So Diablo III was announced last week at the Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals. That leaves one unannounced game unaccounted for … the Next-Gen MMO. Diablo III is not it according to Rob Pardo during an OnlineWelten video interview.
What would this new Next-Gen MMO game be?
- Starcraft Online?
- Starcraft: Ghost?
- New IP?
- Diablo MMO?
During the Teaser Splash pages days before the Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals, fans started to lose morale and hopes on a Diablo announcement. I quickly posted my personal views supporting that this new game announcement would be a Diablo game.
At this point it is too early to make a prediction on what the Next-Gen MMO is all about, but I have a theory.
If we took Warcraft III and its expansion Frozen Throne as an example, both RTS games and the MMO were in development basically simultaneously, with Warcraft III introducing a lot of new lore. Kalimdor, Northrend and the Night Elves did not exist in previous Warcraft games. So this game served to expand the lore, and set things in motion for the MMO—whose quests match up and start a year after the death of Admiral Proudmoore.
So how does that translates with Diablo III? This is speculation, but Diablo III is naturally adding a lot of new areas that players have never explored. NPCs were hinted to be more talkative of their history. We have the Diablo: The Sin War trilogy adding a lot of new lore into the mix, as well as previous books. The lost city of Ureh from Kingdom of Shadow by Richard A. Knaak appears on the map of Sanctuary—a clue that elements from the novels’ lore are swiftly making its way into the game.
Those who read Diablo: The Sin War Trilogy may have read at page 168 of book three: The Veiled Prophet that Trag’Oul the dragon was stopped by other sentinels such as himself from entering the world of Sanctuary, revealing there were other worlds out there whose fate depends on Sanctuary’s fate.
“The gateway was nearly complete, and then the voices struck him from all directions. You cannot! You cannot! You cannot! At the same time, the gateway disintegrated despite his best efforts to keep it from doing so. Filled with an unaccustomed anger, he confronted the voices. This is my burden! This is my duty! You have no say in this, none of you! There was a moment of silence, and then, together, they responded, But we do … this goes beyond Sanctuary now. Beyond all of us who stand sentinel.
The dragon grew wary. How so? How can that be?.
Their words struck him as nothing else could. Because the war is coming to Sanctuary, and if you interfere with what the Balance demands, it and all existence may be forfeit.”
They left him, then, all the others who stood guard as he did over their separate worlds, left him with the knowledge that it was his Sanctuary whose imminent fate might decide theirs.—The Veiled Prophet, page 168.
With such a setting in the novel, it is now official that there is more than just the High Heavens, Sanctuary and the Burning Hells … but more worlds out there as playground for both forces. This quietly sounds like the other worlds Blizzard plans to make accessible in World of Warcraft through the portals found in Outland.
Of course, the same Warcraft III + World of Warcraft formulae applies to the Starcraft franchise, with Starcraft II being in development. Only time may tell what’s brewing at one of Blizzard’s departments heavily guarded by men in black suits.
It is still early to figure out what the new Next-Gen MMO is. However, I can’t help thinking of previous Blizzard history with developing Warcraft III and World of Warcraft simultaneously.
UPDATE (5-22 5pm EST): Voodoo Extreme had word from PCGamer the August 2008 Edition’s mysterious exclusive is not about any Blizzard Game. I also got a email from PCGamer denying and clarifying it is not about a Blizzard game.—via Shacknews
Blizzplanet contacted PC Gamer the same day the rumor started circulating our sister forum, and got reply today afternoon: “Sorry to get your hopes up, but we can officially deny that Diablo is on our cover next month. We’re announcing something big and exciting and exclusive (actually, there are two big exciting exclusive announcements in this issue!), and we had to go a long way to get it, but it’s not from Blizzard.” said Dan Stapleton (PC Gamer Magazine, Senior Associate Editor).
Regardless, hope still remains that the favorite and craved RPG game of all-times gets announced on 2008. It is amazing how fans continue awaiting year after year the announcement of a new sequel seven years later. This rumor in particular caught momentum, because there were signs there pointing toward a Diablo exclusive. Signs you will read below in the original story. That doesn’t mean still a Diablo game won’t be announced at WWI, nor whether PCGamer has the exclusive on the July edition. We will have to wait 36 days until the Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals in Paris starts to find out.
