An Activision executive said six new Blizzard titles were dropping over the next three years.
Blizzard's famous tenet is to release a game when it's ready, and not before. When the PC game behemoth merged with Activision in 2008, many critics were afraid that the publisher's bottom line would infect Blizzard's core philosophy of quality first. Thankfully, that hasn't come to pass as the plodding pace of of development for Diablo III, WoW expansions, and the split-up campaigns for StarCraft II have proved. Still, Activision's Chief Operating Officer Thomas Tippl has high hopes for an aggressive release schedule because at the Citi 2011 Technology Conference in New York today he said that Blizzard will come out with a slurry of games from recognizable brands over the next few years.
Tippl said that Activision is under the impression that six titles from "proven properties" are being developed at Blizzard right now. Two of these are the planned campaigns for StarCraft II, the first being Heart of the Swarm that's now slated for mid-2012 despite originally planned for release a year after the Terran campaign. The final installment Legacy of the Void following the Protoss race doesn't have a release date yet.
Another two titles out of the six are supposedly WoW expansions, Tippl said. Blizzard has yet to announce even the next expansion, but there are rumors swirling that the Pandaren continent will be featured and we'll likely learn more at BlizzCon in October. Still, no one knows what the next WoW expansion after that will be. Perhaps it's the long-hinted Emerald Dream.
The final known title is Diablo III, which still might come out this year even though Tippl said that Activision isn't banking on it for its 2011 earnings statements. He also believes an expansion for the loot-happy action RPG would come out in the next three years and it might be the final title he was talking about.
That leaves the next MMO with the codename "Titan" a bit in the lurch. We still don't know what IP the massive game will use or if it's a new property altogether. The leaked release schedule from Blizzard China from last year had "Titan" coming out in 2013, which would place it firmly in the window that Tippl is describing. Does that mean that its from an un-"proven property"?
I just hope that we don't get to play it until it's done. Wait, strike that, reverse it: I want to play it right now.