Looks like Blizzard is making a new shooter

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Back in 2016, Blizzard started hiring for a new first person game, by grabbing a couple of artists and moving Dustin Browder (the director of StarCraft 2) from his role on Heroes of the Storm to work as the director for the unannounced project. A new job post on Blizzard’s career site shines more light on what is probably not Overwatch 2. The listing says that Blizzard are “looking for a talented and experienced Senior or Principal Designer” to develop weapons and abilities “in action or first-person shooter games.” They also want a hire that has a passion for playing and creating PvP game experiences. So strap in for StarCraft: Galaxy Royale. Or not. But we can all speculate wildly. And we will!

The job posting has fairly high background requirements, as you can read here if you feel like throwing your hat in the ring. A minimum of five years in the industry as a project lead, previously shipped a AAA title: about what you’d expect to find.

“As a Senior or Principal Designer, you’ll work with numerous departments to shape the core gameplay experience for this unannounced project by defining the abilities, powers, and weapons our players will use,” the listing states. “The ideal candidate will design and implement great game experiences while helping to foster a creative and energetic environment. You have proven experience in game design, a strong aptitude for critical thinking and analysis, outstanding people skills, boundless creativity, and extensive knowledge and passion for competitive first-person shooter games.”

So yeah. Working under Browder on a first person shooter with a PvP focus. It feels too early for a proper Overwatch sequel, and I personally can’t see an Overwatch Battle Royale coming from this because it feels, I dunno? Somehow not very Blizzard in spirit? Even though it would certainly print its own infinity money. Blizzard has plenty of other IPs that have such expansive worlds, there’s really nowhere that an FPS wouldn’t fit. Yes, I am saying that I’d be really into a Hearthstone first person shooter. But it’s also still a card game? But it’s also The Lost Vikings.

Please share your best guesses (Diablo With Guns) which are inevitably better than mine.

71 Comments

  1. megazver says:

    I will, indeed, go for Overwatch: Battle Royale.

    • Brock Wilbur says:

      I almost immediately regretted saying “thats not what it is” because that’s almost certainly what it is right?

      • Xocrates says:

        It’s weird really. If it started in 2016 it sounds slightly too early to be diving into the battle royale craze, but it’s also too close to Overwatch to be sequel (particularly since Blizzard games tend to have an unusually long life).

        So on one hand it shouldn’t be a Battle Royale game, but on the other what else could it be?

      • Horg says:

        I’ll take the odds on a battle royale game, but not using the Overwatch setting. Something new, probably, or some sort of Frankenstein’s Royale with all previous Blizzard IP’s mangled together.

      • April March says:

        On the one hand, it’s quite Blizzard’s metier to take a well-troden genre design, polish it until it shines, and release it as their own thing.

        On the other hand, stuff they’ve worked on has always been stuff that’s kind of perennial. There wasn’t any sort of glut of class-based multiplayer games when Overwatch was being developed, for instance.

        So I don’t think this is a battle-royale. They’re not a company that shits out a quick game for a quick buck, and they’re too conservative to bet a lot of manpower into a genre that, as far as anyone knows, could be dead in the water by the time a game that’s started development now (at Blizzard, at least) would come out.

        Of course, they might be pouring resources into it now, and be ready to pivot into something else if the genre flops. It’d be a strange way to go about this, though.

        • Janichsan says:

          They’re not a company that shits out a quick game for a quick buck, and they’re too conservative to bet a lot of manpower into a genre that, as far as anyone knows, could be dead in the water by the time a game that’s started development now (at Blizzard, at least) would come out.

          You mean unlike the time where they jumped onto the MOBA bandwagon?

  2. LearningToSmile says:

    It’s either a really ambitious Overwatch sequel that’s going to be a long time in development or an Overwatch expansion big enough to be called an “unannounced project”.

    It makes precisely zero sense on any level to develop another “competitive first-person shooter” IP when their long-term plans for Overwatch have barely even started.

    • Sensation says:

      Considering Overwatch started as an MMO and was retrofitted to be what it is today I’m inclined to agree with you. Blizzard knows better than to compete with itself, there’s no way they would develop a another new IP so fast, and ALL of Overwatch’s content has been freely available through the game itself since launch so it’s about time they gave it their usual expansion treatment.

