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Blizzard Bets Big With New ‘Overwatch’ Game Franchise

Blizzard, the gaming company behind the mega-popular "Warcraft," "StarCraft" and "Diablo" series, on Friday announced its first truly new franchise in 17 years: a multiplayer first-person shooter called "Overwatch." The game, shown at Blizzard's own BlizzCon event, is a futuristic six-versus-six battle game with a large roster of characters to choose from, and more to come. In the announcement, "Overwatch" was described as an offshoot of the company's "Project Titan," a massively multiplayer game that never came together and was officially canceled last year. The last new franchise Blizzard revealed was "StarCraft," way back in 1998. Everything since then has been a sequel or otherwise derivative of their big three game worlds — so you can expect "Overwatch" to stick around for the long run, too.

It owes a lot to established multiplayer shooters, especially Valve's popular and long-lived "Team Fortress 2," but also takes hints from "MOBAs," or multiplayer online battle arenas, which focus more on team synergy and strategy as keys to victory rather than pure "twitch" gaming skill. No price or date was announced, but Blizzard said we should see "Overwatch" sometime in 2015.

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