Former Hearthstone director Ben Brode has revealed what he and a handful of other former Hearthstone developers are getting up to at Second Dinner, the studio they founded last year after departing Blizzard. [Drumroll] It's a Marvel game, and it's backed by a cool $30 million investment from Chinese technology company NetEase, who just happen to also be Blizzard's main partner in that region.
"In all likelihood, this will be the best game ever made," CEO Hamilton Chu said. "I made a spreadsheet so I’m pretty sure."
What sort of Marvel game it will be? For now, that—and virtually everything else, including platforms—remains a mystery. Some sort of Marvel-based card game is a reasonable bet, as everyone on the founding team—Brode, Chu, Mike Schweitzer, Yong Woo, and Jomaro Kindred—were all senior Hearthstone developers prior to teaming up for Second Dinner. But equally it could be a different genre entirely.
The Second Dinner website also suggests that the project will take a very broad, all-encompassing approach to the Marvel cast, saying that it will have Hellcow the vampiric cow (a real character) and Throg, the Mighty Frog of Thunder (also real), and "also Spider-Man and the Avengers and the X-Men." That kind of big, gang's-all-here cast would be ideal for a CCG.
There is one way to find out ahead of everyone else, however. Second Dinner is now looking to hire a client engineer and a technical artist, and if you apply and get hired then they'll show you what's going on.
There's no time frame given for a full announcement or release, but the NetEase investment "should take us all the way through shipping our first game," the studio said, "with no need to sing and dance for milestone payments or desperately try to find new investors along the way." NetEase is also the company that's partnered with Blizzard on Diablo Immortal, the mobile game that was announced to something less than acclaim at last year's BlizzCon.