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Blizzard respond to leak concerning Diablo 3 team moving on

Discussion in 'Diablo 3 General Discussion' started by Rushster, Jan 30, 2015.

  1. Rushster

    Rushster Administrator

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    xanth Submitted a news story

    Blizzard respond to leak concerning Diablo 3 team moving on

    A stack of information regarding Blizzard game releases and future plans has apparently leaked to Yahoo Finance writer Tae Kim concerning Diablo 3, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone and Starcraft 2.

    Included in the information from the unnamed source was that the Diablo 3 team has been moved to a new project set in the StarCraft universe which will be similar to Digital Extremes' Warframe and contain gameplay aspects from "Left4Dead, DayZ, Smite, and other MOBAs." We’ve seen the loss of Jay Wilson, The auction House, and PVP (not in that order) but the loss of most of the development team?

    Since the leak appeared, Blizzard released a statement regarding the Diablo 3 rumour which debunks it. The statement reads:

    "The Diablo III team is on continuing to support the game with patch content. We generally don’t comment on rumors or speculation, but I do want to make sure it’s clear that they’re not working on a secret project in the StarCraft universe."


    With Diablo 3 now three years old and not a main source of profit for Blizzard it becomes easy to give these rumors credence. However, We've seen plenty of false information from supposed "sources" before. On the other hand, developers jump IPs from time to time;it wouldn't be unheard of them to lend a hand on a new project while D3 in-between expansions. There is also the slow updates the game has seen since the expansion. However, Diablo 3 Vanilla was never meant to have as many patches as we saw,which may have lead to our expectations for the expansion.

    Which goes to show the power of vague (mis)information, we can speculate wildly to no end and confirm ourselves with loose rationale. Feel free to do so in the comments! Is this merely wild speculation? Confirmation of our fears? Jay Wilson's fault?

    Update: From numerous public and private conversations with the D3 devs at Blizzcon, in which we heard many not-subtle hints about the imminence of the next expansion pack, the "completely gutted" thing seems unlikely.

    Click through for the full rumor post, which paints a very rosy picture of Hearthstone and WoW, indecision about Overwatch, and pessimism about Heroes of the Storm.



    Rumor archived via Reddit:



    This was put up this morning by Tae Kim at Yahoo Finance. It was taken down, and edited and reposted at http://firstadopter.tumblr.com/ and now has a blizzard response. The original version, since removed, said as follows:

    An Activision Blizzard insider, who could not be named due to his or her employers’ policy on talking to the press, revealed significant details about the company’s current game pipeline. This same source had the name and exact timing information of Blizzard’s Overwatch game announcement last November way before the news. The validity of the Overwatch leak and other various reasons are why I deem him or her to be a credible source.

    The insider says Hearthstone numbers “are off the charts.” The next expansion is due to come out in April and will be more PvE focused. The team is also experimenting with a 2 vs. 2 version. Stunningly Hearthstone has now passed the 75 million players milestone.

    Regarding Overwatch, the insider says the business model is still in flux. They are trying to decide between a free-to-play or expansion type focused model. No matter what, you will initially be able to play the game for free, but how you pay for heroes is still to be decided. The development team is pushing to launch the game this year, but senior executives are skeptical it can be done by then. There is a tiny chance for a December release, but it’s more likely to come out in early 2016 at this stage.

    Executives have “low expectations” for Heroes of the Storm. The insider thinks many of the senior staff on the Heroes of the Storm team will be laid off.

    The next Starcraft 2 game is already done and ready to go. The release date is still not settled. The current time window ranges from April to June.

    The World of Warcraft team has “quadrupled” its art outsourcing, which has been a bottleneck in the past. The next expansion is almost “feature complete.”

    The insider says the Diablo 3 team has been “completely gutted” for a new project set in the Starcraft universe. The game will be similar to Warframe and contain gameplay aspects from Left4Dead, DayZ, Smite, and other MOBAs. It is in early pre-production, which means late 2016 or later.

    The insider gave me more details on other things, but I covered the most interesting content developments. Hearthstone’s success is beyond even the most optimistic expectations and should be a buffer against the continued year-over-year secular decline of the Call of Duty and Skylanders franchises. At time of writing Activision Blizzard could not be reached for comment. Send comments to: taekim(at)yahoo-inc(dot)com​
    Continue reading the Original Story
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2015
  2. nasarius

    nasarius IncGamers Member

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    That's a pretty vague denial. But surely they have a full team working on the next D3 expansion pack. It would be shocking if they're not.
     
  3. ADest

    ADest IncGamers Member

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    Wouldn't shock me. All they're going to do is add in the talisman, PvP arena, and give the Elites trillions of HP, and intro 10k damage weapons, 15k if Ancient. We sort of have skill runes already in the form of legendary gems.
     
  4. Flux

    Flux Administrator

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    Well they have to be vague on denial, since they can't confirm an expansion until they announce an expansion. They made multiple vague "wink wink nudge nudge" expansion mentions at Blizzcon, both on and off stage.

    Related issue on that rumor; it said they were working on the secret Starcraft Universe game in early pre-producton, with late 2016 estimated date. That actually made me laugh out loud; as if a full-sized Bliz game could go from pre-production to release in 2 years? It took them like 6 years to decide to cancel Titan/transform some parts of it into Overwatch, which remains years away from release.
     
  5. adastra

    adastra IncGamers Member

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    Honestly, if they did leave, that's what we would deserve after bad mouthing them and crusifying a bunch of people that came together to work on a game that is essentially free. People cry about the$60 fee ... but, if you take your girlfriend to a movie that lasts 2 hours ... it costs almost 30 bucks with popcorn and sodas. so, essentially, what I'm saying is ... everywhere else in the world, one gets entertainment cost at around %15 an hour minimum. Let's face it ... a movie is a CHEAP date.

