Interview: Warcraft Rumble devs explain name change, tease possible PC port, more

Liam Ho
Warcraft Arclight Rumble

Warcraft Rumble is Blizzard’s newest real-time strategy title available on mobile devices. We spoke to Blizzard developers Tom Chilton and Vik Sarraf to learn more about the game’s recent soft launch and get a glimpse at their plans for the future as it heads toward its full release.

Blizzard’s ever-expanding universe of games is growing once more with the soft launch of their newest title Warcraft Rumble. The real-time strategy title has launched in the Philippines, which the team has expressed their excitement for as a form of technical test for the full launch.

“It’s exciting stuff. This step is always exciting because it’s usually one of the last steps you go through before going worldwide. Our launch in the Philippines is set out to be a technical test to just make sure everything’s working, gather some device-specific information since there’s a wide variety of device types in that market as well,” Saraf explained.

The goal for the Warcraft Rumble team is to roll out to the other servers as soon as possible and continue to carry on from the beta, taking things they learned and gaining player feedback and insight.

On top of this, the team wants to take the time to polish the game fully and place the final touches before its global release.

Inspirations and learnings for Warcraft Rumble

The Warcraft Rumble team was fortunate to have shared learnings from the teams at Call of Duty Mobile and King who have published a heap of mobile games before them.

However, working at Blizzard puts the team into a rather unique position, as they need to be careful with well-beloved franchises like Warcraft and Diablo, and stay true to the game’s origins whilst keeping it fresh.

“I think with Blizzard one thing that’s different is because we have such heralded franchises… there’s a balance which Tom alluded to before which is also understanding and recognizing that you have a passionate fan base that really cares about the games itself.

“And you already have a lot of AAA development and design experience helps you know how to design games that have great moment-to-moment gameplay, and good core loops. So what you want to do is stay true to your roots as a game developer on these prized IPs but also be able to then take mobile’s best practices to make sense for you,” Saraf elaborated.

Rumble without the Arclight

One major change that dropped with the soft launch of Warcraft Rumble was the removal of Arclight in the game’s title. Originally the RTS was supposed to have the lengthy title of Warcraft Arclight Rumble, before the devs decided against it, thinking about what players would do.

“Before we announced the game, we were trying to figure out, ‘Ok, what are all the different things that we feel like encapsulate what the game is, and which parts do we want to emphasize, and which parts do we think players are going to glom onto the most?’” Chilton recounted.

The devs knew that players often like to shorten the names of video games, take World of Warcraft becoming WoW or Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft becoming just Hearthstone, as two key examples.

Warcraft Rumble gameplay
Warcraft Rumble will soon be available in more regions as the test continues to expand its reach.

So the team thought about a variety of different factors, including reducing the title’s length and shifting around where each word went. The Rumble team even thought about reducing the name down to just ‘War’ as players might just call it by its acronym, devs shared. The team, however, was still unsure even after thinking it out and decided to “beta test” the title as well.

“Our kind of take on it was like, ‘Let’s come up with a name that has the different components that we think really work well with this game and in a sense beta test the name’… After doing that and watching what players grabbed onto, it became pretty clear that Warcraft Rumble was what resonated with players the most.”

Warcraft Rumble’s future may include a PC launch

Many Blizzard games have had their time on both the PC and mobile platforms. Games like Hearthstone have seen major success double dipping across the platforms, potentially paving a path to PCs for Warcraft Rumble.

“We’ll have to wait and see in a lot of ways. It’ll kind of depend on what players want. If there’s a demand for PC, which there may well be, then that would be something that we pursue,” Chilton answered.

The team explained how they felt Rumble was the opposite of Hearthstone in that way, which was originally ported to mobile after being developed for PC.

“We were sort of the inverse of Hearthstone from the standpoint that Hearthstone was developed for PC first and then translated onto mobile. We’re kind of the reverse of that. The game’s always been functional on the PC insofar as we’ve developed it using Unity on the PC and all that kind of stuff.”

Alongside this, the team explained that they don’t have any problems with players developing emulators to play it on their PCs and believe that it may potentially make its way to the PC in the future, but they don’t have anything for players on that front at the moment.

About The Author

Liam is a writer on the Australian Dexerto team covering all things gaming with an emphasis on MMOs like Destiny and FFXIV along with MOBAs like League. He started writing while at university for a Bachelor’s degree in Media and has experience writing for GGRecon and GameRant. You can contact Liam at or on Twitter at @MusicalityLH.