Renowned publisher and developer Blizzard is working on a new, unannounced AAA title, according to a series of new job listings posted on the official Blizzard website.
The new game, which carries no official or codenamed title at the time of writing, is frequently described as “Blizzard’s next epic title” across the various job listings and is asking for applicants with experience shipping AAA PC and/or console titles. It highlights a need for multi-player level designers, 3D character designs that will inhabit a “new and exciting world”, and also promises “badass implements of destruction”.
According to Blizzard, “We can’t tell you exactly what the game is yet, but trust us, it’s awesome.”
Blizzard currently has job opening for the following positions, each related to the unannounced title:
- Concept Artist
- Lead Technical Artist
- 3D Character Artist
- 3D Weapons Artist
- 3D Character Animator
- Environment Artist
- Lead 3D Character Artist
- Lead Producer
- Level Designer
- Senior Art Manager
We’ve combed through the listings, which can be found here, and collated these key details:
–The Level Designer should have “experience building compelling multi-player gameplay spaces”, according to the listing, and requires somebody who has built “the most fun and memorable levels on shipped AAA titles for at least 3 years”. It also asks for applicants with “an unending passion” for “competitive multi-player games”. We think it’s safe to bet on some multiplayer.
-The Lead Character Artist position is highlighted as a priority by Blizzard, and reveals that the unannounced title will feature “epic hero moments” and a “new and exciting world” filled with “legions of characters”. It also has another nod to this being a next-gen title, requiring somebody with an “exceptional understanding of next generation asset creation pipelines and tools”
-The new game will feature some bad ass weaponry too. The listing for a 3D Weapons Artist says applicants will be creating “amazing creations with even more phenomenal war gear”, and states artists will work with gameplay designers to ensure “your badass implements of destruction play as good as they look”. Experience with “mechanical or vehicle modelling” is also requested.
-If you were still in doubt that Blizzard are looking to put an action-packed game together, the listing for a Lead Technical Artist opens with this description:
As a player, there’s nothing like exploring a new world for the first time. That sense of awe and wonder can be found in literally anything; brilliant shafts of light pouring through darkened clouds – a forest of twisted and arthritic trees, seemingly frozen in mid-reach – the way the ground shifts under you as a behemoth alien creature lumbers past. Or how about the very-real adrenaline that courses through a combatant’s veins as they charge headlong into an enemy encampment, explosions peppering the landscape with dust and debris? There’s an endless amount of gaming moments like these, and none of them would be possible without having a rock-solid foundation upon which to build. And that’s where you come in.
As lead technical artist for Blizzard’s next epic title, you will be the one to build this foundation. You’ll be instrumental in developing the processes, tools, and pipeline from which innumerable epic adventures will spring forth.
I like the sound of explosions peppering the landscape with dust and debris!
-Development will be handled by a “small and nimble team” according to a description in the Lead Producer listing, which Blizzard says is thanks to Hearthstone reviving the company’s old development traditions.
-The new game will be 3D and is described as a major project for Blizzard. The listing for a 3D Character Artist states job responsibilities will include creating “both high resolution 3D sculpts and final low polygon game assets”, and the ability to “Couple hand painted textures and next-gen materials for use in game engine”.
A lot of the listings also ask for applicants with an “understanding of the visual style of Blizzard games and a passion to push it to the next level”. So while this new title appears to be a new, next-gen IP, it will still fall in line with the Blizzard style.
So there you have it, an unannounced ‘epic’ AAA next-gen multi-player title is officially in the works at Blizzard. Excited?
Blizzard has announced that card battler Hearthstone will be getting a brand new single-player adventure mode.
Called the Curse of Naxxramas and set in the ancient necropolis Naxxramas, players will be battling against Kel’Thuzad and his plague-bearing undead host.
30 brand new cards are up for grabs in this mode as a reward for clearing areas and defeating bosses. The bosses you will be fighting against include the oversized arachnid Maexxna, the fungal horror Loatheb, the shambling abomination Patchwerk, and devious plague cauldron master Heigan the Unclean.
All the action will take place on a brand new board, and comes with a new Class Challenge game mode.
The adventure mode is going to be released in stages over five weeks on all supported platforms: PC, Mac and iPad. The first release will be free and the others can be purchased with either in-game or real currency.
So we all know that WoW’s player population has been slowly going down over the last couple of years, but when you look back at the mammoth number of people that have ever made a character or completed a raid, your head will explode!
An incredible amount of people have joined the fight between the Hoard and Alliance since the game was released back in 2004. In fact, according to a new infographic released by Blizzard, more than twice the entire population of South Korea have been in Azeroth. And the in-game text for the story has more text then 12 copies of Lord of the Rings!
You can view the full infographic by clicking the image above.
After having 2 previous names, Blizzard has finally thought of a third and hopefully final name for its upcoming DOTA sequel.
The game which was previously known as Blizzard DOTA, then as Blizzard Allstars will now officially be referred to as ‘Heroes of the Storm’
Blizzard said to “set aside whatever you think you knew about Blizzard Allstars and get ready for what’s brewing at this year’s BlizzCon (November 8-9 2013).” The sequel was announced in October 2011 but details since then have been scant. The title was changed to Blizzard Allstars after a legal despite with Valve, which had hired one of the original mod’s creators to work on DOTA 2.
