Blizzard Entertainment, known for its popular role-playing game World of Warcraft, has announced its first new franchise in 17 years.
Overwatch is a team-based shooter in a cartoon-ish future in which bands of heroes battle evil, CNN reports.
Blizzard debuted Overwatch on Friday in a cinematic trailer at BlizzCon 2014, the company’s fan convention, at California’s Anaheim Convention Center. Blizzard has built a global base of fans around Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo.
Not much is known about the game yet, but there were more than a dozen characters to choose from in the demo at BlizzCon. Characters are split into four groups: Support, Tank, Defense and Offense, although these are “loose” groupings, PC World reported.
At this week’s convention, Blizzard was expected to discuss new installments for its Starcraft franchise, details to its upcoming battle game Heroes of the Storm and improvements to the Hearthstone card game, CNET reported.
[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Paul Tassi” author_title=”Forbes writer”]
Perhaps the most amazing thing about Overwatch is the fact that it was kept a total secret, a rarity in this industry. Many were guessing that Blizzard’s big surprise was going to be a new Hearthstone expansion or something along those lines.
Blizzard has focused on new installments for its existing games to focus on creating high-quality games that bring strong sales and praise. Blizzard was working for seven years on a project called Titan, an online game similar to World of Warcraft. The company eventually abandoned the idea, saying it wasn’t good enough, Gamespot reported.
Blizzard’s greatest achievement was World of Warcraft, built around the storyline of its 1994 title, Warcraft, which charged a monthly subscription of up to $14.99. At a peak in 2010, World of Warcraft had 12 million concurrent active subscribers, bringing in over $217 million in December of that year.
The announcement follows Hearthstone, a World of Warcraft-inspired card game and Heroes of the Storm, featuring characters from several Blizzard games.
A beta version of Overwatch will be available to the public next year, game director Jeff Kaplan said.