Although the details may be scarce Blizzard has confirmed they are developing a new massively multiplayer rpg based on a completely new intellectual property. This confirmation is significant as Blizzard is finally branching away from their backbone franchises, Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo. The news was confirmed by Blizzard community manager Zarhym on the World of Warcraft forums where he stated, “We’ve already stated it’ll be a brand new franchise, which means the lore, art, and game play are being developed entirely from scratch,”. Zerhym stated the new MMO was being tested using the World of Warcraft engine and was currently a “shell of a game thus far.”
Blizzard’s announcement today has all but eliminated the likely hood of a massively multiplayer rpg based on the Starcraft universe. Due to the fact the Starcraft franchise had a developed story line and there was a relative lack of extremely successfull science fiction based MMOs, it was a potential candidate for being turned in to another Blizzard managed MMO. Another factor reducing the likely hood of a Starcraft MMO is the upcoming release of Starcraft 2 which is the sequel to one of the longest running most successfull real time strategy games of all time.
Rumors of Blizzard’s new MMO were surfacing back in February of this year when Jeff Kaplan a lead game designer at Blizzard was assigned to the project. Kaplan stated, “I wanted to take a moment to let the community know that I’ve switched roles here at Blizzard to work on our upcoming, unannounced MMO … When all is said and done, WoW is still my favorite game. I play it every day. None of that passion is gone. If anything, it fuels the challenge of making our next MMO even better.”