      • Excors says:

        I don’t think “retrofitted” is an accurate representation (based on what I remember from the Overwatch Archives panel at BlizzCon). Titan (the MMO) was cancelled, and part of the team was given a couple of months to come up with a new idea and save themselves from being reassigned or losing their jobs. They explored a few very different ideas before settling on Overwatch and pitching it to Blizzard and Activision. They reused some character concepts and some of the engine code from Titan when it happened to fit, but essentially it was designed and developed as a brand new game.

        In any case it does seem that was an unusual process that led Blizzard to release their first new IP in about 18 years, and presumably they’re unlikely to repeat anything as traumatic as cancelling a very expensive MMO project in the near future, so it does seem more likely they’d be working on continuations of their existing IPs in some form.

  3. SlugMan says:

    How about a Destiny-like/semi-mmo/fps using the Overwatch universe. Would allow the players to experience the story of Overwatch in a different way.

    • Horg says:

      Bungee: [glares silently].

    • gwathdring says:

      That different way being killing vast quantities of Omnics?

    • LearningToSmile says:

      Does anyone refer to those kind of games as “competitive fps” though?

      • LexW1 says:

        No, they don’t, you’re quite right.

        BUT! They don’t say this game IS a competitive FPS. They want someone with that background, but that doesn’t mean this game is. To me that makes sense. There are really two kinds of shooter:

        1) The Far Cry/Metro kind of shooter which is about telling a story full of gunfights, which are very cinematic, very focused on visual appeal and crazy stuff happening and so on, and where the gameplay tends to be fairly slow-paced and doesn’t really involve any interaction with other players.

        2) Multiplayer shooters which have fast-paced, tightly-focused gameplay which tends to be about weapons and possibly abilities and characters.

        Some occupy a sort of middle-ground, like modern Doom or Wolfenstein, but I feel they lean a lot closer to type one.

        If I was making an MMOFPS, I think I would be more interested in hiring the kind of people who have experience of type-2 games, even if my MMOFPS was purely coop. Equally if I was making a complex coop FPS (no MMO), that is who I would hire.

        So they could be making a competitive FPS, but it’s not definite.

    • SaintAn says:

      Destiny isn’t a semi-MMO. It’s just a co-op multiplayer game.

      • LexW1 says:

        It’s goal and mechanisms are clearly that of an MMO, and the way it handles progression, gear, builds clans in and so on is absolutely a MMO way of doing things, not a co-op shooter way of doing things. That’s not even really arguable.

      • Jernau Gurgeh says:

        Wait. Destiny is multiplayer? I thought it was a single player game with NPCs with crazy names hopping about like demented kangaroos getting in the way. Well, that’s always how I play it, anyway.

  4. Neurotic says:

    I’ll be happy with just DM, CTF and TDM, pick a character and flippin’ well run around shooting, without all the strategy and tactics and collaborative bollocks of Overwatch. Let the strat happen by itself (or not), but leave all the ‘meta’ crap out. Thanks!

    • gwathdring says:

      I’m not sure how you expect there not to be a meta in a multiplayer game.

      • April March says:

        Technically, by having all the people who care about winning playing a different mode. In practice, it’s impossible, of course.

        • gwathdring says:

          That doesn’t work anyway. The concept the jargon represents whether or not you get rid of the people who are very intense about it. It just represents how player behaviors interact with the mechanics; as long as you have players in a game that has many possible solutions, the game will develop a meta wherein different solutions are more successful or common not as a direct result of the mechanics but as a result of how players respond to those mechanics.

          • gwathdring says:

            Edit: Should read “The concept the jargon represents still applies whether or not […]

          • treat says:

            I think he’s referring to the class-based, MOBAesque style of Overwatch, not necessarily the presence of meta-strategy.

          • gwathdring says:

            The OP literally said leave out all the meta crap, and the post that replied to me after that talked about getting rid of all the people who care about winning so I’m not sure where you’re getting that from. Neither of those really have anything to do with having classes with special abilities.

          • April March says:

            I still mantain that there would be no meta if there were no players primarily focused in winning. Sure, some strategies would be optimal, and some counter-strategies would emerge, but this would happen so slowly and organically that no one would need to ‘pay attention to meta’ to be succesful. There would be a meta in such a game in the same way that there is motion in the continents.

