Blizzard kicked off its semi-annual Blizzcon fan convention today in Anaheim, and during the opening ceremonies it revealed Overwatch
, a multiplayer team-based shooter built atop the remnants of the company's cancelled Titan
It's interesting to note that since Titan
was never publicly revealed, this is effectively Blizzard's first new game franchise since the company released Starcraft
in 1998. Development is being led by game director Jeff Kaplan, who previously worked on the Titan
seems to have been in development for some time, too; a playable build is at Blizzcon this weekend, and Blizzard expects to release a beta version of Overwatch
some time next year.
No details regarding the game's business model are yet available, but some sort of free-to-play scheme seems likely in light of Activision Blizzard's most recent earnings call
During the call it became clear that microtransactions made from within games like Call of Duty
are the biggest driver of the firm's digital sales. Looking ahead, CEO Bobby Kotick also expressed enthusiasm for the company's upcoming free-to-play titles Blizzard: Heroes of the Storm
and Call of Duty Online
"We're at the beginning of a new era for Activision Blizzard," Kotick said.