Blizzard confirm: The World is not enough.

Orcs of tomorrow

They need another one too. And, in doing so, the rest of Earth’s cash-money. Since they’ve been advertising for ages on their site for more creative staff, everyone was kinda expecting it, but Gamespot managed to confirm with a Blizzard rep that the new project wasn’t an add-on pack, but a new next-gen MMO.

“No, it is an unannounced next-gen MMO,” said the rep. “And that doesn’t mean an expansion for World of Warcraft either.”

See! Told you. Which explains why they were so cagey when Jim went to see Starcraft 2 recently, which reminds me when I visited Blizzard circa the time of Diablo II when they mentioned that I couldn’t go down a passage, as their other project was in that area. The urge to shake off my handlers and run, screaming (and probably naked) down the corridor to get a world exclusive was almost unbearable.

Anyway – New Blizzard MMO. Whatever could it be? Speculation-brains are GO!


  1. terry says:

    Blackthorne online!

  2. Alec Meer says:

    Bear in mind it could be the reason for/first fruits of the Activision merger. So it could be an Activision IP as easily as it could be Diablo or Starcraft.

  3. Jim Rossignol says:

    I dunno, the extra team at Blizzard has been there for a long time now. They wouldn’t have started working on an MMO until the rights were confirmed. It’s a possibility, though.

  4. Dan (WR) says:

    Diablo would be over-egging the same genre and I’m not sure a Starcraft MMO would be a good idea. WoW had mass appeal that (for me) had a solid grounding in humour, charm and a beautiful exploration landscape.

    But in the grim future of Starcraft, there is ONLY WAR.

    Also, 10 million Koreans would spontaneously combust with joy.

    I’d like to see them doing a new IP with superpowered men-in-tights. They’ve got the right levels of epic and silly to pull it off.

  5. Jim Rossignol says:

    It makes sense that they’d have a crack at science fiction. It’s the MMO angle that hasn’t quite found a firm footing in the mass market, and if they can do for robots and spaceships what they did for paladins and dragons…

  6. ShaunCG says:

    I’ve no education with which to make a guess, but I’m /hoping/ for World of Starcraft. I managed to evade WoW’s clutches, but WoS? Oh, no one would ever see me again, and I’d die of a heartattack after a 48-hour session. Forgotten and alone… but happy.

  7. Graham says:

    World of Rock’n’Roll Racing.

    Because that was always their best game, anyway.

  8. Spenceroo says:

    Has anybody thought of the possibility this could be WoW 2? We pretty much now for a fact that 100 will be the definite level cap for WoW. So after Northrend we can expect two more major expansions the last one arriving probably round the end of 2010.
    Putting out a predecessor more or less shortly after that would make a lot of sense, since transistions from the established player base will be huge.
    And while a lot of people don’t tire to state that WoW will run “for years to come”, the overall advancment of technology by then would certainly justify a sequel.

  9. Arnulf says:

    If somehow a miracle would occur and Blizzard would create a Warhammer 40K MMO? (not that fantasy one, the real thing…) Not very likely I gather, since Games Workshop is already with EA involved and I think some kind of exclusive clause is somehow in it…

    Anyway, one can still dream.

  10. Mr Pink says:

    Arnulf: Let’s face it, a Starcraft MMO virtually *IS* a 40k MMO. I remember when I first played Starcraft, I couldn’t believe how blatantly they had ripped off Space Marines, Eldar and Tyranids. It still makes me a little bit angry. But then Starcraft is very good, so that calms me down a bit…

  11. darkripper says:

    Warcraft III —> World of Warcraft —> Starcraft II —> World of Starcraft

    Makes sense.

  12. Kieron Gillen says:

    Mr Pink: It’s a quiet joy mentioning Blizzard around GW people. You can see the tension bubbling up through their skins.


  13. Jim Rossignol says:

    World Of Warcraft 2 seems unlikely for any number of reasons – not least the fact that there’s no reason why Blizzard couldn’t simply overhaul the technology and keep the existing accounts, without risking the transition to a sequel.

    (Consider the history of failure in MMO sequels.)

  14. Glissando says:

    Blizzard: Start your photocopiers!

    As a man who’s just become addicted to EVE Online (Eve Trinity makes space WERY PWETTY), Blizz could do a lot worse than copy it for all they’re worth (lots) and call it Worlds of Starcraft.

    Diablo 3 wouldn’t make a great MMO, since WoW borrowed all of Diablo’s best mechanics anyway, so it’ll seem too familiar and old fashioned.

  15. Spenceroo says:

    You’re probably right. At least considering the history of failures. But I somehow fail to see why they would to sth. with Diablo and create a direct competitor. And on the other hand I’m not sure if any Sci-Fi MMO which is not based on one of the big classical IPs will ever be successfull.

