Blizzard, a division of Activision Blizzard Inc., unveiled a new game for mobile phones set in the popular Warcraft universe, one of two big projects that had been in development.
The game revealed by the company Tuesday, Warcraft Arclight Rumble, resembles Supercell Oy’s popular Clash Royale. Activision Blizzard chose to cancel the other project, an augmented-reality game that would have been similar to Pokemon Go, said people familiar with the company’s plans who asked not to be identified because the information is private. A representative for Blizzard didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Warcraft Arclight Rumble will be free-to-play and will enter beta testing for players soon, Blizzard said. It features colorful sprites of recognizable Warcraft critters battling on maps inspired by the game series.
The upcoming game is part of a Blizzard initiative to conquer the lucrative mobile marketplace, which generated more than $93 billion in 2021, according to Newzoo estimates. Blizzard, which has traditionally developed games for personal computers, found success with mobile versions of the digital card game Hearthstone in 2014. Several years later, the company began developing games from the ground up for smartphones including Diablo Immortal, which will be out next month.
This burgeoning mobile initiative is one of the driving factors behind Microsoft Corp.’s move to purchase Activision Blizzard for $69 billion. Shareholders of the video game company approved the purchase last week, and it could soon see a regulatory review. Activision is, meanwhile, facing an ongoing lawsuit from the state of California over allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination.
The second, canceled project was modeled after the lucrative and incredibly popular Niantic Inc. game where players roam the streets around their neighborhoods in search of virtual creatures to capture. It was not immediately clear why the game was canceled, but other attempts at aping Pokémon Go in the Minecraft and Harry Potter universes were unsuccessful.