The three legs of Blizzard’s stool of Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo are coming to an end. They will be replaced with a new three legged stool of Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, and Overwatch.
“But Malstrom, how can you say Overwatch will be good? No one has played it.”
The people I know who are playing it have told me about it. And I do believe it will be popular… as much or even more so than Team Fortress 2.
At first, I wanted to say this is the spin-offs replacing the series. Hearthstone is a chip from Warcraft’s block. Heroes of the Storm is a chip from Starcraft’s block. And Overwatch is a chip from Diablo’s block…. wait… that doesn’t work. Oh well. It was almost a good analogy.
Warcraft is really about riding technology waves. Warcraft 1 rode the LAN wave, Warcraft 2 and 3 rode the modem wave, and World of Warcraft really rode the broadband wave. Hearthstone’s massive popularity (75 million players (!)) is about riding the tablet/smart phone wave. Whatever one may think of Hearthstone (I’m not a fan), it is leaps and bounds better than the usual mobile game.
The love of Starcraft was the love of multiplayer battling. Heroes of the Storm is going to gore Starcraft’s multiplayer base. The Starcraft 2 players who hadn’t left for a MOBA already will likely drift to Heroes of the Storm.
Overwatch is still a question mark. However, I don’t see Diablo 3 remaining popular years after its last expansion. Who knows what the future of Diablo gameplay will be and if anyone wants it in the future. I do not see Diablo 4 anytime soon.
We are in the transition to the Third Era for Blizzard.
Interesting thing I didn’t realize to notice until I did this is how the ‘boxes’ have changed. The listed games are considered the peak of that franchise more-or-less. So many of the games seem like an evolution to that next peak. Warcraft -> Warcraft 2 -> Starcraft while Warcraft 3 -> World of Warcraft. Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 are good games, but they are definitely not matching the earlier peaks probably because they are transition games. Now, I do not know if Third Era games listed will be the peak, but I do know that a new era is dawning.