    Also maybe it’s important that he said MMO. Up until now we don’t even know if there will be a lot of RPG in that. SC Ghost online anyone? I keed…

  16. Babs says:

    So, console only you say?

  17. Lou says:

    Can’t believe it’s not World of Starcraft. Diablo is too similar in its setting to WoW, Starcraft already has the factions in place, SC2 will raise the brand awareness next year, and I don’t think Blizzard will come up with a new IP.

  18. Mr Pink says:

    Glissandro: All Diablo’s best mechanics except randomised rare loot! If only that had been implemented in WoW it would go so far to fix the biggest problem with the game imho. I hate how generic the equipment is for all level 60s/70s. It’d be awesome if everyone’s gear was unique!

  19. Spenceroo says:

    And just to avoid misunderstandings. By successfull I don’t mean “It’s doing pretty good with a half million subscribers and a very loyal fanbase bashing people calling it unsuccessfull.” I mean the kind of success as in “I lost 2 colleagues, 3 close friends and my mother to it in the last month alone.”

  20. I_still_love_Okami says:

    I’ll bet 10€ that it’s gonna be a new IP.

    Just because I’d love to see Blizzard create something new, not because I’ve got high hopes of them actually doing it.

  21. Kieron Gillen says:

    Babs: That’s justme being hypothetical on Qt3. But it’s make some sense in terms of avoiding canabilising WoW, etc.


  22. Homunculus says:

    Prognostications point to Starcraft MMO. They’re following the same pattern of expanding the backstory and preparing reusable 3d assets with Starcraft 2 as they did with Warcraft 3 prior to World of Warcraft.

    As for the flavour of MMO, if the desire is there to supplement WoW’s subscriber base rather than cannibalize it, then it’ll have to be a substantially different offering.

    Maybe a Worlds of Starcraft that is to Planetside as World of Warcraft was to Everquest. (OpleaseOplease)

  23. Babs says:

    Kieron: Shame, that would make a *really* interesting story.

    Fact is, despite the canabilising WoW aspect, with ~8 million subscribers (or whatever it is) on PC it would be insane to completely abandon the platform. Some sort of console version must surely be being talked about though.

  24. q says:

    Blackthorne online!

  25. Caiman says:

    A Starcraft MMO would seem highly unlikely to replace WoW. There’s something about fantasy worlds that I think has a much broader demographic appeal than alien sci-fi worlds. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Blizzard’s new MMO is intended to supplant WoW – perhaps it will simply complement it by accessing a different market (one that can’t stand elves and dragons).

  26. steve says:

    Well, with all the rumors we got a couple weeks ago concerning Cryptic and MUO, maybe Blizzactivision managed to steal the deal?

  27. Jae Armstrong says:

    Hmm. Korea loves MMOs. Korea loves Starcraft.

    Oh dear me. This could be messy.

  28. Matthew Gallant says:

    Let’s face it, there are basically 2 options for what this will turn out to be: World of Starcraft or Diablo 3. I highly doubt Blizzard would try to push a new IP via an MMORPG.

    Personally, I’m hoping for the former. They could take the best aspects of games like EVE Online and Tabula Rasa and polish it to perfection.

  29. Mathieu says:

    In 2006 they posted some jobs opportunities related to Diablo.
    If they want to make a MMO out of Diablo they really need to take some distances from WoW.

    I hope they’ll make a MMO heavily PVP oriented someday.

  30. Piratepete says:

    No this must not be allowed. Last things the world needs is another Wowcrack.

    Won’t anyone think of the children? The poor poor children!

  31. Ging says:

    I want to see a good, solid, well made sci-fi MMO – TR was ok, but had some odd issues… I suspect “WoS” might do that and drag me back into an MMO again, but I’ve been on carefully monitored doses of Guild Wars and Betas for a while, so I should be ok.

  32. Zeh says:

    World of Lost Rock’n Roll Racing Vikings.

  33. Glissando says:

    @Ging: Have you played EVE? EVE is my new crack, atm.

  34. Nallen says:

    It’s going to be a starcraft mmo, it has to be, if for no other reason than korea. At least eve will be less laggy. I never get lagged in eve anyway :(

  35. AbyssUK says:

    I just wish somebody would make an MMO based on the Monkey Island world… That would be crack mixed with alcohol, gambling and porn.

  36. Nick says:

    The term ‘next-gen’ now causes bile to rise up in my throat.

  37. Kieron Gillen says:

    Nick: I honestly don’t know what it means any more when someone uses it.


  38. Glissando says:

    Consider the Blizzard.

    Assume they officially announce this game next spring. Based on their usual turnaround for such things, we’ll be able to get our hands on this game Summer/Autumn 2011, maybe a few months earlier, but it’s hard to be optimistic.