Original Story (5-20): Another fan-fueled Diablo Rumor Mill has propelled out in full swing after PC Gamer’s July edition wrapped up with the following text:
Have you ever had a secret that you’re just dying to blurt out, but you can’t for another month, and the stress of holding it in makes you want to do the pee-pee dance? That’s what the PC Gamer staff is doing right now, because the August issue will be chock-full of exclusives, including a top-secret cover story so huge we had to go to [CENSORED] to get it. Just 30 days more …”
Here are a few thoughts to ponder on this brainstorming puzzle PC Gamer unleashed:
- PC Gamer was probably among the Gaming press Magazines who visited Blizzard Entertainment early on May, a few weeks ago.
- If you remember, PC Gamer knew about the Starcraft II announcement last May 2007. Blizzard Entertainment made the announcement at the Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals (WWI) at Seoul, South Korea.
- PC Gamer can’t talk about it for the next 30 days … the 2008 Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals at Paris, France takes place on June 28-29.
- June 29 is the date Diablo II shipped on USA (2000) and the same date the expansion Lord of Destruction shipped on Europe a year later (2001).
- Notice how PC Gamer replaces a swearing with [CENSORED]? Could this be a clue as to what the game they refer to is? Because CENSORED really sounds like HELL … as in … Diablo?
UPDATE (5-21): Shacknews got response from Blizzard Entertainment.
UPDATE (5-22 6am EST): I just approached one of my friendly journalist collegue contacts: Leord, from WorldofWar.net, to ask if PCGamer journalists were seen at the Blizzard headquarters early May 2008. The answer was: Twice. Cheers.
UPDATE (5-22 10am): Jeff Green is a well-recognized PC gaming editor-in-chief and journalist at 1UP.com—Jeff Green’s reaction to the PCGamer Mysterious Exclusive:
“As a former magazine editor, I’d say Diablo 3 makes sense. That’s my guess. Blizzard has the big Paris event coming up with a big game announcement. We’ve already been assuming over here that PCG would have the cover for this—-because, well, who else would at this point? So I was waiting to see a Coming Next Month from them written exactly like this. Gotta be D3.”—Source: Neogaf Forums
Share your thoughts at the Diablofans.com Forums. (former Diablo3.com)
Thanks, dunhac82 and Super.Fresh
Legendary Pictures issue a new press release announcing over $1 Billion in new film financing for its upcoming titles including World of Warcraft the movie, Clash of the Titans, Kung Fu, The Losers (DC-Vertigo), Waterproof, The Spook’s Apprentice and Superman 2.
Blizzplanet reported a couple of weeks ago the Legendary Pictures website had updated the “In Development” section with a DIABLO film title. Every major gaming news network echoed our headline including Slashdot, CVG Online, Kotaku, WIRED, GameTrailers, InsideMacGames, and GamePro … among others.
Twenty-four hours after Blizzplanet spotted and reported the Diablo film update, the Legendary Pictures website quickly unlisted “DIABLO”, mysteriously removing it from the “In Development” section.
Eurogamer recently contacted Blizzard to get any response about the Diablo flick rumor. Blizzard gave “No Comment”. It is unknown whether it was a technical mistake by the webmaster of the Legendary Pictures website or an accidental slip made earlier than planned. Something Blizzard fans know for sure is to handle anything said by Blizzard to be taken with a grain of salt. Remember the many interviews where the answer was “There is no Starcraft II in development”? Yeah, right! Now we know Starcraft II has been in development since 2003.
For now there is total quiet concerning the DIABLO listing and unlisting incident. Let’s hope BlizzCon 2007 (August 3-4) reveals anything. Another good opportunity for a press release could be Halloween.
Mon, June 18
Hocus Pocus. Diablo was unlisted magically from the “In Development” section. I tell you. It is the lesser evils playing tricks with our minds. Where is Deckard Cain when you need him to reaveal the undecipherable.
Sun, June 17
Few weeks ago, a rumor circulated the net that Gary Whitta would be working with Legendary Pictures to develop a Diablo film. The participation of Gary Whitta hasn’t been confirmed, but surprise-surprise. Legendary Pictures website is listing DIABLO under the “In Development” section.
No press release has been made available. The news section has been replaced by a “Legendary 2.0 is coming soon” notice. A week ago, the news section over at Legendary Pictures website had not been updated since Q3 2006. Stay tuned for any updates. A press release could be posted by them in a few days. Diablo is coming to the big screen!
