Blizzard has announced that it is working on a brand new franchise, and has shown off a little about the game in a recruiting effort.
The new game is only being referred to as ‘Unannounced Survival Game’ and details remain light. The title, mechanics, and story are not yet clear, beyond it obviously being a survival game.
On its official website (opens in new tab), Blizzard revealed a bit more about its title, saying: "Blizzard is embarking on our next quest. We are going on a journey to a whole new universe, home to a brand-new survival game for PC and console. A place full of heroes we have yet to meet, stories yet to be told, and adventures yet to be lived. A vast realm of possibility, waiting to be explored.”
Two pieces of artwork accompany the announcement, the most prominent being some kind of ranger with a quasi-futuristic-looking canine helmet. It’s clear the game is meant to be a fantasy title, but it also seems to have smatterings of sci-fi. There is also another image on the announcement page that shows two people from a modern-like setting finding a portal into the fantasy land. That may suggest the franchise features a ‘real world’ representation and will have players passing to the fantasy setting.
The recruitment effort for the game suggests that this title is still some way off, though. The title is looking for key roles such as a Lead Software Engineer, Level Designer, Senior Character Artist and a whole host of other key Art, Design, and Engineering roles. The post itself also references the game being at an “early stage.” Because of that, don’t expect to hear much from the game in the near future.
The new franchise comes at a difficult time
The development of this new franchise is surrounded by many complications and considerations. Chiefly, Blizzard has been the center of heinous accusations and legal action due to an alleged fratboy work culture that led to many women coming out and speaking about their experiences with sexual harassment and discrimination at the company.
It also comes on the heels of Microsoft’s recent proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard. It’s not clear if this will affect the project at all, be it for good or bad, but it’s another moving factor in a troubled time for the company.
However, there are some encouraging signs for the team behind the new franchise. Bloomberg journalist Jason Schreier, who has proven to have reliable insight into Blizzard recently, shared that he had heard nothing but good things about the team and project. In a tweet, he said:
FWIW, even some of the most disgruntled Blizzard employees rave about this game/team https://t.co/4M3xWyJYDQJanuary 25, 2022
An ex-Activision Blizzard producer, Stephanie Krutsick, who has campaigned as part of the #ABetterABK hashtag also said under the announcement tweet:
😍😍😍 MY HUSBAND AND MY FRIEND ARE ON THIS TEAM AND IT IS EXCELLENT AND HAS A CULTURE THAT REPRESENTS THE GROWING POSITIVE FUTURE FOR BLIZZARD 😍😍😍This team has it RIGHT, people. I promise.January 25, 2022
While it’s important to remember this is anecdotal, it seems that signs from inside the company are at least promising in terms of the culture and buzz around the development team behind the title.
Here’s hoping that remains true. Blizzard has a history of taking clunky and tired genres and infusing them with new mainstream life, such as Mobas and Overwatch, World of Warcraft and MMOs, Hearthstone and TCGs. If Blizzard can capture its magic once again, the survival genre seems like the perfect candidate.