We think it’s a city builder/RTS from what Medierra said back in November 2016.
"We do plan to keep working on Grim Dawn. How many expansions we produce just depends on how well the first expansion sells and how well GD itself continues to sell.
There is also a good a chance we’ll do GD2 at some point but, due to the age of the current engine, we either need to undertake some massive update work on it or start from scratch with a licensed engine, which would mean a massive amount of work writing all new gameplay code.
Given that we’re working on an expansion now, might do a second one and I’ve been working on ARPGs for 14 years now, I feel like I could use a bit of break before jumping right into GD2. Imagining exciting new features, systems and a whole new story arc take a lot of energy and passion. I’m happy continuing to work on and oversee content for GD but I feel like I need to recharge before I can give a whole new ARPG my all.
There are other genres of games I love and have always wanted to work on. I’d also like to work on something lower scope next, that requires less building of content and which won’t take too long to finish. I expect to be releasing this new project 12-18 months from now. Then after that, who knows, maybe it will be time for GD2. I won’t know until I get there. One thing I can say though is, I’d be a lot more excited to work on GD2 if we could get to a point where we had a lot more money to throw at it.
Someone mentioned that Banished / Anno town-builders were overcrowded but that looks like a wide open market compared to ARPG. Not only are there a lot of ARPGs coming out recently but players commit to a single one for much longer than games in other genres and it requires a ton of content and features to be competitive - more than almost any other genre of games. Then think about the fact that the ARPG genre has a franchise that is widely seen as “king” and is developed by one of the biggest, most well funded and widely respected companies in the industry. Everything is compared against Diablo and it’s hard to compete with a team that has virtually unlimited resources. Then Grinding Gear has around 5x the people we do and I doubt competing against a free-to-play game has helped our sales. Then there’s Torchlight (although it looks like their next game isn’t an ARPG), Marvel Heroes, Van Helsing, Victor Vran, maybe a TQ expansion or sequel from Nordic, Lineage Eternal (if that ever finishes), Wolcen and too many others to remember. Since the huge sales of D3, everyone and their mom seems to be making an ARPG these days. About the only thing worse would be deciding to make a MOBA.
Even with all that going on, I wouldn’t say it would prevent us from making GD2 but it certainly makes the level of competition in most other genres look a lot less daunting.
A big factor for working on something else though is that I don’t think it is good to keep all our eggs in one basket, as a studio. Our primary goal is to keep the company alive so we can keep being independent and making games. While it’s certainly possible to focus on one franchise and stay alive for a long time doing it, it’s riskier having all your future dependent on the continued success of one game property in one genre. Diversifying the types of games we can make and the IPs we own is a good way for us to better secure out future.
Beyond just branching out to work on other genres, it has always been a goal of mine to be able to work on concurrent projects. Not only do we not want to be pigeon-holed into one genre but I think it’s important for us to be able to work on multiple projects at time. That way, we’re not just counting on the success of a single big release to keep us alive, where if it under-performs, it could take years to course-correct and finish another project (years we likely wouldn’t have). This also helps to increase the efficiency of the studio, as we can shift people around based on the needs of a project at any give time, instead of having lulls at the beginning and end of a single project, where not everyone is needed at full capacity. Another factor is that people get burnt out working on one thing for too many years. When people get burnt out, they leave and look for something new. I feel like we have a great team and I want to keep them engaged with fresh new projects and not solely grinding away on ARPGs for the next 20 years.
Since we would like to keep making content for GD, we’ve brought on some new people for that, to keep up the level of energy and enthusiasm (or new old people in the case of Grava, aka Josh Glavine). We’ll keep making content for GD as long as it’s financially viable. GD2 is a definite possibility but whether / when that happens depends on how things progress in the ARPG genre and internally for us at Crate over the next year or two. We also have some ideas for GD related games that are set in that universe and will share some mechanics but are not quite ARPGs.
You’ll also be hearing about at least one totally new project in the next year though."
Also the job being advertised on Crate’s website says:
“You would be working on one of our two current projects, both in the PC RPG / Strategy genres”
Medierra said in the last stream a few weeks ago that he hoped to be able to give us more news on the new project in a couple of months’ time.