XBLA, PopCap vet caught in Blizzard

[UPDATE] Former Xbox Live Arcade boss, casual publisher executive Greg Canessa joins WOW maker as Battle.net project director.

In early 2007, Xbox Live Arcade veteran Greg Canessa left software giant Microsoft to lead PopCap Games' efforts in bringing its casual games to an expanded breadth of platforms. Two years later, Canessa appears to be returning to big-budget game development with a new gig at the world's largest third-party publisher.

Greg Canessa

Joystiq reports today that the longtime game executive has taken a position with World of Warcraft maker Blizzard Entertainment. Canessa will reportedly be working on an "unannounced project in the online space" and will report directly to Blizzard cofounder and vice president of game design Rob Pardo.

Blizzard is currently at work on at least one unannounced project, a top-secret massively multiplayer online role-playing game that CEO Michael Morhaime confirmed was in development in late 2007. In February, Blizzard lead designer Jeffery Kaplan confirmed that he had transitioned off the WOW team to work on this unannounced project, which will reportedly be completely different from the game maker's current money-minting MMOG.

[UPDATE] Responding to GameSpot's request for comment, a Blizzard representative confirmed that Canessa has indeed joined the company. The representative also clarified Canessa's role at the studio, saying he will serve as project director on "the next version of Battle.net," Blizzard's online account management and community service. Canessa will report to vice president of online technologies Robert Bridenbecker.

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42 comments
Strange-Dude
Strange-Dude

It's not competing with WoW if u get the money from both games... No matter which game people pick, Blizzard gets the money. It's just expanding the market... really genius if u think about it. I don't know any company that had a hold of the gaming community enough to really do something like this.

psycho_spaceman
psycho_spaceman

NikNitro brought up the idea of WoD... i agree, that would be friggin' sweet... however... who wants to play a diablo game where the attacks are automatic? not I... Diablo needs to keep it's fast-paced, kill a billion baddies, and wipe the blood off your face to kill a billion more attitude. i remember playing D2LOD from when it was released to about 4 years afterwards.. I'd be chillin' in a game with a buddy or two then we'd start blabbin' on how we'd want Diablo 3. the mmo idea came up, but i think i speak for every diablo fan out there when i say, "stick to the roots".

Nodashi
Nodashi

Blizzard is the bomb. Whatever they make, they make it to be good and LAST, so I'm really curious about that project.

Fady117
Fady117

Good thing for him. At least we know Blizzard's up to something... They usually aren't selling cookies when they're planning something big.

DarpSyX
DarpSyX

Blizzard should start making their games for XBOX and PS3 that´d kick arse

Niknitro18
Niknitro18

WORLD OF DIABLO!!! ok maybe not but still i hope its WOD... hahaha

madmenno
madmenno

@cswann821 Have you ever heard of a footman rush in WoW? And how would you fight a swarm of chimera's in WoW? If you are serious your post makes no sense. I hope they bring in a new universe, other then diablo, SC or WC. However i'd like to play a new Sci fi MMO and i hope it's totaly different then other mmorpgs. Like Eve online is different to anything out there. But then again, they probably aim for the big mass and you can't make the gameplay too deep if you want to set a new market record.

cswann821
cswann821

why not a diablo MMO?, to much like conan i suppose. How would you fight a swarm or be a swarm of zerglings in a SC MMO? just cant see that working at all.

AdaptorLive
AdaptorLive

Guy changed jobs. This probably has nothing to do with a new Blizzard or Xbox Live game. Some of you are already p***ed at a game someone else here thought up...

anhuarx
anhuarx

i read some where else that the secret project involved developing a MMO for the xbox 360 to compete with SE maybe thats why they needed this guy from ms to complete the necesary arrangaments to interface both xbox live and battle net

bucketmaster
bucketmaster

another con from blizzard , just give us starcraft II with the old style battle.net - none of this MMO spudge

captaink24
captaink24

I think there is enough lore to support a Starcraft MMO. Or they could just be making something totally new, which would also be pretty cool

Innos007666
Innos007666

People, cut the cr*p with StarCraft MMO! SC is on top of RTS and it will alway be. You spit on that legendary name when you daydreaming that sc can be mmo game. I hope that something like that will not happen in my life.

chappy_man
chappy_man

I know alot of people are thinking Starcraft MMO, but it could be WOW2 i know it may not seem likely but its an option they have to create an advanced graphical version, and somehow transfer characters or something along those lines. Of course they do have other franchises but i couldn't think of anything else that would work out the same as wow. Blizzard is truly a power house in the gaming economy, and its always interesting to see what they may come up with.

edant79
edant79

All I can say is: they better not charge like they did with PSO & FFO, and have to pay for both an Xbox and MMO account. B*tches better make it free.