Duncan Jones will be presenting BlizzCon panel on World of WarCraft movie, Blizzcon 2013 will also feature the WCS Global Finals, Heroes of the Storm and Reaper of Souls.
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The upcoming add-on will feature a truck load of content sure to keep fans of the RPG- dungeon crawler satisfied.
Game director Josh Mosquiera revealed that Diablo III’s Reaper of Souls will introduce a much ‘darker’ story with new battle zones, a raised level cap of 70, and a brand new Crusader class.
Reaper of Souls promises to be closer to the previous two instalments of Diablo, as a ‘much darker’ world that boasts to be aesthetically gothic.
In a largely unpopular move, and one that could signal plans for a move to a free-to-play business model, Blizzard has confirmed that it will be introducing a new microtransaction system into WoW.
Initially limited to certain Asian regions, a community manager on the WoW forums under the guise of Bashiok said that, while it’s “still in the development process”, the “long-term goal” is to allow players from all regions to purchase these new “convenience items”. This announcement came on the same thread that started last Thursday, where plans were being discussed, and subsequently prompted a backlash from the community.
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In a video which has now been removed from YouTube (via the RPS forums), Blizzard production director John Hight announced the addition of offline, shared-screen co-op to the PlayStation 4 port of Diablo 3.
Whether this is strictly co-op, or will allow single-player offline as well, wasn’t specified, but it seems odd that offline play would be present and restricted to co-op. There’s no word on whether the feature will make it to PC, and Blizzard tells PC Gamer that it is not yet ready to share anything on the subject.
Offline play has been a highly-requested feature among Diablo 3 players since before release, with its always online model presenting one of the largest controversies in a story that has had more than its share—the infamous “Error 37? connection failure that plagued launch is up there among the most recognizable memes in PC gaming.
Early interviews with Blizzard seemed to suggest that always online was a decision made in order to give us the best version of the game possible. If the PS4 version really has offline co-op, we have to wonder why they’re allowed to have “not the best version” and PC gamers aren’t. The most obvious assumption is piracy concerns.
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According to a recent analysis of the Windows 8 app certification requirements by programmer and tech blogger, Casey Muratori, Microsoft will not be allowing games with a rating over PEGI 16 or ESRB MATURE into the Windows 8 app store.
The Windows 8 guidelines state that “Your app must not contain adult content and metadata must be appropriate for everyone. Apps with a rating over PEGI 16, ESRB Mature or, that contain content that would warrant such a rating, are not allowed”.
This causes some concern for PC developers and in some ways, it’s a huge step in the wrong direction for the software giant. If developers decided they wanted to reach a larger audience by making their game available on the Windows 8 store, this would mean they would have to heavily modify their games to fit the criteria of Microsoft’s Windows 8 app certification.
The operating system that prides itself on being ‘open’ actually seems as though it’s selling itself short. Markus “Notch” Persson, the developer and founder of the original indie title Minecraft spoke out against Windows 8 saying “I got an email from Microsoft wanting to help ‘certify’ Minecraft for Windows 8, I’ve told them to stop trying to ruin the PC as an open platform.”
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Pandas – whoop! A new era of discovery and conquest has dawned on Azeroth! Blizzard today announced that World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, the highly anticipated fourth expansion to the MMORPG, is now live.
Starting today, gamers can set sail for the newly discovered continent of Pandaria by purchasing the expansion in retail stores or digitally via the game’s official website (http://www.WorldofWarcraft.com). Mists of Pandaria will be available in South Korea and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau on 27th September, and will launch in mainland China on 2nd October.
“Mists of Pandaria takes players back to the roots of World of Warcraft — exploration, discovery, and the epic conflict between the Alliance and the Horde,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “It also contains the widest variety of content that we’ve ever added in an expansion, and we’re excited to be able to share it with players around the world this week in our first truly global launch.”
A quite ridiculous yet equally important political news story has been doing the rounds today: Blizzard have banned all Iranian World of Warcraft players from playing the MMORPG. But why would they do such a thing?
It seems the decision isn’t one Blizzard have made themselves – not entirely, anyway. The blame actually lays with US trade restrictions and sanction laws, which prohibit US companies from doing business of any kind with certain countries, Iran being one of them. The fact World of Warcraft demands a subscription to play means money is changing hands, which is a big no-no under the letters of the law.
But why now, and why only Iran? The answer to that isn’t clear. The terms and conditions on World of Warcraft have stated for a long time that players from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Cuba, Libya and North Korea are not allowed access to the game. Basically, any country the US has enforced a trade embargo over. Blizzard are only just enforcing it now, no doubt to fall in line with the increased pressure the US are putting on Iran to convince the Islamic republic to open up about its nuclear program.
The Iranian Warcraft problem surfaced late last week as hundreds of players in the country posted messages to Blizzard’s European Battle.net forums complaining they could no longer access the game.
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