Blizzard is ramping up development on a bunch of new projects, and some of them could be ready for a reveal at Blizzcon 2019.
Blizzard is working on more new games than it ever has before, and some of them include Diablo IV, a possible Overwatch sequel, new IPs alongside mobile games. Diablo IV has already been rebooted once, and sources say it'll resemble Diablo II with a darker thematic scope. But it might be a long ways away and no one's sure when it'll get revealed. Now in a recent earnings call, Blizzard President J. Allen Brack says Blizzard is incredibly eager to show off these new games and teases some big plans for this year's annual Blizzcon event.
"I've said consistently that the Blizzard pipeline is larger and richer than ever before. It includes PC and console releases," Brack said in the call.
"We're pretty impatient to get all this content in front of the community and it's a reason that we have significantly increased our developer head count as we talked about last quarter. The teams are highly motivated. We feel we've got a lot to prove, both to our players and to ourselves. And lastly, we just talk about - Coddy talked about earlier announcing BlizzCon and the show is returning November 1 and 2 to the Anaheim convention center and working really hard to make it great event."
But of course Blizzard's new pipeline isn't just about games. It also includes live services, engagement-driven tactics, and monetization strategies. The company has made hundreds of millions every year from microtransactions in its biggest games and this trend won't change any time soon.
It's possible Blizzcon 2019 will be more of the same muted reception with content updates for existing games.
"[Our pipeline] includes ongoing content for World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Hearthstone and a couple of mobile initiatives. It's critical that all these products meet the Blizzard quality that we're known for. We want to give the teams the space to really create excellence and release games at a better and more consistent cadence," Brack said.
Blizzard execs have been hyping up these in-development projects for years now.
In 2017, then-president Mike Morhaime confirmed Blizzard's pipeline was bigger than its ever been, and specifically mentioned new IP.
"We're also really excited about the future. In addition to supporting all of our live games we're committed to incubating new initiatives. We're also thinking about different platforms, especially globally," Morhaime said in a 2017 Activision-Blizzard earnings call.
"In terms of new IP, our pipeline is in a better position than ever before in our history.
"Last year Allen Adham, who co-founded Blizzard with me and Frank Pearce, returned to the company to take on the task of coordinating our efforts in this regard. This includes some great ideas that we had already started to explore. So we now have multiple dedicated incubation teams that are being led by some of our most experienced game designers at Blizzard."
Then in 2018 current Blizzard president J. Allen Brack re-affirmed Morhaime's words:
"Right now, we have the strongest multiyear pipeline we've ever had, which is a huge opportunity, and delivering against that pipeline is our number one priority," Brack said in Activision's Calendar Year Q3'18 earnings call.
"We're going to continue to invest in content in our existing franchises, and there's work to do to improve in some areas to better serve our communities and to create more content for all of our fans. That's our number one focus. And we'll continue to invest in the reach of the different franchises that we have to acquire more players globally across all platforms, including PC, console, and mobile.
"I think Blizzard's focus is always going to be on delivering quality game play first. And we have a strong culture of values, and we want to create more content and deliver more games. And we think that's going to lead to more players, more engagement, and it's going to lead to great business results."
Whatever Blizzard is working on, it's pretty big and should be an expansive multi-year roadmap of games, services, and content that aims at re-capturing the billion-dollar engagement market.