Epicurus-Reborn
Epicurus-Reborn

a potential starcraft mmo... that would be crazy. (and awesome!!) with such a universe i really find it hard to believe the gameplay would or even could follow the same rpg styled format as wow does. Id hope for a 3rd person shooter. its about time some one made a good mmo shooting game.

nappan
nappan

@starbead: "completely different" can mean a looooot of things... and they've only said it will be different from WoW. That said, I don't do the "inside info" thing, so maybe they have.

starbead
starbead

Haven't they confirmed that the secret MMO title is a new IP?

nappan
nappan

Hmmm, I hate to say this, and I HATE MMO's... but... it could be an SC:2 MMO adjunct to the main game. If they had a fully ready SC MMO, which they released a while after SC:2, they could repurpose a LOT of the WoW technical infrastructure to support a new MMO. They could, in effect, drain WoW resources into this new project as needed, which would serve both to support the project without the HUGE initial investment a MMO represents... and it would wean people off WoW. I think Blizzard is smart enough that they won't put all of their MMO cash-cow eggs in a sequel to WoW... they saw what happened when EQ did that.

Wardrift
Wardrift

If it is a WOS project, Blizzard would have to contend with Star Trek Online and SWOR. Personally it'd be a tough call between Starcraft or Star Trek, both are very fun universes.

zaphod_b
zaphod_b

Good call, halfbreed. That would help set it apart from WoW so both games could continue to be viable.

halfbreed11111
halfbreed11111

pvp oriented world of starcraft would be the tightest thing ever

atopp399
atopp399

I don't see it being a fantasy or sci-fi MMO. Those two genres would compete with each other. People would switch from WoW to a World of Starcraft game. It has to be completely different if people will be willing to pay for two MMO games. If the new game involves leveling up a character by defeating monsters and going on quests and stuff like that then it will compete with WoW and Blizzard says that is not what they are doing. Of course it could all be hype...

nappan
nappan

Yes, new would be nice... although since it'll be MMO, I couldn't care less. I'll play one when they evolve a LOT... then again, maybe Blizzard could pull it off. They have the talent and the money... whether they WANT to... who knows. I'd have trouble walking away from the MMO cash cow too, if I got a part of it ;) .

GreySeven
GreySeven

Or... something totally new... that would be nice.

zaphod_b
zaphod_b

As long as we're guessing, I say they are creating a new universe apart from Diablo, Starcraft, or Warcraft. World of Starcraft would be great, but I'd like to see some brand new lore coming from them. Blizzcon 09 will mark about 2 years since the initial announcement. Maybe we'll see something then. However, they have a lot to show off already.

-Celeste-
-Celeste-

Jshaw71>>> they said multiplayer online game, not massively multiplayer online game.. don;t get me wrong i would love to see a wos game, but that's not what were going to see next, maybe an action game that has online play... --- Story>>> a top-secret massively multiplayer online role-playing game that CEO Michael Morhaime confirmed was in development in late 2007 --------- They did say massively multiplayer online role-playing game ...which, consequently, rules out the action game.

Jshaw71
Jshaw71

they said multiplayer online game, not massively multiplayer online game.. don;t get me wrong i would love to see a wos game, but that's not what were going to see next, maybe an action game that has online play...

raplips
raplips

WORLD OF STARCRAFT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

nappan
nappan

I'm sorry, but I'm with the people who are asking why this is NEWS. Also... if you're going to have a whole paragraph as the lead-in... how about one that isn't actually deceptive?! I mean, wordplay is one thing... but this.

Phylyn5151
Phylyn5151

Darn, When I saw XBLA and Blizzard, I was hoping for Diablo 2 on XBLA. That would be the best news. I'm sure that they will do good work.

Jesse-Fett
Jesse-Fett

I'd like to know why the heck this showed up on my updates... I have no ties to this

weapon93
weapon93

This is news? Wasn't this reported like over a month ago?

Chico_Azteca
Chico_Azteca

so Gamespot... are you aware that there are better news, like i don´t know..... Silver and Gold remakes?

evezina007
evezina007

Let's hope that we can have access to WOW through XBOX LIVE, that would be a big push from Microsoft.

evezina007
evezina007

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Boomkins
Boomkins

I wonder what Blizzard has up their sleeves? The mind boggles...

Kh1ndjal
Kh1ndjal

@pete5506 i think blizzard pay him, i dont think he's working for free anyway, i think blizzard are cooking up something that will blow us away...

Pete5506
Pete5506

why help out with WOW????