It was less than a month ago that Overwatch fans were devastated by the news that Blizzard was canceling their plans to release a graphic novel for the franchise. Turns out Blizzard had a huge announcement under their sleeves the entire time that may explain that decision—they have launched their own book-publishing label.
Blizzard made the announcement in a press release on Thursday that revealed the gaming goliath would be making a move that gives them even more control over their beloved lore and major franchises with cult-like followings.
While Overwatch may be the first title to pop in the head’s of many of today’s consumers, this also has major implications for other Blizzard franchises like Warcraft and Starcraft.
The press release specifically stated that Blizzard Publishing will be dedicated to “developing and releasing new Blizzard publications and reissuing out-of-print titles in the company’s Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo settings, directly and through ongoing global partnerships.”
“Each of Blizzard’s game universes has been inhabited by millions of players worldwide,” the press release continues, “And Blizzard Publishing will help maintain the lore and legacy of the company’s earliest novels and manga while also providing a variety of new ways for people to engage with Blizzard’s rich worlds and characters.”
Blizzard’s Warcraft franchise will emerge as the star during the early days of the new publishing company.
Two sets of previously released novels will be the first books introduced under the new publishing label along with two volumes of the Warcraft Legends manga.
Blizzard Publishing will also be tapping into the rapidly expanding market of adult coloring books with the World of Warcraft Adult Coloring Book.
The title promises to deliver more than 80 pieces of Warcraft-derived art that consumers can fill with the colors of their liking for USD $14.95.
Blizzard’s decision to enter the book-publishing game is a reminder of just how powerful the lore surrounding their games tend to be.
Their most popular titles are emerged in a deep sea of fan fiction theories and enriched with tons of lore that makes the gaming experience all the more special.
That is precisely why this news is particularly intriguing for Overwatch fans.
The game’s lead writer, Michael Chu, announced that the planned Overwatch graphic novel was canceled but he also hinted that Blizzard still had plans to tell the story that would have been explored in the graphic novels.
Pulling the plug on an Overwatch graphic novel seemed strange considering how popular the game’s lore is, but scrapping the project in exchange for a different medium that adheres to a different (and possibly more profitable) business model is much less bizarre.
Of course, Blizzard has not mentioned any Overwatch-related projects that are tied to the new publishing company but the short time between the graphic novel’s cancelation and the book publishing announcement certainly seems to be more than a coincidence.
But only time will tell.