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Posts with tag next-gen

Jeff Kaplan leaving World of Warcraft

Jeff Kaplan In a surprise announcement this afternoon, World of Warcraft's Game Director Jeff Kaplan (whom you may know from the forums as "Tigole," and whom those of you with a longer memory may remember as the guild leader of Legacy of Steel back in the EverQuest days) is leaving the WoW team to work on a their unannounced MMO. (What this means for how far along that project is it's hard to say -- are they perhaps bringing in a solid game designer because they're just now getting things started? Or to polish off the finishing touches?) Says Kaplan of his time with the World of Warcraft team:

I wanted to take a moment to let the community know that I've switched roles here at Blizzard to work on our upcoming, unannounced MMO. World of Warcraft has been such a central part of my life these past six and a half years, and it's success would not have been possible without the tremendous community around it, so I wanted to say thank you to all our players who've shared this amazing experience with us so far.

World of Warcraft isn't going anywhere, however, as the rest of the team is remaining in place, including Kaplan's "partners in crime" Tom Chilton and J. Allen Brack.

Mr. Kaplan, while we haven't always agreed with you, we'll certainly miss having you around. And, since you're going, we have to ask... can we have your stuff?

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Blizzard's black ops title, and why it's a long way off


Our good friends at BigDownload have just posted a nice in-depth feature about all the "black ops" PC games being worked on -- that is, games that are being developed in secret by developers who haven't yet officially announced them. There are quite a few would-be WoW competitors on the list (BioWare's MMO is on there, which I like to think I officially uncovered, and unnamed MMOs from John Romero's Slipgate Ironworks, 38 Studios, and Bethesda's parent Zenimax Media are on there as well). But of course the biggest title on the list is also the most mysterious: we know that Blizzard is working on a "next-gen MMO," but we don't know thing one about it.

As with all of this "black ops" stuff, there's not too much to get excited about yet -- the reason these companies haven't officially announced any of these games is not only because their release is likely years off, but companies will very often develop games that they don't end up releasing at all (case in point, as Blizzard fans well know). So the reason we don't know anything about Blizzard's next MMO is because Blizzard likely doesn't know anything about it yet either -- will it be a successor to World of Warcraft, a much-awaited Starcraft MMO, or a completely new IP from the company that has conquered the MMO genre? Odds are that right now they're working on engine and code mechanics, and the final form that the project will take is just a gleam in a Blizzard employee's eye.

Still, it's fun to dream, isn't it? With the coming release of Wrath (and Diablo III and Starcraft II coming into focus), we've got plenty of Blizzard games to look forward to as it is.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard

World of Starcraft could still be the next-gen MMO

Arena Junkies picked up an interesting tidbit by comparing two different interviews. Rob Pardo, Blizzard's EVP of Game Design, gave an interview to Onlinewelten in which he talks about the next-gen MMO. That interview isn't exactly news on its own. We knew since Diablo III was announced at the WWI that it probably isn't the new MMO, and Pardo confirms that in the interview. "..Diablo 3 isn't an MMO," Pardo says, "So we have another development team."

But what is that new MMO being developed? Some speculate it could be an entirely new property. Well, Paul Sams, Blizzard's Chief Operating Officer, has an interview with Gamasutra that indicates no new IPs are coming soon. "Are we ever going to release a new [franchise]?" Sams says, "I would absolutely say we will at some point. I just don't know when that day will be quite yet."

Okay, so Blizzard's still working on a MMO, but there's no new IP on the horizon. So, what's the next-gen MMO going to be? World of Warcraft 2? World of Starcraft? And if Diablo 3 isn't considered an MMO, then is there a possibility of a World of Diablo? For me, this just means that my hopes of Tauren Marines aren't yet dead.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Blizzard's "Next-Gen MMO" project continues


Back in April we noticed that Blizzard had some interesting job openings on their web site. Specifically, they were looking for Lead Engine Programmer, a Lead Tools Programmer, and a Lead Technical Artist, all for what was only identified as a "Next-Gen MMO." And while we have no official news from Blizzard, we can follow this mystery game's development by keeping an eye on the job opportunities available at Blizzard. Recently, they've started looking for a Senior Graphics Programmer, a Senior Tools Programmer, a Lead 3D Character Artist, and a Lead 3D Environment Artist for their "Next-Gen MMO." (Hydra?) Whatever the project is, its development must be progressing as the team grows.

[Thanks, minimoose!]

Filed under: Blizzard

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