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9-11-2007 @ 1:24PM
I would tend to believe that it's a MMO'ish project, since they've kind of hinted at expanded MMO inclinations in the past. It's been a goldmine for them, now that they have the technical kinks worked out.The profit potential from a fresh MMO is simply a magnitude above anything else they can produce.Also, the development lead time is years. In order to create a strong foundation for a future MMO, you have to start planning 4-5 years ahead of launch to build a creative framework that can be filled out by artists and code monkeys in the final 3 years of development. It saves money: a small team working steadily ahead of time to nail down the universe and gameplay specifics is equivalent to 30-40 mil of late-cycle development cash. It allows you to be more ambitious and provide richer gameplay on an efficient budget.I'm thinking that it's probably a Starcraft MMO. Blizzard has a model to follow: Warcraft III establishes the stage, creates epic characters, lore, and an overarching conflict for World of Warcraft to fulfill.Of course they could do Diablo, an older game but very well respected. But it's been pointed out correctly that the key Diablo team is gone now. Blizz owns the IP, they could exploit it, but that would be spitting in the faces of people they still remember very well. This is probably why Diablo was a no-show at Blizzcon.Maybe they hope for some sort of creative reconciliation. They're afraid that if they tried to do a Diablo product now, it wouldn't feel like Diablo at all.No. Tearing the company in three directions would be utterly stupid, and Blizzard isn't stupid. They will "leverage their synergies" (ack, buzzword poisoning!) and put an MMO team to work expanding the Starcraft universe while the core RTS team builds a winning RTS game.
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