Jay Wilson, who worked at Blizzard for a decade and most notably served as Diablo 3 game director, has launched a new studio called Gas Giant Games. The studio's creative director, Julian Love, also has Diablo experience—Diablo 3 through Diablo: Immortal and Diablo 4—so it's not too surprising that the company is making an action RPG.
More precisely, it's an "action RPG with survival elements," according to Wilson, and settling on the concept apparently wasn't a trivial task.
"Each of our concepts had to pass the test of showing that it would not only be a good experience to build, but a great game to play," Wilson said in the announcement (opens in new tab). "We all agreed we had found the game we had to make: an action RPG with survival elements that we think players of both genres will love.
"A development team's time is a precious thing and there's no justification for spending their time on anything other than games they want to make. And man, do we want to make this game."
The survival RPG is in development for PC and consoles, "with mobile platforms to be evaluated."
Wilson and company are headed to GDC in San Francisco next week to show the game to potential investors and publishers, but say they're not ready to give the public a look yet. The most Wilson will offer for now is to say that the game "will deliver insane, visceral combat, engaging progression systems, and a unique survival experience—all wrapped into a new and original world that we're sure you'll love to explore."
"Visceral combat" might be the most overused game descriptor of all time—it's at least in the top five—but I am curious about the game. Diablo 3's reputation is, let's say, mixed among series fans, but when I finally played through it in its post-Error 37 and post-Auction House era, I had a lot of fun. Wilson is also well-known among RTS fans, with credits on Homeworld 2, Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War, Company of Heroes, and StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty. He was also lead designer on World of Warcraft: Legion.
Gas Giant Games also boasts talent from Overwatch, Dragon Age 2, Space Marine, Cyberpunk 2077, and other games, though every other studio announcement seems to include a similar declaration of big game heritage, so it's hard to know what to take from it.
Back in Blizzard-land, this month's Diablo 4 beta weekends are approaching, and the game is scheduled to release in June. We don't know a whole lot about it, but Blizzard has its own survival game in development, too.