Blizzard Working on a Genre They’ve Never Done Before; Project Led by Former WoW Director Tom Chilton
Today is BlizzCon day. The annual Blizzard fan celebration event will take place over the weekend at the Anaheim Convention Center in California and fans are expecting at least a few exciting announcements (mostly surrounding the Diablo IP).
Speaking with GamesBeat ahead of the event, new president J. Allen Brack (who was promoted after Mike Morhaime decided to step down earlier this month) briefly mentioned that Tom Chilton's new project, the one he left World of Warcraft for back in late 2016, is something Blizzard has never done before.
You have to decide how you want to invest. We have a lot of different senior game developers who have a lot of different interests in a lot of different genres. Tom Chilton worked on WoW for more than 13 years. He and I, in my old job, started up a new project that was not something like Blizzard has ever done before. He’s passionate about it. He plays that genre of game very deeply. He understands it, he’s excited about it, and we want to help him do that.
Looking back into Blizzard's catalog since its foundation, the company made action RPG games (Diablo), strategy games (Warcraft, Starcraft), MMORPG (World of Warcraft), digital card games (Hearthstone) and FPS games (Overwatch). Unless they are doing something completely out of left field like a fighting game or a racing game, there's a good bet to be made that the project could be in the action/adventure genre that is arguably the most popular one at this time.
As to the setting, though, it's most likely going to be one of the existing Blizzard IPs. Later in the interview, Brack mentioned how the company strongly believes there can be lots of different games using the lore and characters of their IPs.
Going back to this theme of Blizzard as bigger than all of us, it’s to make sure that the games and the franchises and the characters and the IP we’ve been able to create continue. We think about a lot of the different IP that we have. We feel like there are lots of different games that can exist in each of those IPs. We feel like there’s a lot of characters and fertile territory for new types of experiences.
Take Overwatch as the most recent IP we’ve released. We think of Overwatch, a game that everyone knows today, as being a very small part of what the Overwatch ecosystem could be. We think that’s true for all of our games. If you think about Warcraft III and World of Warcraft, those are very different gaming experiences. They appeal to different people. But there’s a lot of the same story, characters, and lore.
Continuing that forward in an awesome, healthy way is number one. Blizzard is very much known for making great games. It’s ready when it’s ready.
In all likelihood, the project led by Tom Chilton won't be revealed or even announced at this year's BlizzCon. The studio is known to take its time developing titles, after all. Still, we'll keep an eye out on any potential info, small as it may be.