            However, since even casual players care about winning and do pursue dominant strategies, that’s not what happens.

  5. Spuzzell says:

    Oh good, another shooter.

    Has anyone thought about doing one in the style of the Japanese film Battle Royale?

    That would be a concept I can’t ever see getting overplayed and tired.

    • int says:

      Or the book Lord of the Flies. Play as Piggy for the extreme challenge: you’re slower, a bigger target and if you lose your glasses–which will absolutely happen–your vision is blurred permanently or until you find them again. Good luck!

    • Rindan says:

      It’s good to see that you are all fired up to whine before knowing anything beyond the fact that it will be first person and probably involve projectile weapons. Everyone knows that the first person point of view and weapons is for uncultured plebs.

  6. Eawyne says:

    What was that game again that got scrapped when it was almost finished ? Starcraft Ghost ? It looked so good at the time…

    • bacon seeker says:

      The first thing I thought when I saw this headline was “Maybe they’re resurrecting Starcraft Ghost!” But unfortunately I don’t think single-player is really Blizzard’s thing anymore

  7. shagen454 says:

    My bet is on a Starcraft tactical shooter. I think Blizz learned from Overwatch that a new IP could be disastrous, they’re going to continue playing it safe.

    • LexW1 says:

      ” I think Blizz learned from Overwatch that a new IP could be disastrous, they’re going to continue playing it safe.”

      ??!?!?!?!?

      Man what? Disastrously high sales or something? Overwatch has shat all over Starcraft 2, for example, for sales. Am I missing a joke? Are you confusing Project Titan and Overwatch? But that doesn’t make any sense.

    • Rindan says:

      If by “disaster” you mean “makes money hand over fist and is very popular”, then sure, Overwatch was and continues to be a real disaster that I am sure they will learn from.

    • fray_bentos says:

      So many sarcasm failures in response to this comment.

      • LexW1 says:

        Is he being sarcastic? I’ll believe it when I hear it from him. It’s 100% within the range for a normal “Dumb Blizzard fanboy who hates Overwatch (possibly because it has non-sexy girls and black people in it)” range to believe Overwatch was a “disaster”.

        Perfect trolling is indistinguishable from being a complete idiot.

        • Nevard says:

          Implying that any of the Overwatch characters who were women aren’t designed to be sexy is taking it a little far imo.
          There’s a reason they would all fit into vaguely the same figurine mold while the male characters undoubtedly wouldn’t.

          Unless you’re talking about Orisa the two year old robot centaur as their “not a pinup” representation?
          It’s not Ana, they made absolutely sure to provide a sexy young skin for her asap.

          • Sargonite says:

            You’ve got a good point, but presumably they’re talking about characters like Zarya or Tracer or Mei who may certainly be attractive to people but don’t fit the traditional hourglass physique. Moira could possibly be added to the list as well. I can imagine a certain type of fanboy getting upset about those character designs.

            Still, yeah, lots of pinup-looking physiques in the Overwatch cast.

          • Nevard says:

            Zarya and Mei I could see where you are coming from but what is Tracer doing on that list?
            She’s as traditional a female mascot character as they come, complete with ass-hugging spandex pants.
            Yeah she’s gay but that has little to do with her character design and how it was made to appeal to dudes.

    • shagen454 says:

      Lol, no I was serious – the amount Blizz spent on the new IP Overwatch that was supposed to be another MMO. They spent shitloads of money and time to make it into team shooter FPS and scrapping an entire game & years of development cycles. There’s a documentary Blizz put out that talks all about it.

  8. voidmind says:

    An MMOFPS please

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    phuzz says:

    Maybe the job advert is for someone to work on Overwatch? Perhaps the current lead dev is leaving or something?

    • LinusWP says:

      That’s highly unlikely since it says “unannounced project” – why would they not say that it is about Overwatch?

  10. MiniMatt says:

    Diablo with guns, aka Hellgate London 2 would be wonderful, but I guess it’s not going to be that.

    • DefinitelyNotHans says:

      Well, no. That wasn’t even a Blizzard game.

