New Blizzard job opening gives potential clues on the studio's upcoming next-gen shooter--it could be Overwatch-related in some capacity. Or it could be something brand new.
Before I start this coverage, there's something you need to remember. A new Overwatch game has not been confirmed. Blizzard is hiring an art intern to help map out super duper early artwork for a new unannounced game. This game isn't even in proper development phases yet, and is in Blizzard's infamous incubation phase, which is pre-production planning. Games that are planned and plotted in incubation phases often die out and become nothing. Blizzard takes a long time to make its games (Diablo III took 10 years to make). Now that you've tempered your expectations, let's get onto the coverage.
According to the new job opening, Blizzard is hiring a generalist art intern at its incubation branch in Irvine to help conceptualize a new unannounced game that may or may not be related to Overwatch. We've known for a while that Blizzard is making a new next-gen FPS, and previously was hiring an engineer to make a "robust first-person engine for an unannounced project." These two job listings are likely connected.
The reason that so many gaming outlets are reporting "Blizzard is making a new Overwatch game" is that the latest job listing specifically asks applicants to have "knowledge and understanding of the Overwatch universe." But again, this doesn't necessarily mean the game is an Overwatch game--it could be connected, of course, or perhaps be a sequel...or it could be a big new FPS that uses Overwatch as a template. Remember that with Blizzard nothing is guaranteed. This project is in incubation, meaning it could simply die out.
"An unannounced project at Blizzard is seeking an intern to help create a wide range of assets to help bring our game to life. You will work closely with our concept, environment and character teams to create hard surface and organic props, weapons and possibly characters that are both detail-oriented and consistent with the art style we've defined."
- Use concept art and paint-overs as inspiration to create epic game assets that make our world come alive.
- Use next-gen materials, tools and pipelines to forge assets for use in the game engine.
- Iterate on game assets with production artists via prototyping and group critiques.
But also remember that Overwatch is now a billion dollar franchise that pulls in significant revenues for the company. So yes, it's logical that Blizzard would want to keep the Overwatch IP going instead of splinter off with a new, possibly-risky shooter IP.
And lastly, remember that Blizzard spends a massive amount of manpower, energy, and time into constantly updating, shifting and evolving Overwatch--so if this new unannounced project is Overwatch related, expect the first game to retire. I doubt Blizzard could keep up with two Overwatch games at the same time.
Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime has confirmed that multiple new projects are in the works, saying that Blizzard's IP pipeline is better now than in the company's 26 year history.
"In terms of new IP, our pipeline is in a better position than ever before in our history," Morhaime said in a recent Blizzard earnings call. Morhaime also said company co-founder Allen Adham returned to help coordinate some of these new IPs, which are in incubation phases and not in proper development.
So Blizzard is absolutely planning for the future, and has multiple projects in incubation phases right now. As long as you don't expect anything any time soon you'll be fine. The devs are perfectionists, and typically don't release anything until they're 100% confident (they've learned a lot from Diablo III).
Below you can find a full quotation of the job listing just in case Blizzard pulls it down.
GENERALIST ARTIST INTERN
Incubation - Irvine
Greetings, students! We're geared up here to offer another round of epic internship experiences in summer 2018. The internship program offers the opportunity to pause your studies for one summer and work side-by-side with Blizzard Entertainment employees in your area of interest, doing real work that oftentimes ends up in production. As such, we hold you to the same high standards as anybody else in the company.
Just like our gameplay experiences, Blizzard internships are a fully immersive experience. We want interns who are enthusiastic about what they want to do for a living and excited to come in every day to learn and contribute in this hyper-creative atmosphere. Being fully engaged with our team also means communicating effectively and maintaining an open mind - one that is receptive to feedback and able to adapt and grow. Your hobbies and interests can also play in your favor. Passion for technology, gaming, game development, and an in-depth knowledge of Blizzard games, products, and services will always be a plus with us, regardless of the position you're applying for. Be passionate about who you are, be into our industry, and be willing to go all-in and embrace this opportunity to the fullest!
An unannounced project at Blizzard is seeking an intern to help create a wide range of assets to help bring our game to life. You will work closely with our concept, environment and character teams to create hard surface and organic props, weapons and possibly characters that are both detail-oriented and consistent with the art style we've defined.
Use concept art and paint-overs as inspiration to create epic game assets that make our world come alive.
Use next-gen materials, tools and pipelines to forge assets for use in the game engine.
Iterate on game assets with production artists via prototyping and group critiques.
Currently enrolled in a college or university, or planning to enroll in Fall 2017
Returning for at least one more semester or quarter following the Summer 2018 internship
Able to work fulltime hours for 11 - 12 weeks at the Blizzard office indicated in this job posting between May 2018 - August 2018 or June 2018 - September 2018 (group dates depend on when you get out of school)
Authorized to work in the USLEVEL REQUIREMENTS
Demonstrated experience modeling and texturing hard surface and organics using Maya, 3dsmax, Photoshop, Zbrush, or Mudbox (or equivalent 3D and 2D programs).
Strong background in traditional arts included but not limited to animation, illustration, design or traditional media
A good understanding of form, shape, structure, and silhouette in regard to modeling.
Self-motivation, good communication skills, and a great team-player attitude.
Understanding of the distinctive Blizzard Entertainment visual style and a passion to push it to the next level.
Previously work on game projects as a prop artist or an equivalent type role.
Knowledge and understanding of the Overwatch universe.
Portfolio and / or reel demonstrating relevant artistic skills required.
Only online artwork submissions will be accepted (e.g. website, blog or online album)
WARNING! Applications that do not include all of the required materials will not be considered. We're serious about this - due to the volume of applications we receive, we only have time to consider complete submittals.
Blizzard Entertainment is a global company committed to growing our employees along with the business. We offer generous benefits and perks with an eye on providing true work / life balance. We've worked hard to foster an intensely collaborative and creative environment, a diverse and inclusive employee culture, and training and opportunity for professional growth. Our people are everything. Our core values are real, and our mission has never changed. We are dedicated to creating the most epic entertainment experiences...ever. Join us!