Blizzard, the studio behind Overwatch, Diablo and World of Warcraft, is getting into a new genre with the announcement that it’s working on a survival game. It seems the project is in the early stages of development, so don’t expect a finished product (or even a splashy trailer) any time soon, but it’s notable that the publisher is playing around with fresh mechanics and new worlds.
Blizzard’s job post about the survival game says it 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.” So, yeah, they’re keeping things vague for now.
The studio has confirmed one detail about the project: It’ll be available on “PC and console.” It’s hard to say if the use of the singular “console” is prophetic — after all, Microsoft just announced plans to purchase Activision Blizzard, and the cross-platform future of its games is uncertain. Operating as a subsidiary of Microsoft, it’s possible that Blizzard would build a game just for Xbox consoles, leaving PlayStation and Switch players in the lurch.
It’ll likely be at least a year before we hear platform details and concrete information about the game, but Blizzard is looking to hire a handful of people in art, design and engineering to fill out the team.
Activision Blizzard is currently facing a lawsuit and several investigations into allegations of systemic gender discrimination and sexual harassment at the studio, where CEO Bobby Kotick has been in charge for the past 30 years. One Blizzard employee went public with her experience, saying she was “subjected to rude comments about [her] body, unwanted sexual advances, inappropriately touched, subjected to alcohol-infused team events and cube crawls, invited to have casual sex with [her] supervisors, and surrounded by a frat-boy culture that’s detrimental to women.”
Blizzard head Mike Ybarra last week promised to rebuild trust in the studio and establish “a safe, inclusive and creative work environment” as it transitions to Microsoft’s roster.