Blizzard Entertainment, the home of StarCraft, World of Warcraft, Diablo, and Overwatch, is making a “brand-new survival game for PC and console,” the developer announced Tuesday. The untitled survival game will be set in an all-new universe, unrelated to Blizzard’s existing fantasy and sci-fi properties.
Blizzard’s survival game was revealed in the form of a developer recruitment news item on the company’s website. Here’s how Blizzard describes its new game:
Blizzard is embarking on our next quest. We are going on a journey to a whole new universe, home to a brand-new survival game for PC and console. A place full of heroes we have yet to meet, stories yet to be told, and adventures yet to be lived. A vast realm of possibility, waiting to be explored.
The announcement is accompanied by two pieces of artwork. One shows what appears to be an ax-wielding ranger wearing an animal skull-shaped helmet and light armor crouching in a forest. She appears to be tracking a series of colorful footprints, and a window or mirror across from her appears to show a portal to another, more-modern world. The other piece of artwork shows something of the inverse: a pair of teenagers in a modern-day city environment stumbling upon a fantasy world, complete with a floating castle in the distance.
A title, release platforms, and release date were not specified, but the project sounds well into development. Shortly after the news was posted, Blizzard Entertainment head Mike Ybarra said on Twitter, “I’ve played many hours of this project with the team and I’m incredibly excited about the team’s vision and the brand-new world it presents for players to immerse themselves in together.”
The “Unannounced Survival Game” will be Blizzard’s first new original property since the launch of Overwatch in 2016. It’s also Blizzard’s first foray into the survival genre popularized by games like Minecraft, DayZ, Don’t Starve, and Rust.
Blizzard’s surprise (and surprisingly low-key) announcement of an all-new game and an all-new property comes shortly after Microsoft announced plans to acquire parent company Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion. The developer has a slew of previously announced projects in the works, including Diablo 4, Diablo Immortal, and Overwatch 2, but only one of those — the Diablo mobile spinoff — is expected this year.
The developer is also still contending with turmoil and turnover at the company as Activision Blizzard faces multiple lawsuits and federal investigations over wide-ranging allegations that it maintained a toxic workplace environment that was hostile to women. Those allegations and Activision Blizzard’s handling of the accusations have led multiple corporate sponsors and licensing partners to distance themselves from Activision Blizzard, and to numerous developers leaving the company.