Over at MMOCrunch, Geoff is asking if Diablo 3 will be announced soon.
It’s a fair question given that Blizzard recently purchased the Diablo 3 domain name from the fan group was using it as a fan site pushing for Diablo 3. The purchase as I understand it was amicable, no lawyers involved, though I’m not sure what Blizzard paid for the domain. (BTW, even though I’ve linked to the domain, it’s currently not working for me; again my understanding is that there is a site there.)
I think an even better question is: will Diablo 3 be Blizzards new MMORPG?
- Blizzard is working on a new MMORPG. This was announced a few months ago, and a look at their job postings shows a number of Top Secret Next-Gen MMO opportunities.
- Starcraft 2 is close(?) to release. Close with Blizzard is a relative term, but I expect they’ll want to hit the Christmas season with Starcraft 2.
- Blizzard really only have three intellectual properties; Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo.
- We haven’t heard a peep about Diablo 3 before now;
I believe that D3 is the likely candidate here.
With Starcraft 2 still being in development, it’s unlikely they’ll want to dilute sales with a MMO. Don’t forget that the original Starcraft is still a hot property in Korea some ten years after the game was released. A MMORPG released even a year or two after SC2 may hurt that game.
Diablo 2s online component was getting close to a MMORPG, perhaps without as much of the Massive that a real MMO has. It makes a lot of sense that the game mechanics of Diablo 2 could be extended into a full MMORPG without too much hassle. Of course, modern MMO mechanics would have to be added to make the game acceptable to modern MMOers.
Of course I could be wrong. Blizzard could be developing a completely new IP for their new MMORPG. Or, they could be working on World of Warcraft 2, but I really doubt that.
I think Diablo 3 Online is the likely scenario.