new world, both Starcraft and Diablo are too gritty for mass appeal and a direct WoW 2 is bad on various levels.And im sure curious to see it happen.
    People who claim Blizz doesn’t make good games are just silly.

  40. PC Monster says:

    Steve “Holy cow, Blizzard launching a new IP? Who would have thought they could do anything other than rehashing their existing ones!”

    I DID.

    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2009/03/26/its-fun-to-speculate-another-new-blizzard-game (March 26th, 2009 at 2:54 pm)

    Suck my glorious ability to see beyond dumb internet stereotypes, nay-sayers! *flips multiple birds in multiple directions in a gratuitous display of Bad Winning*

  41. Wedge says:

    I’m just going to imagine that Blizzard is going to use their vast resources to take on the challenge of making a proper modern MMOFPS, and find someway to infuse their crack addiction gameplay with Planetside, so people continue to play it for a decade after it’s release.

    Shut up, I can pretend.

  42. Sonic Goo says:

    Maybe this time they’ll have more than two factions?

    Pirates vs Ninjas vs Robots vs Monkeys vs Zombies – the MMO?

  43. Sourer Grapes says:

    I was actually hoping for a World of Starcraft in the mold of Planetside. Despite not being all that big on MMOs, I’d most definitely sign up for that.

    Sure, figuring out how playing Zerg would work might suck, but Terrans and to an extent Protoss are well-suited for it.

  44. blindpsychic says:

    Haven’t they run out of Games Workshop RPGs to rip off?

  45. Nurdbot says:

    If they made a MMOFPS that is ten time awesome than Planetside, I’ll forgive them for the last few years.

  46. Eenteresting says:

    This warhammer cost 40k!

    Hopefully they’ll rip off smething like this.

  47. Sonic Goo says:

    Blizzard seem good at taking a genre that has been attempted a few times but hasn’t taken off yet and turning it into a success story. So MMOFPS could be a good guess.

    Eenteresting: that IS WoW, isn’t it?

  48. Lugubrious says:

    In order for them not to cannibalize their own market, and produce maximum profit, they will likely try to hit the following marks for their new setting.
    a) underrepresented in the current MMO space.
    b) Has known, bankable appeal.
    Some settings stand out immediately as possible canidates:
    a) Costumed hero setting (a la COH)
    b) Cops and Robbers (a la GTA)
    c) Space Opera
    You might say that ‘hero’ settings aren’t underrepresented, but Blizzard is known for taking a good idea, and polishing out what’s the best in it. In this case, they might be aiming to monopolize another setting, taking out a competitor in the process.
    I just hope that it isn’t some GTA clone online. While I admit that the GTA games are very good, I personally don’t relish the idea of creating an online thug persona.

  49. Jeremy says:

    I hope everyone get’s the AIM out of their system in this thread. I for one submit that no matter what Blizzard did, be it create a new IP or rehash an old one, they would’ve been bashed by 90% of the people on this thread :) Hopefully the next thread will include interesting dialogue instead of recycled Blizzard bashes.

    Blizzard reforms good ideas, but to say the lore of Starcraft / Warcraft and Warhammer / 40k are the same is pretty uninformed. Also, to say that Blizzard has no experience creating “Lore” is also pretty uninformed. They have done a great job fleshing out all the “worlds” that their IPs exist in. Anti-fanboy hate is just as bad as fanboy fanaticism.

    They won’t create a competitor to World of Warcraft. They know how successful their own franchise is, so why would they try and take away a piece of their own pie? Besides, they would probably fail to take away their own customers, WoW is no longer able to be controlled, only managed. It is a beast and they know it, so they’ll create something that doesn’t compete at all, but will hopefully either draw an entirely new crowd, or be different enough to justify having two monthly accounts, WoW / NEWIPMMO . If they’re really smart, they’ll bundle the two games together for a “premium” monthly price point. Savvy as they are, I’m guessing that’ll be an option.

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