It comes to attention, this media-slip comes within a month and a half of BlizzCon 2007. The rumor and hype is a Diablo game might be announced at the Anaheim Convention Center in August 3-4.
I have seen some feedback of fans thinking a Diablo film would suck, without giving it a try, because some previous films based on games have failed in the past few years. However, there are two big differences setting a Diablo film apart from the rest.
1. Blizzard games are rich in lore: In-game and via game manuals.
2. Diablo has eight pocket books (novels) to date.
Among the authors of these novels are Richard A. Knaak (NYTimes Bestselling Fantasy Author) known by many fans of Dragonlance, Dragonrealms, Dungeons & Dragons; and author Mel Odon. Diablo books written by Knaak are: Diablo: “Legacy of Blood”, “The Kingdom of Shadow”, “Moon of the Spider”, and “The Sin War”. Mel Odon was author of The Black Road. Most of the books take place between Diablo 1 and Diablo 2 storylines.
The recent novel trilogy by Richard A. Knaak, Diablo: The Sin War reveals the origin of the world known as Sanctuary. The events are set 3,000 years in the past. A recent interview with Richard A. Knaak hinted the novel trilogy had ties with events of the upcoming Diablo game’s storyline. Book three of the trilogy is due on Q4 2007. I have already read part one and two. Very exciting read.
With all the lore backing the Diablo franchise, a Diablo film would just rock. The Diablo film will be produced by a film studios that has proven great achievements in barely two years. Legendary Pictures is co-produced and co-financed Frank Miller’s 300 (an epic film based of King Leonidas and the three hundred spartans), Christopher Nolan’s “Batman Begins”, Bryan Singer’s “Superman Returns”, M. Night Shyamalan’s “Lady in the Water”, and “The Ant Bully” animated film.
Upcoming releases by Legendary Pictures are “World of Warcraft the Movie”, Paradise Lost”, “Clash of the Titans”, and “Superman 2” to name a few.
I could compare a Diablo film adaptation with elements of “300” and “The Prophecy” (starred by Christopher Walken). A Diablo film adaptation has potential to be one of the best fantasy/horror films.
Share with other fans your ideal Diablo Casting crew at our Diablo forums
If you aren’t sensitive to spoilers you can read a brief summary of Diablo: The Sin War book one and two over at wikipedia.
Thanks, Harrogathhero and tRaDiNgYo.@Lordaeron
There is a rumor circulating the net that Gary Whitta is writing a sample fiction or screenplay for a Diablo and Starcraft Film. It is not official, as no press releases have been issued out to the media by Blizzard Entertainment. The rumor is Gary Whitta and Legendary Pictures might develop a Diablo Film. Again, not official nor confirmed.
I found this at worthplaying and at the HollywoodReporter, at the bottom of the page.
Few years ago, Blizzard Entertainment halted a Vin Diesel film with a lawsuit for using the title “El Diablo”. The film titled was changed to “A Man Apart”. Blizzard holds trademark over “Diablo” for films and games.
On Gary Whitta’s homepage there is a piece of sample fiction written for Blizzard Entertainment titled STARCRAFT: THREE BATTLES, which basically was written as a test of how a Starcraft novels can be brought into the big screen. There is the precedent that he has submited works for Blizzard. As usual time will tell if this is just rumor or true.
Blizzard Vice-President of Business Operations – Paul Sams – told Gamespot that Blizzard is currently working on various unannounced games hinting that Diablo and Starcraft franchises are among them, and a possible new franchise as well. Read More
Gamespot: ” When asked by GameSpot if the Warcraft universe was all that’s left for the company to mine, chief operating officer Paul Sams said, “No. Absolutely not. We have multiple games in development, currently, they are just not announced? To the outside world—and the reality of it is—we are laser focused on what is the thing right then, but there’s a ton of additional focus being put toward these other [games] that are in development.”
Reflecting on the existing franchises, Sams emphasized, “World of Warcraft and the Warcraft franchise is not the last and the only franchise we are going to operate within. We have two other very, very key franchises to our company’s history and to our company’s future success. The Diablo and Starcraft franchises are of the utmost importance to us as well. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a new franchise from us at some time in the future; there’s certainly a desire to do so.”