With the huge $68.7 billion Microsoft bid to buy Activision Blizzard, Blizzard has been making the news rounds a lot lately. But their latest announcement is bound to be a lot more exciting for gamers rather than shareholders. Blizzard is gearing up to make their first brand new IP since releasing the massive online hero-shooter hit Overwatch.
According to the tweet from Blizzard, they’re hiring for a brand new AAA survival game set in a new universe. So basically, our knowledge of the game is that it’s not based on properties Blizzard already has, it’s a game in the survival genre, and it’s currently starting development. Not a lot to go off of, but any Blizzard release is going to be exciting.
This survival game isn’t the only pan Blizzard has in the fire, as they’re currently working on a new entry in the Diablo franchise and the sequel to Overwatch. But fans will already be familiar with these worlds. This is going to be new to everyone, and we get the smallest glimpse of what we can expect from some initial concept art for the project. Let’s take a look at each piece.
First, we have this artwork that Blizzard released alongside their Tweet announcing the game. This piece of artwork looks like some of the familiar fantasy lands we’ve seen in Blizzard’s seminal World of Warcraft franchise. The image depicts a lone hunter or warrior of sorts. The figure is adorned in an animal skull helmet and a pelt cape. A tooth necklace from some sort of predator encircles their neck and they wield an ax, quiver, and hunting knife of some sort. They appear to be tracking the footprints of something or someone. A mirror also hangs on a dilapidated stone wall.
The second piece of artwork from Blizzard depicts what might be the world on the other side of that mirror. In this art, we see what appears to be two young teens in a more modern setting. In the distance, we can see a modern city just beyond the woods they rode their bike through. They’re also standing in front of what appears to be a portal to the world we see the hunter in. The vibrant fantasy landscapes and the more ancient architecture of the distant castle make it seem like they’ve discovered the way to the past or perhaps another world. This indicates that there may or may not be time travel or realm traversal in this game.
Due to the long development cycle of AAA games like these and the increased pressure to reduce crunch in the industry, it will likely be a little while before we see more from this game. Needless to say, the Microsoft acquisition of Activision Blizzard will likely be a done deal by then. It will be interesting to see how that might affect the release or if Microsoft is going to take a more hands-off approach with their newly acquired intellectual properties. Stay tuned and we’ll update you when we find out more about this game.