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      I also thought of Hellgate London when the words “Diablo with guns” were mentioned, but that was only made by former Blizzard staff, like Bill Roper and David Brevik at Flagship Studios (which shut down almost ten years ago). It got a lot of bad/meh ratings, but I think it might be better than that. Hard to come by now except ebay and Amazon, so not gonna waste any effort on getting it.

  11. Sabotage00 says:

    I follow some of the Blizzard artists on Facebook, and one specifically mentioned this as a posting for working on Overwatch weapons.

    However they’ve been known to spread misinformation before :)

  12. brucethemoose says:

    Whatever it WAS, this gane is now a battle arena shooter. It’s early enough in development to switch gears.

    I would love a true MMOFPS ala PlanetSide 2. But that’s literally impossible, as there’s no way it wouldn’t turn into a plunkbat clone now.

    • MiniMatt says:

      I remain perpetually bemused that more haven’t attempted the Planetside “massive fps” model. Latency/hit detection issues implied by the model seemed, if not solved, addressed well enough and that was half a decade ago.

      Small team v team matches always felt more vulnerable to that one dipshit who has strong views. Whereas “massive” allowed one to find a happy little community of giraffe-patterned purple spandex wearing laser pewing friends.

      • brucethemoose says:

        Yeah, there are SO many matchmaking and general problems the Planetman model solves.

        I think having that much FPS action on a giant map is just harder to implement than we give SOE/Daybreak credit for. People endlessly complain about the bugs, but honestly its a miracle PS2 runs at all.

  13. Skabooga says:

    At last! The long-awaited sequel to Blackthorne!

    • Bruldin says:

      Oh, yes please! A hard-boiled, heavy metal, shotgun spectacular. I know that Blizzard are remarkably good at reading the marketplace and will likely do what they’ve done before: take something that’s already popular and refine it.

      But is it too much to hope for some kind of bizarre misreading? If this is going to be an FPS, why not a frantic, 90s-era bullethell shooter, a la Serious Sam? Throw in some procedural generation, why not? Please?

  14. geldonyetich says:

    Blizzard has a bit of a business model built around finding the most popular mousetrap and then straight up make the best, canceling if it’s anything but, thereby preserving their reputation as the company that can do no wrong.

    In the current climate, I only have to look at the top of the Twitch streams and Steam charts to see what that mousetrap is. It’s Plunkbat and it’s many clones. They will take a stab at it. If it is anything less than stellar it will be vaporware.

    But why pretend I can see the future? The future loves to prove me wrong. Blizzard might try making something original. It’s only been 20 years or so.

    • LexW1 says:

      I don’t think it’ll be Battle Royale simply because it is too late in that fad’s life-cycle, and will be too early for another cycle if it came out in say, 3-4 years.

      As for Overwatch, it wasn’t a very popular mousetrap at the time they built it, let’s not pretend TF2 was some huge deal by then. It was increasingly forgotten and neglected, and none of the other team/class-based shooters that had come out were doing particularly amazing business.

      So claiming it was “the most popular mousetrap” is a bit weird. That would have been something like CoD at the time it was being developed. In fact the only game where that’s even arguably true is Warcraft, so you sort of have a data set where one point agrees with you and none of the others really do. Though most governments would think that was fine to make claims about so I suppose there’s that.

      EDIT – Okay there is also HotS, so two data points. I forgot that even existed.

      • Nelyeth says:

        Hearthstone? I remember there being a bunch of popular card games before Hearthstone released (I forgot most of their names, though I remember playing Duel of Champions), completely crushing them all.

        Then again, I guess the whole “Blizzard likes to copy things” trope stems from the fact that nothing they do is ever groundbreaking. All of their games are textbook examples of genres that have been shown to work already, with tons upon tons of polish, and easier access in order to appeal to new players. Nothing wrong with that, but they’re not known to be risk-takers.

      • geldonyetich says:

        I could look at both TF2 and Fortnite as being tempting targets to try to best from Blizzard’s perspective at the time.

        TF2 specifically because it was so old, and thus vulnerable to a hot new product to meaningfully interject itself. It was still quite popular, even if it was old. It was a good gambit of Blizzard’s, as Overwatch was certainly successful. A lot of other companies smelled the blood in the water too, there was a fair slew of characterization-centric FPS around that same time, many of which ended up MOBAs.

