In all the hubbub about Diablo Immortal coming to mobile, there's one fact from Blizzcon that seems to be being overlooked - namely that Blizzard is also working on mobile versions of its other IPs. Which, I think we can all agree, is really exciting. Especially because it means Warcraft might finally make it to the App Store and Google Play Store.
With that in mind, we thought we should write up everything we know about Warcraft for mobile so far. Granted, it's not very much, but since this is the biggest news in mobile gaming, we thought we should get our thinking caps on well in advance so we're all well prepared when the game does eventually come out.
Now let's get on with everything we know about Warcraft for mobile right now.
What sort of game will Warcraft for mobile be?All of the games in Blizzard's library of IP have very specific genres associated with them. Warcraft, for the most part (we're not counting WoW or Hearthstone here, since they're pretty much their own IP now), is an RTS. So we fully expect that when it comes out it's going to be an RTS.
What sort of RTS? Well with this one we think the best thing Blizzard could do is drop a complete port of Warcraft 3 onto the App Store and Google Play Store. Why? Well, it's an older game, it's going to run well on the devices in our pockets, and it's got the sort of brand-name recognition that most mobile devs would get super excited about.
The game originally came out in 1996, and if you're looking for a game that could work as a mobile template, you could do worse than checking out Rome: Total War. It's a 15 year old game that's made the switch to mobile basically complete. The problem will be how the Warcraft 3 build can be transferred to mobile, and how the lower poly count graphics will look on super-slick modern screens.
Of course, there are other games you can look at for potential ideas of how Warcraft might come to mobile. It probably won't fill your heart with hope, but remember the Call of Duty mobile game that was basically Clash of Clans with rifles? Or the most recent version of Dungeon Keeper? Much like everything in life, this one has the potential to be great or, er, not great.
Or who knows, maybe we'll get an all new Warcraft 4 that you can play on your smartphone or tablet? Stranger things have definitely happened.
How much will Warcraft for mobile cost?There are a number of options that Blizzard could take, and they all depend on what sort of Warcraft game actually makes it to mobile. If it's a full port of Warcraft 3, then there's a chance that it might take a similar route to Super Mario Run, with a chunk of the game available for free, and more game available as an IAP.
If the game is getting any sort of overhaul, or if Blizzard is considering doing something completely different with the IP, then we'd expect that the game will be free to play. After all, that's where the money is nowadays.
But for a port? Whether Blizzard choses to go for an upfront model, or something more like Nintendo's take on the premium model, we reckon that the game will probably sit somewhere in the £4.99 / $4.99 bracket. After all, it's a 22 year old game, and anything more might put people off.
When is Warcraft for mobile likely to come out?While WoW and Hearthstone have taken the Warcraft brand in totally different directions, it's been an awfully long time since we've actually had a proper entry into the Warcraft canon, whether that's an HD remake or a game that's set in the same world as the original three games. That could well mean that this one is next on Blizzard's list after Diablo Immortal comes out.
On the flip side of that, the question remains as to whether Blizzard needs two RTS games on the App Store and Google Play Store. That might mean Warcraft doesn't get to mobile at all. It also might mean that Blizzard will try something different with either Warcraft of Starcraft for mobile. That, obviously, remains to be seen.
So in answer to the question - there's a chance that Warcraft for mobile will be the next game Blizzard is working on, it might never actually come out at all, or it might be something that the dev comes to once it's gotten its other, more current IP out for mobile.