Only Blizzard

Overwatch New Blizzard IP

Only Blizzard can both excite and disappoint me at the same time. Only Blizzard can be unoriginal and draw this amount of hype. I wasn’t expecting them to be original. In fact, I wanted them to make another Warcraft RTS game. I’m disappointed by the fact that they are still drawing this out as long as possible. It’s inevitable. There will be another Warcraft RTS game. It’s going to happen. The 20th anniversary of Warcraft would have been a good time.

Instead, we now know that Blizzard’s next new IP/Franchise is going to be Overwatch. Overwatch is a first-person shooter that looks shockingly just like Team Fortress 2. Blizzard is rarely ever completely original. They simply take what has worked well in the past and blown it up into something bigger and arguably in many instances (no pun intended) better.

The basic premise of Overwatch DOES appeal to me. I really do enjoy shooters like this, and I really do enjoy the zaniness brought about by this type of setting. I’m a fan of the art style… I’m just a fan of all of it. They seem to have a great offering for characters to play with different roles and abilities.

I imagine Overwatch will be free to play with the same kind of hats and costumes model as TF2. This is the route they’re going with their games. I keep saying over and over that Blizzard knows their money is in games like Hearthstone (seriously, did you see how much they were hyping it during the opening ceremony of Blizzcon?) and now Overwatch. Their COMMUNITY is in games like WoW. It will be interesting to see how they balance this transition.

Bottom line(s)…

  • I’ve never played a Blizzard game that I did not enjoy immensely.
  • I love each and every one of Blizzard’s franchises.
  • Blizzard makes high-quality games.


Overwatch will be a great franchise full of high-quality games that I enjoy immensely. Damn you for not announcing Warcraft 4.

  • From the game play videos it seems extremely fast paced. This is a big step for blizzard to go in an FPS direction.

    I’m interested to see how they plan to make this genre of game accessible to a wide majority of players.

    I’m also interested to see how they plan to stand out from other shooters. We’ll know more later I’m sure.

  • Fully agree but I think the pace looks too fast and the aesthetic too child-friendly to appeal to me.

    I’ll give it a go of course, if it’s a decent price!

  • @Yotor: They’ll dominate the eSports space just as they have with Starcraft and Warcraft. It’ll be polished and accessible — a shooter for the masses — just like Hearthstone for card games. My mind right now is actually already on what they’ll do next with Overwatch franchise.

    @Angry old man: Just like another action RPG, another RTS, another MMO… it’s Blizzard. They makes me-too titles then they dominate with them. Kinda hard to ignore that little detail.

    @Intruder: Classic Blizzard stylized graphics. I’m betting it’ll be free but it could easily be a full-price game.

  • “next with Overwatch franchise.” I bet you will see raids. A progression system for getting better gear/drops/wingdings all within the game. The FPS 6v6 match system will be the meat and taters.

    They have a ton of art assets if they were planning on making this game into an MMO. I would be shocked if they don’t start talking about raiding or bosses from the start.

    Blizzard takes popular game genres and gives them polish, and they focus around making the game fun. If the game isn’t fun they won’t release it. I’m looking at you ghost and the thrall adventure game.

    I don’t expect to see this made into an out right MMO, but you can be sure that the game will have those elements during its existence.

  • I was not prepared (yes I went there) for this and personally I am blah about it. Do we really need another Team Fortress clone? Blizzard where is my WC4? Come one now.

  • “I keep saying over and over that Blizzard knows their money is in games like Hearthstone”

    Except not on their earnings report? WoW made up most of that, and they also hyped D3 as a top seller on consoles, leaving us with Hearthstone not being much of a factor in the revenue and profit areas.

    One view is to say “yet”. But Hearthstone isn’t exactly ‘new’ anymore.

  • I’m speaking to the future. Without looking at their financials I bet Hearhstone, for the resources invested, has a significant return. WoW brings in a ton but requires a ton to support, maintain, and grow. I may be more than a decade early in this call, but I’m betting the future for Blizzard is not MMOs.

  • I have watched the trailer.

    Now lets pretend this game has nothing to do with Blizzard and all and a company like Nexon made it.

    All I see is a TF2 clone with generic looking characters.
    There is very little originality.

    If any other company released this trailer people would have responded… Meh.. TF2 clone.
    So why exactly is this good news? Take of your pink colored Blizzard glasses people.

