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A while ago, we reported that Blizzard registered a trademark that hinted at an animated Diablo series. Today, we finally got more details via Gamespot.
According to the LinkedIn profile of Nick van Dyk, co-president of Activision Blizzard Studios who also produced Skylander's Academy on Netflix, the unannounced Diablo series will be rendered in anime style and is currently in pre-production for distribution worldwide through Netflix.
Nick van Dyk's profile also mentions that he developed and sold an animated series based on Blizzard's Overwatch franchise with his creative partner, but we have no clue what that means or who bought it at this time. Do you think we'll see an Overwatch animated series as well?
President of the film and television division of leading game company Activision | Blizzard, charged with adapting the company's intellectual property to film and TV, including development, financing, production and distribution. After founding the business unit in 2014 and serving as its COO and CFO, I grew the business to $15 mil in revenue and with my creative partner built a diverse and world-class team of 20+ people to execute our mission. I oversee financing, distribution, strategic planning, franchise management, business affairs, operations and other functions of this emerging business unit while working closely with the creative team.
* Executive producer of Skylanders Academy, a TV adaptation of Skylanders (the leading
children’s video game franchise in the world). Solicited pitches and selected show runner,
assembled writers’ room, provided notes and creative feedback at all stages of
production from writing through animation, hired key show staff (line producer, casting
director, voice director, composer, etc.), sourced and hired animation studio and negotiated
equity interest therein, established guidelines for talent deals, assembled series cast, and sold
the show to Netflix.
* Executive producer of Diablo, a TV adaptation of Blizzard Entertainment’s IP, rendered in anime style. The show is currently in pre-production for distribution worldwide through Netflix.
* With my creative partner, authored development strategy for the Call of Duty cinematic and
television universe. Secured development funding, developed writer compensation deals and oversaw negotiations to secure talent.
* With my creative partner, developed and sold an animated series based Blizzard's Overwatch franchise.
* Authored strategic business plan for formation of the business, developed organization strategy, sourced and recruited talent, structured compensation and built the team to execute against the plan
* Managed the business to four straight years beating operating plan.
Blizzard President J. Allen Brack talked to concerned investors regarding the launch of Warcraft III Reforged during yesterday's Q4 2019 earnings conference call.
Warcraft III Reforged had a rough launch. First, the developers responded to the criticism surrounding the game. Then, the company started to offer automated refunds for the title, as they continue to refine the game through new updates.
One of the investors asked a question regarding the game's launch during the call and here's what J. Allen Brack to say:
"Concerning Warcraft III Reforged, honestly, it's been a bit of a hard week. Our community has come to expect really amazing things from us, and we've heard from them that we did not achieve that bar, but we stand behind our games and have consistently shown that not only do we support them, but we continue to build on them even after launch, and we're committed to doing that here as well, and so, we're going to continue to update the game, and we'll continue to update the community with our plans going forward."
J. Allen Brack
It seems the company is not particularly happy with the release of Warcraft III, and they will continue to release updates for the game to meet community standards.
Blizzard has had 32 million monthly active users in Q4 2019 (down from 33 million in Q3 2019). Diablo Immortal will be available for testing in the middle of 2020, and WoW exited 2019 with more than twice the size of its Q2-ending level subscriptions.
Q4 2019 Highlights
In the fourth quarter of 2019, World of Warcraft had twice the size of its Q2-ending level subs. Blizzard has a rapid cadence of follow-on content planned for Classic, and the Shadowlands expansion planned in the second half of 2020. Battlegrounds in Hearthstone drove sequential growth in engagement. The testing of Diablo Immortal is planned for mid-2020. Revenue growth from World of Warcraft and Overwatch is offset by declines in Hearthstone and Diablo. The operating margin is significantly higher Y/Y due to mix and lower costs. Slide Presentation
Rod Ferguson, current studio head at The Coalition, current developers of the Gears of War franchise, is moving to Blizzard and will be in charge of Diablo. He's actually been with the Gears games since the first one, participating in the development of each game, ending with Gears Tactics which comes out in a couple of months.
Ferguson started with Microsoft back in 1996 and the first real project he worked on was Microsoft Train Simulator. After that he went to Epic Games where he helped create Gear of War 1, and then later on briefly left the Gears family to join Irrational Games and help get Bioshock: Infinite's development get back on track. He then moved to 2K games as a studio head and manager of Black Tusk, to return to Gears when Microsoft bought out the franchise from Epic and gave it to his new studio (now renamed to The Coalition) to develop. Gears 5 was received well, with new additions to the franchise like open world areas and vehicle exploration, which sounds pretty familiar from what we've seen of Diablo 4 so far. Outside Gears and Infinite, he's also been a producer on Bulletstorm, Infinity Blade, Shadow Complex, and Lost Planet 2.
While the Diablo franchise is more than just Diablo 4, it's definitely the main focus, and it's good to have such an industry veteran be in charge of it.
Source: PC Gamer.
Gears of War veteran joins Blizzard to oversee the franchise.
You only have one day left to purchase the Virtual Ticket and claim rewards in all Blizzard games before they are gone for good.
Last year's Virtual Ticket is going away February 7 (tomorrow) at 10 AM PT, and you can still purchase it for 29.99 EUR // $37.49 by visiting the links below if you think the rewards are worth it.
[EU Link // US Link]
2019 Virtual Ticket Rewards
Last year's rewards include:
Two Battle Pets and the Wendigo Woolies transmog outfit in World of Warcraft; Legendary Overwatch Skins (Illidan Genji & Tyrande Symmetra); BlizzCon 2019 Card Back and Sathrovarr in Hearthstone; Deathwing the Destroyer Hero & Celestial Deepcrawler Mount & Portraits in Heroes of the Storm; A Trio of Brood War-Era nit Skins and Portraits in StarCraft II; Lilith Wings in Diablo III.