Blizzard’s New MMORPG Will Be A New IP

I doubt that Blizzard’s next MMORPG will be either Starcraft or Diablo. It’s always been at the back of my mind that perhaps they will use these properties, but there are a couple of factors at play here.

  1. Both Starcraft and Diablo have sequels in development. In the case of Starcraft 2, Blizzard has announced a 3 part release schedule which puts the release of the last game in 2012 or later. Diablo 3 will be released sometime in 2010 or thereafter.
  2. While Blizzard doesn’t really come up with new IPs very often, it’s probably past due. Kinda like a meteor impact or Yellowstone exploding, it might not be next week but it will happen eventually. It could be time for Blizzard to come up with a new IP. It’s certainly past due.
  3. Or, Blizzard could use someone else’s IP. I imagine the big wigs on the top floor of Blizzard Central receive daily calls from Hollywood producers keen to get their next movie made into a MMORPG. It has to be better than a single player version of their movie, right?

I strongly doubt that either Diablo or Starcraft will be the subjects of the new game. Diablo is too similar to WoW in too many ways, and will be too much of a competitor. I’d think Blizzard would want to open up new subscriptions, not take from World of Warcraft.

Starcraft on the other hand would offer a different experience, but could still steal WoW subs. But the problem here is that Starcraft 2 is still in active development and will be for years to come. I doubt Blizzard want to jeopardize that.

Using a Hollywood, or perhaps a book, intellectual property for the next game is, I think, also unlikely. Blizzard do tend to be a go-it-alone sort of company, and using someone else’s IP puts on them all sorts of constraints. Just look at LotRO. Turbine was restricted heavily to what they could do with the Lord of the Rings universe. I doubt Blizzard would want such encumbrances.

Any third-party IP owner would have to be willing to let Blizzard have a lot more creative control than is normally the case for this sort of arrangement. This makes a Blizzard-foreign IP MMORPG a low chance of happening.

My feeling is that Blizzard’s new MMORPG will be an original wholly owned property created by Blizzard.

19 Comments

  1. Pitrelli

    Id like to see them make a superhero MMORPG, Im aware DC Online and Champions are in the pipeline/close to release however I’ve no doubt these will be more like city of heroes than WoW. Another possibility would be a sci fi mmo possibly like tab rass but with alot more content. hmmmmmm

  2. Ysharros

    Not to mention the fact that using someone else’s IP means less revenue for Blizzard. 😀

  3. Stropp (Post author)

    @Pitrelli — A Blizzard superhero MMORPG might be very interesting. It might be hard for Blizzard to compete against DC though. CoH did okay with a generic superhero game, but I think even they will find it hard to compete against Superman, the Bat, and Wonderwoman.

    @Ysharros — Good point. I hadn’t thought of that aspect. Blizzard are big enough to not want to share.

  4. Pingback: Don’t Fear the Mutant » Blog Archive » I’m in your game, stealing your subs

  5. Jdog

    @Stropp – Even if DC Online is good, it’s not like you’d be able to pick the Justice League anyways.. You’d most likely have to make a brand new super hero and just rise to the justice league ranks. So if Blizz did make an attempt at superheros I don’t really think they’d have it hard at all.. besides, it seems “heros” are a dime a dozen nowadays..

    As for diablo 3, the rumor now is that it’s going to come out Sept. 9, 2009. There has been speculation that diablo 3 could in fact, be the new MMO..

    Either way it’ll still be gold if it’s a game from Blizzard.

  6. Odissonance

    What about an MMO Based on fact, rather than fiction? That would draw very different crouds from any of the games blizzard has published so far.

  7. Stropp (Post author)

    @Jdog — I didn’t actually mean that a player would be able to play as Superman and friends. I meant that competing with an established franchise with all these well known names would be hard. I expect that in the DC game, players would meet up with Superman. If Blizzard did a generic MMO, all they could hope to do is meet with SuperGenericGuy.

    Interesting rumour about the D3 I hope it’s true. I think the speculation is off base though. While Blizzard tend to play their cards close, if the release is that close, we’d know by now if it was a MMORPG or not.

    @Odissonance — That would be an interesting idea, and in fact there is some precedent. World War 2 Online was in a non fictional setting. There would still be some fiction needed though, in order to tell the ‘small story.’

  8. James

    You lot do have a great imagination… You never know that your text maybe the only reason why Blizzard isn’t sharing any thoughts because you are catching on and trying to learn what they are creating…. Just leave them alone and play the usual game you play. Time will tell.

  9. James

    I’m a 16 year old and I’m just waiting until I can be old enough to join in on a MMO drawing contest..
    Also time will tell, right?

  10. Anonymous

    Diablo 3 will be released sometime in 2010 or thereafter.

    wrong its being released before the end of the year pker

  11. Stropp (Post author)

    @Anonymous — so far I haven’t seen any release date announced that isn’t more than wishful thinking or simple rumour.

    As much as I’d love to see D3 released by the end of the year, if Blizzard haven’t announced a date by end of June I’m not sure that will happen. You’ve got to remember Blizzards policy of when it’s done. They don’t rush things.

  12. Drantik

    As far as the release date for D3 goes, I’d tend to agree with Stropp. Blizzard has no reason to rush any of their projects. With Blizzard’s outrageous revenue generated from WoW, Blizzard has the ability to push back development time as much as needed to create that polished game that they like to release. This is a good thing.

  13. turbo

    I’d like to see a ‘good’ sci-fi mmo.

  14. Zokene

    Guys i think we need to look back, yes to vanillia wow also known as pre tbc for those who has not gotten their chance to play in 40 man raid, these GOD’s who made World of Warcraft designed the game for hardcore players, but know wow is getting more and more child friendly, maybe blizz wants the kids to stay too wow , while the more hardcore gamers that are really looking for a challenge are getting a new game more hardcore mor vanillia wow’ish i think blizz have seen the truth about their game it SUXX, those game developers who made vanillia wow is not the same that made the tbc or wotlk. if you dont belive me read the endtext of tbc and wotlk.

  15. Lars Erik

    I am just going to point out that Diablo where released in 1996 and Diablo 2 in 2000, WoW came out a couple years later in 2004.
    And WoW is based on Warcraft Orcs & Humans released in 1994, Diablo is too similar to WoW?

    I don’t know about Diablo being like WoW but Diablo 2 is far from anything like WoW.

    But any way one more thing they where all created by Blizzard or owned by them so there is no stealing from the games as far as i know.

    WoW where a copy of Warcraft but that’s all good since they can do what ever they want with the stuff they own.

  16. Muahahah

    Um… Avatar the MMORPG by Blizz?

    xD

  17. 86d

    In response to first post the super hero game market is basically owned with City of heros, city of villains.

    And gamespot.com made an announcement months ago saying that blizzard said the game was not based on any of their preexisting universes (only referring to diablo, warcraft, and starcraft)

    It is almost undoubtedly a space game, but space like stargate worlds or star trek or fantasy star online? it remains to be seen

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  19. Birthday00

    What about more of an EQ1 with aspects like building your own house/guild city. Where it takes hours to get from one end of the map to the other so it actually means something when you get there. Give some toons special skills like porting and runspeed so people rely on each other, (uh huh). This makes guilds actually MEAN something.

    Today’s MMO look like Congress where everyone does everything and no one is unique.

    Take Darkfall for instance. Take away looting all my gear and ganking, add a better control scheme and you might actually of had a game than competed with today’s market.

    You could build HUGE guild ships and sail around shooting cannons at people on the shore! If thats not amazingly fun, idk what is!

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