Is Diablo 3 Blizzards New MMORPG?

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?

Considering that:

  • 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.


  1. Hudson

    I dont think this will be an MMO, its fantasy and too much like WoW. I think they are going to aim for science fiction since that market sucks

  2. Stropp (Post author)

    Maybe. If it is, I don’t think it will be Starcraft though. It’s possible Blizzard will create a new IP, but with the merger with Activision it’s also possible they’ll use one of Activision’s old properties. And that would cement the relationship between the two companies.

    I still think Diablo is the most likely candidate though. You’re right about the similarities with WoW. It’s ironic that WoW uses some of the D2 concepts in its design. Would that stop a reciprocal development?

  3. Hudson

    I just think people would be hesistant to stop WoW and head over to a new MMO that has basically the same loot and grouping concepts, and nearly identical fantasy world. Plus I think that the Diablo universe is really a lot like Conan’s.

  4. Stropp (Post author)

    Maybe. I guess it depends on what Blizzard has planned for WoW. Tobold has an interesting post today about the sustainability of WoW. It might be that they are looking seriously at the next game as a true successor and will wind down on WoW. On the other hand, the old cliche about a bird in the hand applies too.

    Good point about the similarity between Diablo and Conan. But that might also be a reason to do Diablo Online (or whatever.) Competition.

  5. Diablo 3

    well at some point i think a diablo mmo is coming

  6. Stropp (Post author)

    Hi Diablo 3. I think you are correct in saying that we’ll see a Diablo MMO at some point. The question is sooner or later?

    I also think that D3 will be focussed a lot more on multiplayer than D2 was with Battlenet. It’s entirely possible that it will be more like Mythos or Guild Wars.

  7. Callmeanidoit

    I think that another wow is a dumb idea, but combining some cocepts might be good, such as instead of being a website type thing, it could be a city, and dungeon jumping could be interrupted by a visit to the town to get some new skills or items.

  8. Matt

    I Have Heard That There Will Be 7 WoW Expansions

  9. Stropp (Post author)

    Hi Matt, possibly, but at the rate Blizz delivers expansions, the last of those will be around 2018.

    My guess is that they have a storyline for seven expansions. It’s also a good guess that WoW will be around long enough to release them too!

  10. Max

    Guys!!! It’s an April Fool’s Joke, how can NOBODY post anything about this? It’s the 27th of March at the moment, obviously information will come out in 5 days and it’ll get hyped then they’ll get you all.

  11. Stropp (Post author)

    @Max — not sure where you get April fools from, this has been going on for quite a while, just look at the date on this post!

  12. alex

    i just want either SC2 or D3 to come out already

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