    I have plenty of time to get bored of countless other MMOs before then, just like I did with sodding WoW.

  39. Piratepete says:

    Why won’t any of you think of the Children


    (I just think Blizz are gonna be up there with McD’s for evil corporations if they make there games any more addictive)

  40. Piratepete says:

    *their not there ffs

  41. Ging says:

    Glissando: I’ve seen it played and I’ve been sorely tempted – but I fear it would be as you say, like crack for me and I’d never get any work done, thus fail to pay rent and I’d end up on my arse in a ditch asking “got 20p mate?”

  42. Piratepete says:

    They should just cut any pretext and call it ‘Pavlovian response’

    Everytime you hit a button you see a pretty picture, then it takes 2 button presses to get the picture then 2,4,8 etc. eventually 40 of you must press the button in a set sequence to get the picture one in every hundred successful attempts.

    Pvp is if you have more button presses than the next person you win.

    Cheap to program and will make addicts out of everyone.

    Designing MMO’s, money for old rope i reckon.

  43. Garth says:

    “Arnulf: Let’s face it, a Starcraft MMO virtually *IS* a 40k MMO. I remember when I first played Starcraft, I couldn’t believe how blatantly they had ripped off Space Marines, Eldar and Tyranids. It still makes me a little bit angry.”

    Starcraft was originally ACTUALLY Warhammer 40k as an RTS. GW rejected the game, and Blizzard decided to run with it.

    GW: Fuck.
    Blizz: Woo!

    I think it has to be World of Starcraft because, look at the history:
    Warcraft 3 comes out, then World of Warcraft.
    Starcraft 2 is coming out, then…? Makes sense to me.

    Even though I play WoW now, I’d pretty much instantly leave it if WoS is close to as good.

  44. malkav11 says:

    Starcraft is the safe bet. And I think that, unless they fucked it up by basing it around PvP (unlikely, though), they’d probably get me as a customer again, even after my blatantly horrible customer service experience with WoW. I have no willpower.

  45. Abe says:

    If it is a World of Starcraft MMO, and if Bioware is working on a Star Wars MMO… then we could be in for an epic battle of the sci-fi MMOs between Activision and EA.

    And judging from the absolutely insane revenue that WoW pulls in, whoever wins will probably secure the spot of top publisher.

  46. alexanderwales says:

    Long-time reader, first time commenter.

    I love that tag.

    Also, my money is on Starcraft as well, but I don’t really think it’ll be a third-person action game like WoW is. My hope would be for an MMOFPS, but that’s outside of Blizzard’s core competency. While I would love if they challenged what it is to be an MMO, Blizzard isn’t a company that I put much faith in when it comes to dramatic innovation (improvement is more their thing).

  47. Doug says:

    EVE is great but even with Trinity it’s still a soulless, barren husk of a world. The only lagless battles I have had have been hours of shooting at player stations, which is not exactly the most riveting activity ever.

    Were Blizzard to do a science fiction MMO they’d probably eat CCP’s lunch, since they get the benefits of an interesting world and how that enhances the player experience.

    Wait, who owns the Total Annihilation property? World of Total Annihilation would take the old metagame to a whole new level.

  48. Matthew Gallant says:

    Wow, I hadn’t noticed that my comment was almost identical to the post tag.

  49. DigitalSignalX says:

    There is a tiny voice in my head that is worried SC2 will be a bitter disappointment when it finally hits the shelves, which would be bad news for a SC MMOG. Blizzard’s still massively long development cycle (remember D2’s “waiting for 1.10”?) seems to be gambling a lot of staff by placing one of it’s prime IP’s out there eight years later with a fresh paint job on top of the markets huge, ever-shifting crap pile of RTS titles. A pile that was relatively small when SC came out in the first place.
    The gamble is that it will float uniquely to the top with it’s expected following, and then provide fanbase foundation for an even larger venture into MMOGdome? They have the time, the money… perhaps they *should* just do something all new and let the StarCraft franchise slide gracefully into the depths.

  50. Garth says:

    Along with Digital above me, I was/am really worried about SC2. After Warcraft 3, I had pretty much lost faith in Blizzards ability to make something they’ve done better. Then World of Warcraft came out (love it or hate it, you have to admit it was an amazing production), so I had some faith.

    SC2, from what Ive read/seen/etc seems to be doing exactly what it should. Get to the full-upgraded end-game faster? Check. Pretty 3d Engine that doesn’t add useless shit? Check. Lack of moronic Babysitcraft 3 heroes? Check!

    I’ve been less enthusiastic about some of the models (anyone see the first siege tank they had? Jesus…), but on the whole I’m hopeful.

    I love the idea posted above about Starcraft as a FPSMMO, that’s a brilliant damn idea. We’ve all asked for Starcraft in FPS form some way or another. Do it Blizzard, do it.