Kotaku highlights the closing section of a nice Gamasutra feature on “The Design of Starcraft II,” with the material that’s of most interest to us Diablo devotees. Here’s a quote from the piece:
At this point, Blizzard hasn’t made a non-WarCraft game since 2001. It’s now spent longer just releasing WarCraft games than it did making all the other games for its three main franchises up until that point. Does that seem odd at all, especially from the perspective of someone not working on a WarCraft game?
DB: For me, I don’t think it has anything to do with anything. It’s just all about scheduling and resources and what happened. World of Warcraft was not something this company expected to be this successful by far. They were hoping for a couple hundred thousand subscribers. That was what had been done in the past—“If we could equal those numbers, we’d be fine.”
So, I don’t think there’s any sort of conscious focus on a particular franchise in that respect. The Diablo III team has been working really hard to get their stuff to a point where they could present it, and they finally did. It was last year when they announced and said, “Hey, we’ve got something to show.”
We wish we were shipping by now as opposed to still working on the game. So, I think it’s just that these games are taking longer to make than we’d like. And the World of Warcraft team is doing expansions. They’ve got a strong team. They’ve got an established toolset. These guys know what they’re doing. I think it shows in every expansion. They just get better and better and better every year.
It wasn’t their plan, but it’s interesting how long it’s been since we had a new game from Blizzard that wasn’t set in the Warcraft universe. Fortunately, that’s set to change… eventually.