Blizzard is reportedly working on a Warcraft spinoff that resembles the massively popular Pokémon Go, amid criticism against its recently announced mobile game, Diablo Immortal.
The project is currently in development under one of Blizzard’s incubation teams, according to an in-depth report by Kotaku on the past, present, and future of the Diablo franchise that cited 11 current and former Blizzard employees as sources.
One of the developers revealed that there are “lots of mobile game players at Blizzard,” with a good number of Pokémon Go enthusiasts. The iconic orc statue in the middle of the company’s campus is a Pokémon Go gym, and employees battle with each other to take control of it everyday.
One of these Pokémon Go fans within Blizzard is lead designer Cory Stockton, who formerly worked on World of Warcraft. The Kotaku report suggested that he had something to do with the launch of the project, which may also bring in massive revenues for Blizzard once released.
The Pokémon Go-like Warcraft game is now in development for smartphones. People who have played the mobile game said that it has “got a lot more to it” compared to Pokémon Go, including single-player mechanics, according to the report.
World of Warcraft has a vast pet system with over 1,000 different pets, featuring elements, creature categories, and skills — similar to the world of Pokémon, as Pokémon Go Hub pointed out. The Pokémon Go website suggested that a turn-based system that combines the capture mechanics of Pokémon Go and the quality of Blizzard titles could result in success for the upcoming mobile game.
The same Kotaku report revealed that in addition to Diablo Immortal, Blizzard is working on Diablo IV, with the plan to make it “gross” and “dark,” eliminating the cartoonish elements of Diablo III and making it look more like Diablo II. The current iteration of Diablo IV, codenamed Fenris, currently features the series’ traditional isometric view, but there have been discussions about using an over-the-shoulder third-person view that was attempted for a since-cancelled project codenamed Hades.
There is no information on the expected release date for the Warcraft-themed version of Pokémon Go. Fenris, meanwhile, is still early in development, and may not launch until 2020 or later.