There’s been a lot of speculation about the unannounced mystery game Blizzard may or may not be working on but I don’t think too many people expected this: Word on the street is that it might just be a new Redneck Rampage game.

Rumors about a new Blizzard game started swirling in late March when the company posted two job openings for software engineers on its website, promising a ground-floor entry on a team working on a “brand new project.” An “inside source” at Blizzard said the position was for none of the company’s known franchises, including the next-gen MMOG it currently has in development.

Now it’s come to light, via IncGamers, that the rights to the 1997 mouth-breathing FPS Redneck Rampage, originally developed by Xatrix and published by Interplay, are in the hands of Blizzard, and that a handful of current Blizzard employees, including Wrath of the Lich King and Burning Crusade Senior Producer Alex Mayberry, also worked on the Redneck Rampage games. Put it all together and the truth becomes obvious: Blizzard is working on a new Redneck Rampage FPS!

Or maybe not. As Big Download notes, Interplay sold the Redneck Rampage rights in 2004 to Vivendi Games, Blizzard’s original parent. When Vivendi and Activision merged last year, those rights naturally transferred to the newly-formed entity, Activision Blizzard, the “real” holder of the rights to the title.

What does it all mean? Essentially, that nobody really has any idea what’s actually happening at Blizzard. Is it working on a secret new franchise? Possibly. Is it Redneck Rampage? Also possible, although probably somewhat less so. Blizzard isn’t saying anything, of course, so at this point wild speculation will have to suffice. And while it’s amusing as a rumor, what if it turns out to be true? The idea of a new Blizzard franchise has tremendous appeal but is Redneck Rampage really what we’re looking for?

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