The Horde and Alliance are at war, and Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth hype is kicking into full gear. With constant data mining loot up on Wowhead, Youtube speculation growing on things such as allied races, new zones, lore and more. However, something interesting is happening down at Blizzard HQ. A 16-year-old Real-Time-Strategy game received a major patch. That game is Warcraft III.
As many are aware, it seems as if Blizzard has been hinting at the game receiving a remaster like what has been done for Starcraft. This upcoming week Blizzard will be putting on the first Warcraft III Invitational. This inaugural event will feature some of the biggest names in the Warcraft III (WC3) community competing at Blizzard HQ on Twitch. This news has led to fans celebrating (the long-awaited) renewed focus on the game. Beyond WC3 however, many questions remain about what the future of the Warcraft RTS franchise will be. We discussed previously how a remastered WC3 and the potential of Warcraft 4 could help save, or reinvent, the RTS genre. Here we want to explore another key topic that is heavily debated. Could World of Warcraft and Warcraft 4 coexist in the same game universe?
Has this concept been done before?
Well, yes it has, but obviously not by Blizzard. Fans of EVE Online will remember Dust 514, a former PlayStation 3 exclusive First-Person-Shooter game. The game connected to the EVE universe and battles on planets took place real-time within the game. Players in the EVE Online game could affect battles raging on in Dust 514. While extremely cool in concept, due to many issues including being a Sony exclusive on PS3 as PS4 launched a few months later, Dust 514 no longer exists. However, this idea is something the developers of EVE Online, CCP, still feel passionately about. They are working on a new multiplayer shooter known only as Project Nova which presumably could impact the world real-time like what Dust 514 did. Maybe even take it further.
Let’s connect the dots.
Having two games impact a game universe real-time is something you must consider Blizzard has looked at. Beyond speculation, by looking at what is being added to the upcoming Battle for Azeroth expansion, there might not ever be a better time to implement something like this into the Warcraft world. For one thing, Blizzard has said Warfronts in Battle for Azeroth are heavily influenced by the game’s real-time-strategy roots. Additionally, with the Warcraft community asking for battles between the Horde and Alliance to have world-shaping impacts on who controls what, why limit this to just World of Warcraft? What if Warfront battle results mattered on a faction scale in both in World of Warcraft, and outside of it in a new game – Warcraft 4?
So… is this even likely? There’s one more piece of information to consider in this theory. It turns out that this past September, Blizzard was hiring for an RTS MMO mobile-based game (note the original job postings are no longer listed). Blizzard has tried to incorporate more of a mobile element to WoW, with the Legion companion app being one of the latest examples, along with the mobile armory/auction house. While we’re unable to know if this mobile RTS MMO is for certain a Warcraft franchise game, we certainly can speculate. With the renewed energy around the Warcraft franchise, something big could be in the works. Could World of Warcraft and Warcraft 4 coexist in the same game universe? Could the results of matches in WC4 matter on a story level, and impact the World of Warcraft? Absolutely it could, and in my opinion, it should.