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August 11th, 2010, 23:37
Omega points out two articles on Blizzard where one emphasizes that they are not giving up on PC gaming (PCR Online) and the other states that gaming is a serious business (LA Times) as told by Blizzard CEO Michael Morhaime.
"Its certainly not written off by us. PC development has a number of unique challenges that console developers don’t face, but Blizzard is one of the few companies that is there making great PC games. We've spent a lot of time in development focussing on scalablity, on new PC hardware and old. If you were just designing for a console it would be a much easier task."
Blizzard's greatest success came with a tough lesson. In planning for the release of World of Warcraft (WoW) in late 1996, Morhaime thought the market for the much more expansive new game — the first that required players to pay for a subscription — would start off slowly.
"We felt it was very likely the fee would be a deterrent for people, and that WoW would not sell as quickly as some of our previous games," he said. All of Blizzard's production decisions were based on that conservative projection.
But to Blizzard's delight, and terror, WoW sold furiously, leaving the underprepared Blizzard temporarily unable to keep stores stocked with the game. "For the whole first year, we scrambled to keep up with demand," he said. "It probably took years off of our lives."
More information.
Last edited by Myrthos; August 11th, 2010 at 23:55.
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August 11th, 2010, 23:37
Typo: "emphasizes that they are nog giving up on PC gaming"

PC is still a huge platform and has plenty of room for good games. Piracy is an issue, but services like Steam are helping out to cut it down.
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August 11th, 2010, 23:56
Thanks for noticing it

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August 12th, 2010, 11:11
"the first that required players to pay for a subscription"

Everquest came out in 1999, 6 years before WoW.
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August 12th, 2010, 11:14
UO came before that, as well

Blizzard lost its luster.
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August 12th, 2010, 11:15
And Ultima Online was released in 1997.

EDIT: Rats! D'Artagnan beat me to it.

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August 12th, 2010, 11:22
It says they were planning it in the end of 1996 in the article… so if you people would have read it carefully it makes perfect sense
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August 12th, 2010, 11:37
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
It says they were planning it in the end of 1996 in the article… so if you people would have read it carefully it makes perfect sense
I noticed that

I just offered the info in response to the Everquest thing… But I understand your confusion.

About losing luster, that's an entirely separate matter

That said, I very much doubt they were planning anything like WoW during 1996. Maybe they were thinking about it, casually - but they certainly didn't plan an MMO. If they claim they did, I call bullshit.

They've never had a single innovative bone in their body. Now, they don't seem to even be able to improve upon the innovation of others - based on Starcraft 2.

I mean, SC2 is a fine quality game - but I think it's miles behind something like Company of Heroes.
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August 12th, 2010, 16:58
Originally Posted by Nathanyl View Post
"the first that required players to pay for a subscription"

Everquest came out in 1999, 6 years before WoW.
In the context of the article they could very well mean that it was the first Blizzard game requiring payment for subscription.

Not that this is a very important question…
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August 12th, 2010, 17:57
Serious gaming and serious business are two different concepts and not seldom opposing ones.

Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind. - John F Kennedy
An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
The world is my country. To do good is my religion. My mind is my own church. This simple creed is all we need to enjoy peace on earth. - Thomas Paine
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August 12th, 2010, 19:13
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
They've never had a single innovative bone in their body. Now, they don't seem to even be able to improve upon the innovation of others - based on Starcraft 2.
They don't innovate much, they refine. I can't think of many things they do that Games Workshop didn't do first, but they refine it and package it in a very polished product which other studios just can't afford to do.

I think they did it okay with Starcraft 2 - RTSes had got to the point where they were in danger of always trying to come up with the next new paradigm, and don't get me wrong, I loved Dawn of War 2, but there was a hankering from some old-school RTS and Starcraft 2 scratches that itch like nothing else currently out.

Torchlight did the same for me with the hack n slash genre, so it'll be interesting to see where Blizzard pitch D3.
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August 12th, 2010, 19:41
Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
They don't innovate much, they refine. I can't think of many things they do that Games Workshop didn't do first, but they refine it and package it in a very polished product which other studios just can't afford to do.
That's what they did. What they do, though, is in question.

