At a launch party over the weekend for the 352-page art book The Art of Blizzard Entertainment, we sat down with Blizzard veteran artist (and much more) Chris Metzen. The discussion eventually turned to Blizzard's future games, and whether they'll ever get beyond the current big three (Diablo, Warcraft and Starcraft). Metzen provided some hope that the studio could one day branch off into new franchises:
I certainly think we could if we wanted. I think this place represents, I mean, just the top of the rocket in terms of talent. I mean, forget art, right? Just technologists and design and just, our musicians, engineers, you know, we have some of the most talented people in the world, and if we wanted to shake it up we could go crazy, right? Right now our docket's a little full, but it'll be interesting to see in the next couple years what ideas start to pop and what vectors we might choose. Because it really did—the story really did become about these three franchises, you know? Certainly for the past decade or so. But you know, you never know with this group. You never know what we might chase next, and I think there's a lot of highways still.
We went on to discuss one of the never-released, never-discussed Blizzard games that's featured in The Art of Blizzard Entertainment, a title called Bloodlines that Metzen was working on prior to the release of Starcraft:
We had all sorts of story docs, we're going at, like, terrible pencil-and-paper level design, you know, levels laid out, whole missions of the game and weapons systems. Nick was in there, it was just when everyone started jumping on 3D Studio—it wasn't even 3ds Max yet—it was just 3D Studio, the crudest 3D program we had. But he's over there building robots and building cyborgs, and it was kind of like a world of, like, space vampires, you know? And like different clans of them fighting for contention. And it was just—it was just kick-ass. It was just a purely unadulterated 90s franchise idea, right?
Read the rest of our interview here. How long do you think it will be before Blizzard feels the need to debut a new franchise?