things had remained quiet regarding the purported smartphone release until today, when Activision Blizzard announced the development of a new Warcraft game — for smartphones.
Rumors of a Warcraft game for smartphones first appeared in 2017, and after the initial spread and hype, the news died down, and everyone seemed to forget about the game. Additionally, the progressively worsening state of World of Warcraft, the botched 2020 release of Warcraft III: Reforged, and 2021’s Diablo II: Resurrection have only turned the fans’ attention farther from the rumors. As a result, things had remained quiet regarding the purported smartphone release until today, when Activision Blizzard announced the development of a new Warcraft game — for smartphones.
The new Warcraft game is expected to launch on mobile devices sometime this year, bringing new experiences to both mobile gamers and existing World of Warcraft and Hearthstone players. According to Polygon, the details surrounding the purported game are light, to say the least, but Blizzard is apparently working on new content for the Warcraft franchise. The company revealed its plans to launch the mobile game during its quarterly earnings news release that skipped the usual call with investors and analysts. Whether Microsoft’s acquisition of the company has something to do with that remains to be seen.
The only presence of Warcraft on mobile devices has been in Hearthstone, a free-to-play game that launched on iOS and Android devices in 2014. But Hearthstone is a card-collection turn-based game and altogether different from the MMORPG and RTS experience World of Warcraft and Warcraft games have to offer. With that said, Warcraft games already span across several gaming genres, ranging from the previously mentioned MMORPG and RTS games to a tabletop game called Small World of Warcraft. It’s not outside the realm of possibilities for Activision Blizzard to dive into a new gaming genre with their new mobile game.
For example, Activision Blizzard could conceptualize their new Warcraft game as a dungeon-crawler version of World of Warcraft, considering how popular dungeon-crawler MMOs are on mobile devices. This design aligns with the gameplay preview of Diablo Immortal, a Diablo release aimed at mobile devices, which was previously announced in 2018. However, the game was subsequently postponed, following several reports and feedback from a series of technical alpha tests that occurred between December 2020 and the spring of 2021. It’s worth noting that Diablo Immortal’s announcement was panned by the diehards of the franchise, who felt that the smartphones game would only diminish the overall Diablo experience.
As for the new content for the Warcraft franchise, we highly advise the fans to temper their expectations. Blizzard is continuously updating World of Warcraft, especially since the company fell on hard times following sexual harassment lawsuits last year. The lawsuits had a massively detrimental impact on World of Warcraft, and fans massively left the game, most of them in support of Blizzard employees. Activision Blizzard responded by introducing big changes in the game the fans have been dreaming of for years and announced the immediate development of the new patch — Eternity’s End — which would finally pit the players against the ultimate foe of the Warcraft universe and conclude the Shadowlands expansion.
As far as the announced game goes, well, the details are light, and no release date has been revealed. However, considering that Activision Blizzard is looking to retain and expand its player base, the new game will likely see the light of day. Hopefully, it’ll be a good one.