    Yet, we play this game for years day in and out and then bitch at the team who toils to make it better. It would be a drag to lose support for this game entirely ... but, if it ever happened, it wouldn't shock me.
     
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  6. trocadero

    trocadero IncGamers Member

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    Except they squeezed out Hearthstone quickly, and that's now almost as important to Blizz as WoW. They are making some serious cash w/ this FTP shovelware b/c they can be super un-Blizzard and actually release it early and often. No, it doesn't make as much as WoW, but the costs are nothing comparatively. Blizzard is like a cable channel trying out reality TV after earning their reputation for long, exquisitely produced dramas.
     
  7. ChimpMagnet

    ChimpMagnet IncGamers Member

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    The whole 2 expansion rumor comes from another unofficial leak, why do you believe one more than the other?
     
  8. ChimpMagnet

    ChimpMagnet IncGamers Member

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    If Blizzard paid for your rent, electric, internet and bought your computer maybe you'd have a point, a theater has expenses you are covering yourself when you watch a movie or play a game at home.
     
  9. ZappaFan

    ZappaFan Hardcore Moderator and America Trade Moderator

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    You can't compare Hearthstone to anything else. That game had a very small team, and it's totally different than anything else they're doing. There was a good reason they "squeezed out Hearthstone quickly" and those reason do not apply to any other game they're working on.
     
  10. Cipherthros

    Cipherthros IncGamers Member

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    That original article was such a load of old rubbish. I don't doubt for a second that at least one more expansion is on the way. They've even said so much in some of the live stream interviews (the 2 year anniversary one I think) that the story of Diablo 3 isn't over yet and they want to flesh out more of the world. Of course with that would come more game content/mechanics as well. That and all the talk about future plans for making items, seasons etc, the subtle hints they gave at Blizzcon about an expansion in the works, plus it's their first game on multiple gaming platforms in a very long time. They definitely want to build on that. Oh & also they're currently advertising for jobs working with team. Doesn't sound much like winding up the team to me. http://eu.blizzard.com/en-gb/company/careers/directory.html#region=Americas
     
  11. trocadero

    trocadero IncGamers Member

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    The point is that that's now what they want to do for every game going forward, sans WoW. Hearthstone is going to be the future of Blizzard. That's the kind of game, the kind of process they are going to use. D3 and SC2 are probably the last of their kind at Blizzard.
     
  12. DaTruth

    DaTruth IncGamers Member

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    Blizzard has operating costs just the same as a theater. They have to supply the servers for any online content, pay people to run them, pay people to develop the game (for 10 years before it was even released), and then pay people to continue to support it.

    I'd say that a game company has as many "expenses you are covering yourself" as a movie theater. There are up front costs, operating costs, and personnel costs in both.

    That's not to absolve them of any blame for how the game turned out, but it is true that a game provides quite a bit of utility for the money you pay.
     
  13. ChimpMagnet

    ChimpMagnet IncGamers Member

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    Actually Blizzard sold Diablo to 20 million customers, what it costs for theaters to accommodate 20 millions customers is far greater, hence why it is so expensive. Video games should be compared to music and movies on a disc.
     
  14. ematanis

    ematanis IncGamers Member

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    Oh I just hope they announce the new expansion this year and before blizzcon and hope it is further in development than RoS was when the Beta started.
    I also hope for once they don't take the fan base lightly and they don't give us some really weird reasons for not increasing the depth of the game or even increasing blood shards cap(confusing new players), we want more crafting, more things to do in the game other than farm 1 or 2 things and make the legendaries as powerful as set items when certain items are combined and add more than just 1 class to the expansion.
    And if their reason for not giving more content is money then they can add cosmetic store with microtransactions.
     
  15. trocadero

    trocadero IncGamers Member

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    Also, Overwatch may not be "years away," via this same leak.
    http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/01/29/report-pay-model-for-blizzards-overwatch-still-in-flux

    Late 2015 at the earliest, probably 2016. Like I said earlier, Blizz looked around at the financial landscape of the industry, and taking years to polish a game isn't going to cut it anymore. They have to pump out smaller stuff w/ the same polish quickly. FTP is perfect. You can release tiny shreds of a game, and then as you work on it, release updates and such that nickel and dime the addicted players. Imagine buying each act or character class separately for D3. It probably would have released a hell of lot sooner if they sold it that way.
     
  16. Mortalo

    Mortalo IncGamers Member

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    Music and Movies on disc are not giving you support with patches for years, as well as are not paying for servers to run the game. Making games is expensive, don't forget about that.
     
  17. Flux

    Flux Administrator

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    That's why I said "full sized." Anyone could make a virtual CCG in 2 years. More like 8-12m, for most studios not doing the Blizzard level of depth and polish. Not to say it would be a great game, but the description of the SC world whatever in the rumor sounded like a full game. Not just some smart phone type thing, ala H$.
     
  18. rabidshrew

    rabidshrew IncGamers Member

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    No one ever mentions the 12 years of employee salaries and operating costs Blizzard had to recover before they could even start to make a profit. I don't have the slightest idea how much "debt" Diablo 3 had accrued, but I bet it was significant.
     
  19. sneakytails

    sneakytails IncGamers Member

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    ^ What he said......
     
  20. Spriggen

    Spriggen IncGamers Member

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    there will be no diablo 4 they will likely finish the series with 3
     

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