After joining forces nearly 15 years ago, Activision-Blizzard has remained one of the biggest and most successful names in video games. In addition to housing legendary PC franchises like Warcraft and Diablo, Activision-Blizzard is home to Call of Duty, one of the most successful and culturally relevant video game franchises of the 2000s.
As of late, the mega-publisher has narrowed its focus onto its biggest franchises — CoD, Warcraft, Diablo, and Overwatch — though it also owns classic series like Starcraft, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, Tony Hawk, and Guitar Hero — franchises that may see new life under Microsoft’s ownership.
For now, however, we’re focusing on the games we know are currently in development at Activision Blizzard. For this list we’ve compiled PC and/or console games (and their major expansions) only; mobile games are not currently included, and we’re not referencing any rumored projects.
Activision Blizzard is currently facing serious ongoing allegations of harassment and mistreatment of marginalized workers. To learn more, please visit our timeline as well as our in-depth report on the subject.
More on games in development:
- Every Nintendo Game in Development
- Every Ubisoft Game in Development
- Every EA Game in Development
- Every Square Enix Game in Development
Immortal features six character classes: Barbarian, Crusader, Demon Hunter, Monk, Necromancer, and Wizard. For the first time in the series, you’ll be able to change classes mid-game while retaining your overall progress. Additional classes will be added after launch, according to Blizzard.
Wyatt Cheng, previously the patch lead for Diablo 3, serves as Immortal’s game director. Rod Fergusson, meanwhile, is overseeing the project as Blizzard’s general manager of the Diablo franchise.
Diablo Immortal was notoriously revealed at BlizzCon 2018 to a wave of negativity from fans expecting to see the next proper Diablo game, which would be revealed at the following year’s event (more on Diablo 4 below). We came away from some hands-on time with Diablo Immortals thinking it showed “enormous amounts of promise.”
World of Warcraft Classic: Wrath of the Lich King Expansion
Blizzard is also working on an updated version of its Wrath of the Lich King expansion for World of Warcraft Classic. As with the expansion’s original release in 2008, Wrath of the Lich King adds the Northrend map; new dungeons, including Violet Hold and the Culling of Stratholme; new raids; an achievement system; and the Death Knight character class.
Unlike the 2008 version, Blizzard’s Wrath of the Lich King revival will not add a dungeon finder system. This decision was made to “keep what the team perceives to be the spirit of the WoW Classic community,” according to game lead Brian Birmingham.
Wrath of the Lich King ushered in the most popular era in WoW history, resulting in 2010’s peak subscriber count of 12 million players. The following expansion, Cataclysm, represented a drastic shift for the MMO. Blizzard has said it’s open to revisiting Cataclysm in WoW Classic if the community wants it.
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is the next entry in Activision’s historic FPS franchise. MW2 will be a direct sequel to 2019’s Modern Warfare reboot.
While Activision has made MW2 official, few concrete details have been revealed about the next Call of Duty. What we do know is that Infinity Ward is once again leading development on the sequel, reportedly with the support of 10 other studios, using a new game engine. The developer has also revealed the MW2 logo.
2019’s Modern Warfare campaign ends with Price requesting the formation of Task Force 141 (the protagonists of 2009’s original MW2), likely setting up another story with Price, Soap, Ghost, and Gaz.
Infinity Ward is simultaneously leading development on the next iteration of Call of Duty Warzone (more below). Despite the pending acquisition of Activision by Microsoft, MW2 will be released on both Xbox and PlayStation consoles.
Call of Duty Warzone 2
Alongside Modern Warfare 2, Infinity Ward is developing the next iteration of Call of Duty Warzone. Activision describes Warzone 2 as “a massive evolution of [battle royale], with an all-new playspace and new sandbox mode.” Warzone 2 is being “built from the ground-up,” according to Activision, and will feature “groundbreaking innovations.” It will once again be free to play.
Warzone has been a massive success for Activision, amassing over 100 million players as of April 2021 — a number that’s certainly grown over the past year — and helping propel the company to record-high revenues in 2021.
The sequel is coming at a time when players are experiencing numerous issues with the original Warzone — issues Infinity Ward vows to fix with Warzone 2.
Shortly after leaking by way of an art book advertisement, Diablo 4 was officially announced at BlizzCon 2019. The fourth mainline entry in Blizzard’s legendary action-RPG series takes players to Sanctuary, a more open-world setting that exists separate from heaven and hell.
Diablo 4 is said to be tapping into the franchise’s darker roots; former game director Luis Barriga described the game as gothic, medieval, and “a bleak and shattered hellscape bereft of hope and beset by demons.” Some of its design is even inspired by horror manga artist Junji Ito.