I think they did it okay with Starcraft 2 - RTSes had got to the point where they were in danger of always trying to come up with the next new paradigm, and don't get me wrong, I loved Dawn of War 2, but there was a hankering from some old-school RTS and Starcraft 2 scratches that itch like nothing else currently out.
Playing SC2 - I feel like I'm back in 1998. Fine game with quality production values, but instead of refining the latest and greatest - like they used to do, they're refining their own game from 12 years ago. The story is "meh" - even for Bliz.

After WoW - so many key members left Bliz, and then came the Activision thing. You need only take a look at what they did with WoW - to realise what they've become.

I took SC2 as the final evidence - because I was in doubt. Now? Not so much.

They're dead as far as I'm concerned.

Torchlight did the same for me with the hack n slash genre, so it'll be interesting to see where Blizzard pitch D3.
Torchlight was a dreadfully boring and uninspired weak Diablo clone. I thought Hellgate was a million times better - if only it hadn't been for the atrocious launch and crappy technical state.
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August 12th, 2010, 20:12
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I mean, SC2 is a fine quality game - but I think it's miles behind something like Company of Heroes.
The constant off map reinforcement of the enemy troops makes CoH a completely different game compared to SC2.

Personally I hated that concept so much so when a friend of mine who had played CoH warned me about it while my copy was still in the mail (we pretty much feel the same way about FPS and RTS games), I got so utterly turned off it I didn't even bother to unwrap it and install it when it arrived. Luckily I got it cheap.

It is all a matter of taste of course. I find SC2 to be the most enjoyable RTS I've played in years and I can't wait for the Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void campaigns to arrive.

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August 12th, 2010, 20:16
Originally Posted by fatBastard() View Post
The constant off map reinforcement of the enemy troops makes CoH a completely different game compared to SC2.

Personally I hated that concept so much so when a friend of mine who had played CoH warned me about it while my copy was still in the mail (we pretty much feel the same way about FPS and RTS games), I got so utterly turned off it I didn't even bother to unwrap it and install it when it arrived. Luckily I got it cheap.

It is all a matter of taste of course. I find SC2 to be the most enjoyable RTS I've played in years and I can't wait for the Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void campaigns to arrive.
Then again, you're exactly the sort of person who would enjoy SC2, aren't you?
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August 13th, 2010, 03:15
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
UO came before that, as well

Blizzard lost its luster.
Actually I forgot about Meridian 59 which came out in 1995.
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August 13th, 2010, 07:04
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
It says they were planning it in the end of 1996 in the article… so if you people would have read it carefully it makes perfect sense
Games released in '97 or '98 probably already had a lot of PR running in '96 though. I remember WoW stirring up discussions as early as 2000, or 4 years or so before its release. They can't really be claiming to have invented the MMO concept regardless.
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August 13th, 2010, 10:19
Games released in '97 or '98 probably already had a lot of PR running in '96 though. I remember WoW stirring up discussions as early as 2000, or 4 years or so before its release. They can't really be claiming to have invented the MMO concept regardless.
They didn't, but what they were discussing was the Business Model of charging money each month which was almost none existing at this point, if I were them I would discuss that too, I still cannot understand how people can pay a fixed fee for something like WOW every month…. given how playing WOW is a task I think people should get paid each month to play it instead

Actually I forgot about Meridian 59 which came out in 1995.
Yeah, interesting game by the way….
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August 13th, 2010, 11:12
I played it a couple years and I agree, it felt more like duty than leisure a lot of the time. A few people I know that still play it have the same feeling, yet can't let it go for some reason. It's much more about interaction than gaming quality. Leaving it felt like letting people down in their unending quest for progress & guild ranking.
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August 13th, 2010, 11:18
It's basic exploitation of the human psyche, but it's hardly the first or last example of greed dominating
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August 13th, 2010, 11:23
I was excited by meridian 95 back then but never had chance to play it. Neverwinter nights online ran from 1991 btw.

Whats so innovative about mmos anyway? I dreamed about modern day mmos as soon as I started to play text muds in early 90s. Its just a very logical evolution for muds.

What blizz did with their mmo though is impressive perhaps innovative? I mean how they managed to raise subs from 200k (what was standard back then for "successful mmo") to ten million simply killing any opposition. They brought mmos to massmarket. I dont like wow but what they did was impessive.

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