Now, before you get too hyped out, this is one of those “it just might be” situations when whether the evidence indicates one thing or another depends entirely on interpretation.
A job opening calling for someone with “knowledge and understanding” of Overwatch for an “unannounced project” may line up with past statements regarding some of Blizzard’s incubation teams working on new concepts.
Specifically, the job offer is looking for a generalist artist intern to work in the developer’s Irvine offices. Considering it calls for both knowledge of the game and indicates that work will be performed on an unannounced project, it means that project is not directly related to Overwatch the game. At least, it probably isn’t.
Blizzard Entertainment has done some expansion in recent years. After spending several years as a PC-only developer, consoles and mobiles received Blizzard ports for recent games – Diablo 3 and Hearthstone, specifically. Additionally, the company’s CEO Mike Morhaime has stated that their incubation teams are working on several mobile projects, plus some time ago the company was calling for software engineers to work on an unnamed first-person project.
Overwatch coming to mobile platforms may at first seem like an odd prospect.
In spite of their being plenty of FPS games on mobile, the touch screen being an utterly ineffective method of control for such games has prevented them from becoming huge hits like the many microtransaction-laden strategy games that are constantly in the toplists.
However, considering that a particular mobile Overwatch clone, against which Blizzard recently took legal action, has become quite popular in Chinese markets, a graphically handicapped version of Overwatch could indeed be viable on mobile platforms. After all, the business case is already there.
Another possibility to consider is that the company is developing a major expansion for Overwatch.
All three of its mainline franchises (Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo) have existed in expansion-driven ecosystems and Hearthstone also joined this category. So, it is easy to assume Overwatch will as well, and since the company is looking for employees now, the development of such a project would only wrap up about a year from now or more, meaning the rough time ‘needed’ between game launch and expansion launch would elapse.
Currently, Overwatch is being supported through the periodic release of new maps and new heroes, but only one by one. This is somewhat similar to World of Warcraft’s approach where free content patches expand the game in between the release of the expansions.
A major Overwatch expansion might look like a package including several new heroes, maps as well as major new game-modes. Something that has been tickling the fantasies of players ever since the game launched is the idea of a singleplayer, or possible co-op, campaign that fleshes out the game’s story better than the short films and the online serials do.
Currently, most of the Overwatch lore material we’ve received focuses on the backstory of the game world and its characters, with comparatively little by way of “current” events. Of course, since the matches in the game itself ignore lore-dictated allegiances (such as Reaper and Soldier: 76 being on the same team), technically the game itself cannot be canon and thus cannot further canon story events without serious restrictions (the Uprising event, for example, limited hero selection and took place in the past).
Of course, this may be entirely unrelated to Overwatch as an IP and knowledge of the game may only be required to be able to produce something similar and of the same quality. When news of Blizzard hiring for an FPS made the rounds, speculation about a StarCraft spin-off, and even a possible revival of the canceled StarCraft: Ghost game popped up as well.
As always, nothing is set in stone until the official announcement, but considering the success of Overwatch, fans need not worry that Blizzard will abandon this IP.