Barriga also explained how Diablo 4 pulls from the series’ legacy, saying it’s inspired by Diablo 1’s sense of dread, Diablo 2’s class line-up and loot chase, and Diablo 3’s combat.
Barriga, along with lead level designer Jesse McCree and WoW designer Jonathon LeCraft, left Blizzard last August amid ongoing allegations of harassment and abusive work culture. Longtime Blizzard employee Joe Shely, previously Diablo 4’s lead designer, has since been promoted to game director.
Diablo 4 will have five playable classes at launch, four of which have already been revealed: Barbarian, Druid, Sorceress, and Rogue. In a first for the series, players will be able to customize their characters’ looks and armor colors — a system that lends itself to Diablo 4’s cosmetic-only microtransactions.
In addition to a linear story campaign, Diablo 4’s shared open world is filled with crafting, trading, world events, side quests, PVP areas, and camps. Sanctuary comprises five distinct regions, all of which feature weather effects and day/night cycles.
Enemy families in Diablo 4 include the Cultists, the Drowned, the Fallen, and the Cannibals. Series villain Lilith also returns as an antagonist in Diablo 4.
The last official word from Blizzard came when it pushed Diablo 4 from 2022 to 2023 or later. The action-RPG has only been announced for last-gen consoles and PC, though we imagine PS5 and Xbox Series X|S versions are in the works as well.
Announced alongside Diablo 4 at BlizzCon 2019, Overwatch 2 is the next iteration of Blizzard’s multiplayer FPS. The sequel features PvP and PvE modes alike, including co-op story missions, replayable hero missions, and an all-new 5v5 competitive mode called Push.
Campaign missions will support four-player co-op and tell the story of Overwatch members fighting against Null Sector. Each mission will feature cinematic intros and outros that seamlessly cut to and from gameplay.
Hero missions, meanwhile, are replayable PvE encounters designed to help players level up and progress through characters’ new skill trees. Former game director Jeff Kaplan likened hero missions to adventure mode in Diablo or world quests in World of Warcraft.
The sequel also introduces new maps for its PvP and PvE modes — NYC, Rome, Toronto, Gothenburg, Monte Carlo, Rio de Janeiro, India — and new heroes, the first of which is the rail gun-wielding Sojourn. Additional new Overwatch 2 heroes will be revealed ahead of the official PvP launch, which will occur separately from its PvE launch. Blizzard has yet to reveal release dates for either game mode.
An Overwatch 2 beta on PC is running now through May 17. Despite its PvP still being in beta, Overwatch 2 is being used for Overwatch League 2022, which kicked off on May 5.
Like Diablo 4, Overwatch 2 was delayed from 2022 to 2023 or later. It, too, has only been announced for last-gen consoles and PC, though PS5 and Xbox Series X|S versions are a safe bet. The shooter is also coming to Switch with “some compromises.”
World of Warcraft: Dragonflight
Dragonflight is the ninth expansion for Blizzard’s long-running MMORPG. As the name implies, this expansion is all about dragons: Dragonflight introduces a new hero class, Dracthyr, who can switch between dragon and human forms, and an all-new Dragon Riding mount system. Draconic characters from the series’ past, including Alexstrasza, Kalecgos, Ebonhorn, and Wrathion, return for the new storyline.
The expansion takes players to the Dragon Isles, an area made up of four new, environmentally diverse leveling zones: Waking Shores, Ohn’ahran Plains, Azure Span, and Thaldraszus. To complement the new Dragon Riding system, these areas were designed to be more vertical than previous expansion areas.
Dragonflight also overhauls talents, crafting, and the UI. It raises the level cap to 70 and, as always, the expansion adds new quests, dungeons, and raids.
New Blizzard Survival Game
Blizzard’s sixth and final project on this list is an unannounced survival game. The AAA project, in development for PC and console, was revealed earlier in 2022 as part of a recruitment effort by Blizzard. The studio describes the game world as “a place full of heroes we have yet to meet, stories yet to be told, and adventures yet to be lived. A vast realm of possibility, waiting to be explored.”
Alongside the recruitment post, Blizzard unveiled two pieces of concept art: One depicts a warrior adorned in typical fantasy-like armor, the other shows two modern-day characters seemingly stumbling across a fantastical world.
Blizzard has yet to reveal any information beyond that initial post, though studio president Mike Ybarra said he’s “played many hours of this project with the team and I’m incredibly excited about the team’s vision and the brand-new world it presents for players to immerse themselves in together.” The last part of his quote — “to immerse themselves in together” — may imply co-op functionality within the game.
Source: IGN Video Games All