  • Hearthstone had I believe the top 10 spot on revenue earners in the F2P and subscription market.
    Made by a small team that is amazing.
    Wow was also in the list, but around the 7th or 6th place.

    Now add the upcoming heroes of the storm into the mix that will probably do well and that is a big chunk of the market. (You bet their board of directors loves the numbers of league of legends that was in the first spot generating near a billion on revenue last year)

    Blizzard is branching out they want the whole market not just the MMO market.
    I would not be surprised if they are working on a competitor for world of tanks.
    Sounds crazy?

  • @Syncaine: You should do some research, they reported (and this is quoted)

    ” Hearthstone also had a big quarter with the release of the Curse of Naxxramas adventure. The community responded with great enthusiasm to the single player encounters as well as the new cards.

    More than 20 million players have now played Hearthstone. While these sports tournaments around the game are also growing more popular than ever, recent Hearthstone competitions have surpassed 150,000 concurrent viewers on online streams. ”

    That is as of the Q3 close at the end of September. Not exact revenue number but it was also mentioned that 60% of the revenue for Activision-Bizzard is from digital products with the majority of it being from digital game downloads and microtransactions from their various franchises.

  • Darth: “Not exact revenue number”


    Now go to the actual numbers and do some 1+1 and let me know what you come up with.

  • Blizzard knows its’ money is in monetization of their existing franchise and brand and using that power to branch off into new genres.

    @ Syncaine

    I don’t think Blizzard ever expected Hearthstone to be one of its’ major pillars for revenue growth. I think it was meant to be their first (safe and inexpensive if it flopped) foray into testing F2P and its potential as a big revenue model. It seems to have paid off quite well according to this data here at TAGN (granted it is superdata and they did include Hearthstone in MMO Revenue lol).

    Does Hearthstone have legs in the long run? We will see.

    @ Keen

    As for Overwatch, I can’t help but think TF2. I am sure Blizzard’s take will be entertaining but I do feel a bit disconcerted by their lack of ambition these days. They have always been more refiners rather than innovators but talk about going for the easy wins here. TF2 is quite long in the tooth (but still generating money for old Valve) so the space is open for a TF3 esque successor. Unless they mess up the gameplay and monetization, it should be a cakewalk for them.

  • Syncaine, really, do your research before spouting off nonsensical nonsense, again.

    Hearthstone hasn’t been out a full year yet, through some searching I have not been able to find any actual revenue numbers yet, however conservative, and emphasis on conservative, estimates place it at making $30 million this year alone. While this is a fairly small margin of the overall revenue it’s not insignificant by any means.

    That is before it expands to android systems (which is the dominant company in Asian markets), and before the planned full expansion next year, with estimates putting it at making much more than that next year with that.

    Also every single article about the earnings report I could find is publishing that they had surpassed expectations for the third quarter and most of them quote the success of hearthstone being a part of them.

    So ya, when multiple reports on Q3 financial earnings are reporting that hearthstone is a huge success and that it (along with d3 in the case of the blizzard side alone) is what helped the company exceed expectations for Q3, I would say they realize that it is where their money most definitely is in the future.

  • On the financial report itself Blizzard has their own section. They then break things down by category. We know which one Hearthstone is in. 1+1. If those numbers you attempted to find were true, don’t you think some suit would have actually mentioned them on an earnings call, rather than just making general PR statements?

    I mean, I’m sorry you just took PR speak at face value, but come on, be better.

  • I’m sorry you are such a jaded anti-blizzard fanboy you think over $100 million in revenue over 2 quarters of being out for hearthstone isn’t significant.

    No point in continuing this, you don’t provide any proof and continue spouting your anti-blizzard rhetoric with paper thin statements, no research, and 0 proof.

  • Well at least you finally found the number.

    Sadly you mistook what that number represented, so not a whole lot of progress (hint: that number is for all such games, with Hearthstone being just one.) Now compare whatever fraction you think Hearthstone is of that number, to what WoW is in its, and hopefully you will start to understand why the suit only gave you a PR statement to eat up rather than something more solid like they would for a game like D3 or WoW.

  • Reactions to this annoucement feel like politics. I mean, one company announces one game without much details and the internet goes crazy and super polarized. Put that in the political landscape, with one party announcing it’s new key candidate and you’ll get the same kind of reaction.

