What everyone is asking! Will Blizzard announce the unannounced project at E3 2006 or at BlizzCon 2006? Maybe next year? Whatever the answer, Blizzard Entertainment has been hiring tons of new personnel for their Diablo Department. Few months back, Blizzard North offices in San Francisco were shut down for good. What few seem to know is that most of the personnel was relocated to their Irvine Headquarter and have kept work on the unannounced project.
On June 31, 2003, the eve of Warcraft III: Frozen Throne release, executives Erich Schaefer, Max Schaefer, David Brevik and Bill Roper resigned Blizzard North due to lack of communication between Blizzard North and conglomerate Vivendi Universal during the shadowy days of VUGames’s fate and buy out offers.
Shortly, on July 11, 2003, lead programmer Rick Seis took over the role of development team lead for Blizzard North?. On August 2003, the ex-executives that had resigned founded Flagship Studios. That same month there was a massive exodus and round of 30 resignations. Some joined Flagship Studios, Castaway Entertainment and other studios. Immediately two projects were leaked out to have been in production. A game was canned due to the lack of personnel. The remnants were moved to the second project. Read more on our previous speculation article.
With the Diablo Team still working on the unannounced project and Blizzard hiring new personnel since early 2005, fans are pondering what’s Blizzard cooking. The same year of mass resignations there was a patented project titled Diablo II: Salvation – which never came to see the light. The patent expired. Some fans think Blizzard could be developing Diablo III or World of Diablo, but no evidence or announcements have been revealed to support the rumors. However, recent Job Openings are explicitly tagged to be for the team behind Diablo I and Diablo II has been flooding the Blizzard Jobs Listing. This one just came out on April 28, 2006:
The team behind Diablo I and II is looking for a talented, motivated, and experienced Art Director to help lead our art team in developing beautiful, cohesive game worlds for an unannounced PC Project and future projects.