        Fortnite as being technically better than Plunkbat, but still a whole lot less technically advanced as Overwatch, and so Blizzard can look at its success as an indicator it’s ripe for the picking.

        On top of that, I think the genre has been around long enough that they can feel its’ more than a passing fad. (Which boggles me, since I don’t know why people aren’t sick of tactless free for all scenarios yet…)

        So I guess I should revise my initial assertion that Blizzard just pounces on better mousetraps, and say they also take a good estimate on how likely the audience is to accept a replacement.

        They also have a massive home field advantage of a huge Blizzard fanbase to roll into any game they put out, at least initially. Those fans don’t really care of the game is original or not, they just want it to be reliably good, which Blizzard has a downhill fight to deliver by improving a tried and true formula.

        Of course, I’m not saying I can see the future and say the new Blizzard FPS will definitely be Plunkbat. But I could see how Blizzard being Blizzard makes it quite likely. I also stand by my prediction it’ll be vaporware if they don’t think it’s good enough.

    • Merus says:

      That’s not quite true, though; Blizzard’s business model is to take a genre that’s a little clunky and apply tons of polish, even if it sands off some of the interesting burrs. Plunkbat fits right in with Dune 2, Rogue, Everquest, Magic, DOTA and Team Fortress; the problem is that the more polished, streamlined version of Plunkbat already exists and it’s called Fortnite Battle Royale.

      • geldonyetich says:

        Fortnite Battle Royale is definitely more polished than Plunkbat, but that was a relatively low bar, Plunkbat was a cobbled mess of DayZ proportions.

        I’d say Blizzard could do a significantly more polished version of Fortnite Battle Royale, just comparing it to Overwatch quality. (And still not really replaced, judging by how there’s still about half as many people watching people play Plunkbat as there is Fortnite.)

        Chances are, Blizzard would think that too; by Blizzard-game standards, Fornite’s plenty clunky and susceptible usurping with a good polishing. They’ll likely be aiming to take what’s left of Plunkbat’s thunder, too.

  15. skipgamer says:

    Starcraft: Ghost was Allen Adham’s baby. I’ve been expecting an FPS in the Starcraft world since his return.

  16. Admore says:

    To jump off the PlunkNite train – it’s a game that is designed from the ground up for esports. Instead of “this is a very popular competitive team game so it will be a new esport category” the thinking will be “It’s a Blizzard game, so it’ll be popular, and it is meant and designed to be played competitively at the very highest level.” What that entails exactly I don’t know. I imagine it is something that blunts the “perfect execution of the one true tactic”. The standardization of tactics leads to very samey esports play. A game that rewards wildly different approaches, that solves the overwatch problem is bound to be huge. How you do that I have no idea, but I imagine its worth mega zillions to find out if it can be done.

    Blizzard isn’t going to polish battle royale stuff until it sees if it has any real staying power. They play the long game. Long term fixing esports is a big prize.

  17. Jernau Gurgeh says:

    World of Warcraft FPS*, anyone?

    * first person spellchucker

  18. Chrithu says:

    I would LOVE to see a FPS/RTS mix in the Starcraft Universe.

    Knowing Blizzard and their ambition and perfectionism I do not quite believe it will be another Battle Royale game though.

  19. MrEvilGuy says:

    You are all wrong. They’re anticipating Valve’s Left 4 Dead 3 and countering it with their own Vermintide style game, only with a focus on PvP versus mode.

  20. dontnormally says:

    This must be Warcraft 4.

  21. popej says:

    Have blizzard made a MOBA yet? (I appreciate the genre began as a mod of their game)

    That’d fit the definition in the job advertisement wouldn’t it? It’s also blizzards kinda thing, where they create insufferable characters with back stories, and make more money than they deserve.

  22. mitrovarr says:

    My guess is a PvE focused expansion for Overwatch. Everyone loves the PvE events.

  23. N00w says:

    Should be a really good story driven game like half life with multiplayer possibility.dark fantasy is always good

  24. MazokuRanma says:

    I mean, I still have money earmarked and set aside for Starcraft: Ghost.

    I’d also be up for a full campaign mode for Overwatch, though I think that’s much less likely.

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