Blizzard CEO Wants Warcraft 4, Says Smartphone Game Market's Potential Not Realized
"I love that there is so much passion and interest around Warcraft IV."
It's been more than 14 years since Warcraft III came out in 2002. Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime would like to make Warcraft IV, but stressed in a new interview that it may not happen soon, if ever.
"We love RTS games but right now our focus is still continuing to evolve StarCraft II--and to the extent that MOBA games are RTS--continue supporting and evolving Heroes of the Storm," he told Game Informer in the magazine's December issue, which is out today. "I love that there is so much passion and interest around Warcraft IV. I would love to see Warcraft IV at some point in the future, but that is not our current focus."
Reign of Chaos, the subtitle of Warcraft III, was followed by the release of an expansion pack, The Frozen Throne, which launched in 2003 to a positive reception. The game's story has since been continued in Blizzard's MMORPG World of Warcraft, which was released in 2004.
In summer 2015, Blizzard producer Tim Morten said Warcraft IV--and StarCraft III--have not been ruled out, though he made no guarantees of them ever happening.
Also in Game Informer's interview with Morhaime, the executive was asked what other game genre or platform he'd like to make games for in the future. Morhaime teased that Blizzard sees a "huge opportunity" on mobile, where it already has a footing with Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft.
"I think we are always looking at everything. We play a ton of games here, and we're always brainstorming new ideas," he said. "I think that still people haven't really figured out what the killer app for mobile is. I think there's a huge opportunity there. We certainly have so many people with these powerful gaming devices in their pockets that they are walking around with every day. I feel like there's a lot of unexplored ground still."
Another subject that came up in the interview was Blizzard's choice to do away with the Battle.net name. Morhaime said there was "a lot" of internal debate about this. The decision was to sunset in part because the name was "almost competing with [Blizzard's] other main brands," Morhaime said. The executive also said Blizzard has talked about the idea of adding non-Blizzard games to the Blizzard launcher, but the developer decided it was busy enough already with features and capabilities for Blizzard games.
"We ultimately internally decided this is going to be a Blizzard platform and we're going to focus on Blizzard games. There may be a way to leverage that technology with other companies within the Activision Blizzard family, but I think from a branding and consumer-facing perspective, we want to keep the service focused on just the Blizzard games."