If its about Action RPGs in the style of Diablo goes, then the name Eric Schaefer obvious. The Diablo inventor is now back and wants to revolutionize the genre.
Schaefer revealed this in an interview with Venturebeat, where he announced that he would be the creative director from now on Moon Beast Productions to work. Together with Phil Shenk and Peter Hu, also formerly at Blizzard North, they want to create an action role-playing game that will solve the problems of the genre.
Action RPG with new progression system
A title or detailed details are not yet available for the planned project. However, the team around Schaefer, Shenk and Hu has big goals, because they want nothing more than to “reinvent the genre of isometric action role-playing games”. They relate on the one hand to the progression system in today’s action role-playing games and, according to Schäfer, to the fact that the starting point is almost always the same.
“She [Action-Rollenspiele] are basically all the same game. They have a 4X structure. They have five classes and each has a skill tree,” Schaefer said. That’s something to work on. “We have ideas on how we can change the genre by taking a different approach to progression and trying to solve some of the issues we’re having that PvE games are struggling with, especially games like the Diablo series,” Shenk adds in the interview venture beat further out.
Neither of them go into detail, nor does Peter Hu. The reason for this is quite simple: there is no real game yet. The team is currently working on a prototype that they intend to present to selected partners in the near future. The plan is to take an available engine and aim for multi-platform. Of course, none of this is set in stone yet.
Small team, big ambitions
While the development studio is pursuing rather big goals, the implementation will probably take quite a bit of time. This is also due to the fact that Moon Beast Productions has been a really small company so far: just twelve employees, including Schaefer, Hu and Shenk, are currently working on the prototype.
But you want to score with experience: Hu and Shenk were instrumental diablo 2 involved, while Schaefer previously created the first version of Diablo with his brother Max and David Brevik. Brevik and the Schaefer brothers later formed and worked on Flagship Studios Hellgate: London. A little later Eric Schaefer moved on to Runic Games, where he worked on the Torchlightseries was involved.
Now Schaefer wants to try something new again: “I want to work on projects that are fun and really try to do something different.” So he’s not the only ex-Blizzard developer. In September 2020 Mike Morhaime, one of the founders of Blizzard, announced that he would start his own company called Dreamhaven pounded out of the ground. In addition, many former starcraft 2veterans at Studio Frostgiant on their own vision of a strategy game.