Blizzard Seeks Software Engineer for First-person Unannounced Project

blizzard DiabloA new job posting from Blizard has appeared in their job listings for an unannounced project but not under any of the current game franchises.

We have seen plenty of job postings appear on the listing page in recent months but this one is a little different because it doesn’t come under any of the existing franchises. The two listings for Lead Software Engineer fall under the heading “Unannounced Games/Projects” on the list.

What’s interesting about the post is the job description which states:

Blizzard Entertainment is seeking an experienced engine engineer to work on a robust first-person engine for an unannounced project. The ideal applicant has demonstrated ability to lead a team of engineers to success, has a vision for how a scalable, performant and technically excellent engine should be built, and has a passion for adopting state of the art rendering technology to implement visually stunning games.

Following the success of Overwatch, you have to wonder what other first-person engine game they could be working on. Now Blizzard has nailed the FPS with Overwatch they might try something a little more adventurous, perhaps an open-world game in first person like Skyrim or Fallout 4. As the new jobs are not listed under ‘Diablo’ we’re still in the dark as to what they have in store for that. A first person Diablo world would be fantastic to experience.

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    I find it more interesting that they are looking for an “outsourcing manager” for the unannounced diablo project (aka D4). This leads me to believe that some of the artists and developers aren’t blizzard’s internal artists and maybe even developers. This could mean that they decided to have some outside-artists work on the art-work for Diablo 4, in order to prevent the same fiasco we had with D3, where a lot of players were and still are unhappy with the art direction of D3. Hiring outside artists for individual art designs prevents insider-artists from being the sole source of game art, which will inevitably be very “WOW-biased” like in the past with D3.

    The need for an outsourcing agent could also mean that there are other needs such as the music which could be done by Matt Uelmen, which isn’t a direct employee of Blizzard. So an outsourcing agent basically manages the relationship between the outsider experts and aligns them with the Blizzard internal teams, while ensuring everything goes smoothy and that the vision is communicated and clear.

    • The art direction and overall design will be decided in house. Any out-sourced people will work towards the design vision created by Blizzard. They’re just hired hands.

      It wouldn’t make sense to outsource the art direction to outsiders.

    • Nothing new, really. For example, they have relied on concept artists under contract working on their projects for quite a while now, including D3 iirc. Of course, they’d have inhouse creative/art directors outlining, curating, refining the input from those external sources.

      The practice seems a bit like a double-edged sword to me:
      At one hand, outsourcing the defining early stages of creative vision for their existing game universe seems to follow the same recipe for an alien, inconsistent visual style D3 suffered from. On the other hand, an outside perspective may contribute to some degree of successful innovation and reduce the likelihood of D3 concept artists being necessarily involved again.

      As appealing as the ability to hire & fire an army of artists as they need them may seem to Blizzard, they surely focus an enourmous risk on their choice for a creative/art director.

    • “… creative relationship between external and internal art teams.”
      “Identify vendors and establish good working relationships that align with our team’s goals.”
      “Work with our legal department to manage contracts for vendors.”

      a D4 mmo that will appeal to korean audiences

  2. “Dialout: Skyruary” 😀
    Take my money!

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