Overwatch, World of Warcraft, and Diablo developer Blizzard Entertainment has revealed it’s working on a “brand-new survival game” set in a “whole new universe”.
The news comes as Activision Blizzard continues to reel from the shocking allegations it fostered a company culture where sexual harassment, assault, and inappropriate behaviour were able to thrive, with Blizzard Entertainment itself being called a “breeding ground for harassment and discrimination against women” in a State of California lawsuit filed last year.
As the company has continued to face a reckoning over its workplace culture, a number of its flagship titles have seen delays, with the highly anticipated Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4 now not expected to arrive until 2023 at the earliest. It’s in this climate that official word of a new Blizzard Entertainment title, said to be in the “early stages” of development, has arrived.
The announcement, posted on Blizzard’s website, is primarily focused on attracting new talent to the studio in order to work on the project, and, as such, remains extremely light on detail. “Blizzard is embarking on our next quest,” the post reads. “We are going on a journey to a whole new universe, home to a brand-new survival game for PC and console.”
This universe, the post continues, will be, “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.” An accompanying piece of concept art shows two teenagers stumbling upon a passage leading away from their dreary urban home to a verdant fantasy world.
Blizzard is hiring to fill a number of positions across its Art, Design, and Engineering teams as part of the new project, and says it’s looking to create a “diverse team of developers willing to lend their voices, to listen and to be heard” – a notable goal given the extremely disturbing reports surrounding its workplace culture that have continued to emerge since last summer, but one that tallies with talk from senior executives insisting that change is coming.
If Blizzard Entertainment’s new project reaches fruition, it’ll be the company’s first new IP since the release of Overwatch in 2016. It’ll likely also be company’s first new IP to be released under the stewardship of Microsoft, which announced it was acquiring Activision Blizzard for an eye-watering $70BN last week.