    So what do we have here ? Blizzard, a gaming company that has grown and changed over the years, preping to branch out in a new gaming genre. Way too many uncertainties to set my expectations, bad or good ones. The only similarity in Blizzard’s past is Hearthstone and I’m still undecided on this one (I haven’t been hooked personnaly and the numbers are still too recent). Other than that, I don’t know. Company hasn’t really branched out recently; there has been an important employee turnaround, important enough that I can’t judge their work quality; they have an impressive marketing team which can blur things out.

    Bottom line : once again, the internet is overreacting and setting unrealistinc expectations, both ways.

    @Syncaine/Drathmar : Do we have a ball park number about how much Hearthstone development cost ? It’s kinda hard to judge its success without it, specially when companies only report revenue. Having a lot of revenues doesn’t equal profitability.

  • I have zero doubts this is the remnant of Titan. As someone who despises MOBA’s and is not a fan of shooters, i have very little to be excited about.

    It looks great and i have no doubts it’ll play great but this was not the droid i was looking for.

  • @Syncaine: Look at the picture that was in an article that was linked on this awhile ago:

    Hearthstone, ALONE, has brought in over $100 million in revenue. Once again stop being condescending when you don’t do your research and actually look something up before making a statement of fact, because it is clear you have 0 clue what you are talking about and are just a jaded anti-blizzard fanboi spreading blizzard hate.

  • Wow, quite a bunch of grumpy people we have here. So much hate for a video game. I guess we can file this one under “first world problems”. I showed the gameplay video to my wife (who plays WoW) and she said “Cool! I want to play!”. We’ve even started to pick our favorite characters. So, we’re looking forward to this one.

  • Ah, Darth is a superdata believer. Makes sense. I prefer filings sent to regulatory authorities, especially when they don’t line up with fictional numbers others buy into, but you go ahead and keep quoting numbers from a ‘company’ that puts Hearthstone in the MMO category buddy.

  • Syn I find it difficult to read your consistently mean-spirited comments as they are ever laced with unwarranted patronizing style-over-substance descriptors.

    Your statements do not gain objective validity by interjecting how sad and sorry you are that others couldn’t be better and start to understand your theories, which in my opinion are frequently nothing more than poorly founded, highly subjective, and inflexibly polarized guesses.

    Your arguments generally start from a point of self-serving subjective belief, dogmatically making unjustified a priori statements on topics that in reality have a great latitude for personal interpretation. You then proceed to cherry pick information to suit your viewpoint, offhandedly dismiss information that does not, and ironically attempt to play research taskmaster when you yourself haven’t bothered.

    This Jeff Albertson style of presentation is not only extremely off-putting, but also overshadows the opinion you attempt to put forward.

    I’d recommend picking up some stylistic pointers and social niceties from Keen. One can hold to their point without being unnecessarily combative.

    Directly to the point, why are you so hell-bent on running down the profitability of games marketed by Blizzard?

    I am sure there are many readers who are not fans of Blizzard either (including myself), but it is delusional to pretend they are not producing massive revenue generating games.

    A primary reason why I dislike Blizzard is because of just how successful they are at directing market focus on accessibility for increased profit, thereby disenfranchising old-school gamers such as myself; if they were in actuality designing market failures I wouldn’t be concerned, but that is far from the case as Drathmar’s research has effectively illustrated.

  • I loved the trailer and the characters in it. But I don’t like FPS games and especially I am not fan of pvp. So I am not hyped about it, but I am glad they have a new IP now that may result into something better in the future…

  • I’m over people calling this a TF clone. This is a obscure type of fps game, it is a game that mixes fast paced class based combat with moba like abilities. They will be adding more and more heroes to the game just like a moba. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is going to be a pick ban process for ranked. SO since it has an engineer that builds turrets its a TF clone? Honesty this is nothing like tf2. One thing for sure is that this game will actually get some love and if the money is there the sponsors will be there, something that was part of tf2 for all of 2 seasons and then died down to what it is now. The tf2 players (comp players) get by getting jack S*** for money for a first place lan victory. This game is from blizzard… they are going to give what tf2 never had, a chance for pros to actually make a living. A large following on twitch and LANS the likes of which tf2 would never see. I am so stoked for this game for that very reason, it will have some backing. Sure its got some tf2 qualities… but what game has not taken some ideas from other games that work? Pretty much none.

