A couple of years ago, we learned that Blizzard was working on an adventure game set within the world of Warcraft during the mid-90s that was ultimately canned. Now, thanks to a recent interview with Blizzard North co-founder David Brevik, we know what that was. He was the one who decided not to move forward with the title, telling the rest of the studio...
Guys, this really isn't kind of a modern game. It doesn't feel like a big evolution in Blizzard. It doesn't feel like this is really something significant. It feels like a me-too product that doesn't really have anything that's revolutionary or anything that's different, and it's kind of a basic point-and-click adventure game. And I don't think we should do this product.
For those of you who missed out on the 90s, adventure games were a pretty hot commodity halfway through the decade. They were frequently seen as a more educational alternative to video game norms, and a genre that would see a resurgence a solid decade later as the folks at Telltale started rolling out quality offerings based on everything from The Walking Dead to A Game of Thrones.
According to Brevik, he didn't see that as being a good move for Blizzard, which ultimately led to the cancellation of Warcraft Adventures. The team was deep into development of the game; far enough to tell that it wasn't offering anything revolutionary to the adventure game formula. Brevik said that what the team had was a "good" game, but not good enough. Again, you have to remember that Blizzard was still finding its place in the gaming landscape during the 90s, with games like World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch still quite a ways off. While it could be argued that pretty much all of those games had something of a "me too" feel to them, they also offered something bold and new that brought a whole lot of new players to their respective genres. Apparently, that same quality was lacking from Warcraft Adventures, according to Brevik, and so it was canceled.
Still, now that Blizzard is so well established and it sounds like the game was pretty far along, we can't help but wish a small team at Blizzard was put on wrapping the project up and finally releasing it upon the gaming masses. Even if it's as uninspired as Brevik thought, it would today be considered a welcome piece of "gaming history that never was."