The super-secret first-person project at Blizzard that first came to light in 2016 remains unannounced, but it looks like the wheels are still turning on it. A new job listing for a "senior/principal game designer" has appeared on the Blizzard Careers website, seeking someone "with experience in developing weapons, abilities, and gameplay systems in action or first-person shooter games."
"As a Senior or Principal Designer, you’ll work with numerous departments to shape the core gameplay experience for this unannounced project by defining the abilities, powers, and weapons our players will use," the listing states. "The ideal candidate will design and implement great game experiences while helping to foster a creative and energetic environment. You have proven experience in game design, a strong aptitude for critical thinking and analysis, outstanding people skills, boundless creativity, and extensive knowledge and passion for competitive first-person shooter games."
The requirements are fairly steep, as you'd expect, including a minimum five years in the industry, experience in triple-A development, and an "absolute passion for playing and creating PvP game experiences." That's a more specific requirement than we've seen in previous job listings, including those that appeared in June and December of last year, which only made mention of a "robust first-person engine" that will be used in an unannounced project.
That would seem to narrow the field of speculation somewhat: It's (probably) not a single-player Overwatch game or an Elder Scrolls-styled RPG—which was always a long shot anyway, but something I'd love to play. Overwatch 2 is just as unlikely—you don't gut the game you're trying to build an esports empire around—but a full-on expansion would fit the bill. There's also the obvious idea of Overwatch Battle Royale, although given how crowded that genre has become I really hope it's not.
I've reached out to Blizzard to ask what it's got cooking. I don't expect anyone to tell me, but on the off-chance that somebody blows it and accidentally forwards an internal memo, I'll let you know.