  • “Directly to the point, why are you so hell-bent on running down the profitability of games marketed by Blizzard?”

    Simply correcting a few people who are having trouble with numbers, nothing more. You wrote an awful lot of words, suggesting I’m just grasping at straws while superfiction believers are correct, so why don’t you directly to the point answer this; why in Blizzards financial statement is the category that Hearthstone falls under only 36m, while superfiction says Hearthstone the MMO has already produced 114m? Which source do you think is wrong?

  • Way too early to judge anything about Overwatch, other than they are trying to use some of the resources scrapped with Titan. The FPS market is very fickle and hard to make games with lasting appeal.

    I know this isn’t a direct correlation, but I get the feeling this could go the way of Monday Night Countdown. Remember that? The successor to TF2 which bombed as far as I can tell.

    • @JJ Robinson: I agree completely. I think they could do a lot to the arena shooter format to create longevity and even sequels and expansions to Overwatch. Locking down the FPS-MOBA arena shooter formula could be quite easy for them.

      They may one day even expand the Overwatch property into a Borderlands type experience or a Destiny type experience — though I suspect that’s what this was before they repurposed it into an arena shooter.

  • @Syncaine:

    No you are spouting off anti-blizzard crap and providing your opinion as if it was fact, and saying that your opinion trumps the actual links, quotes, and facts that people are providing because everyone should just take your word for it that you know more than multiple different articles from business websites (not just superdata), that you obviously don’t bother reading.

    Basically you are spouting off nonsense with no proof or backup vs statements that have proof to them which makes it looks like you are just grasping at draws and spouting rhetoric. You are making yourself look like a know-it-all condescending troll that actually has no clue what they are talking about and just likes to spout off.

    Anyway, the game itself looks interesting, I like the idea of more class based shooters/shooters with abilities, it’s why I liked the idea of destiny when it was first revealed.

    It definitely looks like more than a tf2 clone as well, and more of a moba-fps mix from what I can tell.

    But of course, like all blizzard games not named WoW, it will be way to niche and obviously fail despite having more than double the user base of WoW (last sentence is sarcasm just to clarify).

  • @Darth: so why don’t you directly to the point answer this; why in Blizzards financial statement is the category that Hearthstone falls under only 36m, while superfiction says Hearthstone the MMO has already produced 114m? Which source do you think is wrong?

  • @Syncaine: Why don’t you link where you get this information. As of the Q3 2014 report (found here):

    Digitial revenues (the category) as of the first nine months of 2014 $1,174m. Not sure where you are getting 36m (nothing to do with the digital product category even has this number in the Q3 financial report), so please, point it out somewhere or shut up. You are the only one who has brought this up who has spouted off bullshit with no links/proof to back it up so at this point I am just writing you off as a troll.

  • Also I forgot to point out… Activision-Blizzards total revenue and income is down as of Q3 going by year-to-year however blizzards by itself is up in both going by year-to-year and as of the Q3 report hearthstone and diablo 3 expansion where their only new products this year. I would say that speaks fairly highly of how well hearthstone (and diablo 3) are doing.

  • Net rev by platform: Mobile and other: 35m (3 month). 165m (9 month).
    Net rev by platform: PC: 165m and 447m.

    Hearthstone is mentioned specifically in the PC category, though iPad sales would fall under Mobile.

    The digital rev number is pretty pointless, since it includes everything from sales and WoW subs, and as the numbers above show, Hearthstone isn’t a large factor.

  • There is no basis to say “Hearthstone isn’t a large factor” by the above numbers.

    Good job trying to once again grasp at straws and twist facts to fit your own warped reality. Oh well, I apologize to everyone for feeding the troll for so long. Not gonna bother responding to anymore Syntroll posts.

  • @Drathmar Good that you realized this… Found those posts boring to watch between you and Syncaine.

  • “Good job trying to once again grasp at straws”

    “you are spouting off anti-blizzard crap and providing your opinion as if it was fact, and saying that your opinion trumps the actual links, quotes, and facts that people are providing”

    “Basically you are spouting off nonsense with no proof or backup”

    “Not sure where you are getting 36m (nothing to do with the digital product category even has this number in the Q3 financial report), so please, point it out somewhere or shut up. You are the only one who has brought this up who has spouted off bullshit with no links/proof to back it up so at this point I am just writing you off as a troll.”

