- The Warcraft franchise will get a lot more attention, Blizzard said in an earnings update on Friday
- That includes a “all-new mobile Warcraft content” which marks the second decisive foray in mobile gaming by the company
- This time no fans were given the opportunity to ask questions as was the case during Blizzcon 2018
We were all happily watching Manuel Schenkhuizen’s Twitch stream on Friday evening, well at least 2,000 or so of us, when someone asked: “What Warcraft news?” The chat went quiet and Manuel, who is better known to his fans as Grubby, a retired Warcraft 3 professional gamer and real-time strategy veteran, fought down a smug smile and quipped “What Warcraft news? Just Google it. You can’t miss it.”
This is how we realized that Blizzard is bringing “Warcraft content” to mobile. Hold on, we thought we already had this, i.e. Hearthstone. We have been gravely mistaken all along. Don’t worry though because Blizzard isn’t only focusing on Warcraft mobile.
Rather, the entire franchise is getting a bit of a boost this year, but apparently not Warcraft 3: Reforged, a game that was supposed to resuscitate the RTS genre but ended up failing so badly in design, execution and most embarrassingly, delivery.
Warcraft was an incomplete product, released in a rush, costing a fortune and one that prompted Blizzard to ACTUALLY issue buybacks. Many of our friends and colleagues opted to get their money back. I didn’t and decided to stand my ground and support Warcraft 3 a game that I love and have played since I was 14.
What’s New in Warcraft Franchise in 2022?
The details of the announcement were a little light as Blizzard delivered a brief earnings call and talked about this and that, patting themselves on the back just like any company does during earnings calls (some more deservedly than others, granted):
“Blizzard is planning substantial new content for the Warcraft franchise in 2022, including new experiences in World of Warcraft and Hearthstone, and getting all-new mobile Warcraft content into players’ hands for the first time.”
What we know is that the franchise is getting an “all-new mobile Warcraft content.” Thank you, I guess? On the plus side, we will see more World of Warcraft and Hearthstone developments, which is a hollow succor to the thousands of fans who have been bereft of Warcraft 3’s long-anticipated, or at least long-wished-for comeback.
Mobile has not sat well with Blizzard’s core fan bases, but the company has decided to go boldly where no Blizzard fan has gone before and introduce more mobile options. It first did so in 2014 when Hearthstone was released on iOS and Android.
Then, in 2018, a profusely sweating Wyatt Cheng had to drop the “BIG” announcement during Blizzcon 2018. “Excuse me, hey, yeah,” a fan in the spotlight started off hurriedly. “Is this an out-of-season April Fool’s Joke,” he added with about as much of a poker face as you can get from many of the guys hitting WSOP every year.
Four years later, mobile gaming is no longer a tabu for Blizzard fans, but still doesn’t sit well with the core fan base. This same fanbase that has been leaving in droves because of what they have long described as lack of quality content and the far more serious issues brought against Blizzard on account of a “frat boy” culture and mistreatment of female colleagues.
Mobile Now Part of Blizzard’s Future Plans
Since Diablo Immortal’s announcement, Blizzard has had to learn some hard lessons. For example, don’t give fans a microphone when announcing a mobile game. However, if past experience is any indication, we could at least expect a game that hasn’t been only half-done before release.
Blizzard has probably started exploring more mobile options not much later than Diablo Immortal, but what shape a Warcraft mobile game may take is another matter altogether. For the fans of the franchise out there, we hope this would give the company the war chest necessary to finally start paying attention to the games we truly love.
In the meantime, the company announced a new survival game set in a different world with its own unique backstory. Details were again lacking.