It has been a polarising for fans keeping tabs on the Blizzard camp lately. After a seemingly lacklustre 2018 BlizzCon, WoW’s Battle for Azeroth reception, staff layoffs due to restructuring, HOTS going on life support and that little mobile Diablo announcement that single highhandedly cursed the company harder than it ever had been, albeit temporarily.
However, it isn’t all bad news folks.
Not to join the circle jerk here, but missteps aside, Blizzard are still one of the few gaming companies out there who more often than not consistently release top tier titles that are built for the long haul. This is the company who built a legacy with one of the longest running MMO’s that despite what some might think, is still the dominant king of the castle. These are the guys and gals to thank for MOBA games like League of Legends and Dota thanks to a mod built in Warcraft 3 that paved the way for the genre. And lastly, Esports in general, which thanks to StarCraft put the industry on the map as a legitimate sport and hugely profitable industry.
Blizzard president (and Warcraft veteran) J. Allen Brack recently spoke to Forbes about the state of Blizzard and just what is in the pipeline, it is the complete opposite of the doomsday prophecy and death of PC gaming gaming a lot of people (including myself) had assumed.
Brack goes on to state:
“We can’t wait to share everything we’re working on. We have more games in development right now than we’ve ever had in Blizzard’s history,” said Brack. “That includes core game genres on core platforms like PC and console, in addition to mobile initiatives. And the reason we’re further expanding our focus on our development priorities is because we understand that it’s not enough to just make more—that’s pointless if we’re not holding ourselves to our standards with everything we release.”
Mobile gaming isn’t the death of Blizzard, it is certainly a great way to compliment existing titles or explore new alternatives to the established universes. The rumoured WoW companion app/game that lets you have pet battles on the go like Pokemon GO would be kickass for example. Brack also goes on to talk about how the company handles new IP’s, which Blizzard fans know do not happen often… but for good reason.
It’s always exciting to have a new IP, and there are a lot of reasons to work toward it,” said Brack. “As developers we get excited working on new things for many of the same reasons that players want to play something new. In the end, the most important thing to us is to create something that’s great. A great game experience can happen within a new IP, and it can happen within a longtime favourite. That’s going to continue to be our goal, more than creating a new IP just for its own sake.
With BlizzCon 2019 looming, it will hopefully be a window into (at least a few) of these new things that Blizzard have been working on lately. My money is on some juicy announcements including a slither of Diablo IV news or at least just an official reveal, the next WoW expansion (a given) and something huge in the Overwatch universe.