    Nice little hole you dug yourself into huh little guy? Better luck next time, though do at least attempt to understand what you are linking before raging off like you have here, won’t come off nearly as foolish at the end.

  • The problem as Drathmar just pointed out is not that you didn’t provide any numbers, but that the little information you did provide in no way can be extrapolated to conclude “the game [Hearthstone] will be seen as an utter failure”.

    As a matter of fact every site I have Googled addressing their recent financial reports in its stead unequivocally concluded it was a better-than-expected fourth quarter and calendar year 2013 for Activision Blizzard (such as the article “Activision Blizzard Announces Better-Than-Expected Fourth Quarter and Calendar Year 2013 Results”), and continued to outperform expectations up through their September 30, 2014 notification (such as the articles “Analysts expect Blizzard’s Hearthstone card game to make bank” and “Thanks to Destiny and Hearthstone, Activision’s latest revenues stomp 2013”), and in no way construe this information as an indirect negative indicator of Hearthsone’s performance.

    You simply cannot conclude that at only 6 months of age Heartstone is a failure on the basis of “better-than-expected fourth quarter and calendar year 2013” financial reporting of their parent companies.

    The question remains, why it is important for you to arrive at this arbitrary and unsubstantiated conclusion?

    I am left to guess at your mental process that has lead you to believe these numbers are representative of a Hearthstone “failure”. Perhaps you are assuming readers to inappropriately claim that these numbers directly prove Hearthstone is a success and therefore proactively in defense jump to the equally (if not in actuality less likely) unjustified counter proposal that they are representative of Hearthstone’s failure?

    I don’t believe anyone here assumes from these numbers that in its 6 month infancy Hearthstone has surpassed LoL or DOTA2’s financial success, and yet that appears to me to be your straw man criteria for “failure”, a self-serving invalid argument that isn’t worthy to get caught up into.

    How anyone can view Hearthstone breaking 20 million registered players at only 6 months of age, or Blizzard’s continuing to outperform projected financial expectations, as an indicator of Hearthstone failure is beyond me, other than from a point of view fueled by emotional oppositional-fan-driven hatred.

    It would be like a burger chain that just opened 6 months ago being considered a “failure” because it only had only developed 1/3 the customer base of McDonald’s.

    On a different note, as far as the Superdata information is concerned, do you have any validated reporting to support your contention they are being purposefully misleading; by “validated” I mean something other to point to than a cutesy redefining of their company’s name like “Superfiction” (I hate when people think they have actually made a point by creating simplistic rhyming insulting terms, for instance “proving” the current president is inadequate by referring to him “Odumba”).

    Barring any smoking gun evidence of repeated and/or purposeful misrepresentation of data, I will leave any allegations of incompetence or wrongdoing between you and the lawyers they might see fit to address such slander.

    I see this unsubstantiated offhand approach of discreditating organizations tasked with the job of acquiring validated information all throughout the internet. I was reading an article on the spread of Ebola and one commenter attempted to discredit the CDC’s epidemiologic reporting on the grounds they had actually designed the virus and were spreading it as a test in our population. When multiple people countered that the CDC was manned by experts in the field of data acquisition specific to epidemiology the person countered by saying “Yeah right, and the government hasn’t ever lied to us before”, and naturally didn’t provide any valid proof of their contention of willful malfeasance.

    So much of your arguments take the form of a conspiracy theorist, throwing together a self-serving gish gallop of tenuously (if at all) connected cherry-picked tidbits of information, ignoring what doesn’t support your contentions (such as the majority of opinions I have read that these positive financial reports likely reflect positively of Hearthstone’s future growth), followed by insulting attacks upon those with opposing opinions.

    Again to maintain the intellectual integrity of your own blog, I strongly recommend dropping the ad hominem MadLibs approach to counter-arguments you have adopted; your insults only serve to discredit your voice as one that needs to resort to personal character attacks instead of logic and empiricism to make their points.

    There is a difference between people falling silent at the uncontestable evidence one puts forward in support of their argument and those whose minds turn away because you just called someone with a dissenting opinion “little guy” and “foolish”.

  • Ah Keen you foolish little guy believer in Warcraft 4. Obviously it will be a failure before developers even conceive of it!

    I am saddened and sorry you that you can’t be better person and just agree with me regardless of your subjective experience.

    This calls for double frowny face emoticons. 🙁 🙁