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Blizzard - All News

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Sunday - December 29, 2013
Thursday - December 05, 2013
Saturday - November 09, 2013
Monday - September 02, 2013
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Box Art

Sunday - December 29, 2013

Blizzard - Help Dev Fight Cancer

by Couchpotato, 06:46

If your in the mood to be generous a new YouCaring crowd-funding campaign has been started to raise funds for Ron Nakada. He is a Senior Software Engineer at Blizzard who has Stage IV colon cancer.

Six months ago Ron Nakada was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer that had metastasized to his liver, lungs and lymph nodes.  This tragic news struck Ron and his new family early into his first year of marriage.  But Ron, having so much to live for, was determined to fight.

Shortly after the shocking news, family and friends came together to help Ron and his family begin his battle with cancer.  Thank you to Patrick Dawson for organizing that fundraiser, and thank you to all who donated. The support of so many people was a wonderful encouragement to Ron and his family.

Today Ron continues with great determination and spirit on a path of healing. However, some emergencies have occurred along the way, and Ron’s short-term disability-insurance, which did not cover monthly expenses, ended recently. Long-term disability-insurance will not start for a while and provides an even lesser benefit that falls far short of their monthly needs. Ron has an urgent need right now to pay accumulated bills (including credit cards he has had to rely on to get by) and a longer term need for assistance while he continues the battle.

Found on Gamepolitics.

Thursday - December 05, 2013

Blizzard - Editorial @ Pixel Gate

by Couchpotato, 03:18

Pixel Gate has posted a new article that ponders if 2014 could be Blizzard's best year. I'll leave that up to you as I'm not a fan of Blizzard lately.

2014 could be the year of Blizzard if all goes to plan. Hearthstone has the potential to be the next big thing, Warlord of Draenor could breathe new life into World of Warcraft, and Reaper of Souls could bring in the money while repairing Diablo‘s slightly tarnished image. With the potential for success there is always a chance of failure. It all remains to be seen. One thing is for sure, though: Blizzard fans are in for an interesting 2014.

Saturday - November 09, 2013

Blizzard - Annouces Warlords Of Draenor

by Couchpotato, 00:49

Blizzard annouces in a new press release the next expansion for World of Warcraft called Warlords of Draenor. Here is the new website and a new video.

ANAHEIM, Calif.—November 8, 2013—The heroes of Azeroth are on the verge of a war that will reforge the fate of two worlds. Announced today at BlizzCon® 2013, World of Warcraft®: Warlords of Draenor™, the fifth expansion to Blizzard Entertainment’s acclaimed massively multiplayer online role-playing game, sends players to the world of Draenor at a pivotal moment in history to fight against and alongside legends from Warcraft’s brutal past.

Across Draenor's savage jungles and battle-scarred plains, Azeroth's heroes will engage in a mythic conflict involving mystical draenei champions and mighty orc clans, and cross axes with the likes of Grommash Hellscream, Blackhand, and Ner’zhul at the height of their primal power. Players will need to scour this unwelcoming land in search of allies to help build a desperate defense against the old Horde’s formidable engine of conquest—or else watch their own world’s bloody, war-torn history repeat itself.

Warlords of Draenor gives players a chance to take a commanding role in one of the Warcraft series’ most crucial conflicts,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “This expansion also includes features that make it easy for anyone to jump right into the action, whether they’ve played WoW at some point in the past or are just setting foot in Azeroth for the first time.”

To help new and returning players answer the call to arms on Draenor, the expansion will enable anyone to instantly boost one character to level 90, including a newly created character, quickly getting them up to speed and ready to enjoy the latest content with their friends.

To establish a foothold on Draenor once they’ve arrived, the displaced champions of the Horde and Alliance will be able to construct their own Garrison, an expandable, customizable stronghold that will serve as each player’s personal base of operations throughout the course of the expansion. As the Garrison grows, players will be able to recruit NPC allies and followers to take up residence, gathering resources and embarking on missions on the player’s orders.

Warlords of Draenor will also introduce fully revamped player character models and animations for many of World of Warcraft’s existing playable races, bringing the orcs, humans, and several other longtime residents of Azeroth up to the visual standards of newer races while still maintaining their iconic style and identity.

Along with these new features, World of Warcraft players will enjoy a wide array of new content on their way to the new level cap of 100, including new Zones, Dungeons, Raids, Scenarios, Battlegrounds, and more. Warlords of Draenor will also introduce questing improvements designed to encourage exploration and add unpredictability to players’ ongoing adventures.

Monday - September 02, 2013

Blizzard - Legacy of Gaming

by Couchpotato, 00:07

GamR Mag has a new article about Blizzard. The main topic of the article is about the games they have developed, and the impact they have had on gaming.

With the release of Diablo III for consoles looming over us with a giant PC shadow. I thought it was about the right time to take an in-depth look at one of the most dominant companies in the gaming world. Blizzard Entertainment have completely cornered the PC gaming market, so much so that up until recently, almost no MMORPG could get a foothold on even a corner of the market. With Warcraft, World of Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo, they’ve changed the online gaming world, the competitive gaming scene and the dungeon crawling genre…forever.

Sunday - August 18, 2013

Blizzard - Single Launcher for All Blizzard Titles

by Couchpotato, 00:18

Blizzard has announced the release of the Battle.net App. In the coming months each game's launcher will update to the Battle.net App, or you can opt for now. It'll likely be required of every new game they release in the future.

In the months ahead, the game launchers for World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, and Diablo III will be automatically updated to our new desktop app for Battle.net, designed to improve the launcher experience and streamline your ability to play Blizzard games—but if you're interested in upgrading now, you can!

Wednesday - February 29, 2012

Blizzard - 600 Staff Cut

by Dhruin, 22:16

Blizzard has announced 600 staff will be let go after a business review. Here's the pertinent part of the press release:

IRVINE, Calif., Feb 29, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced that it has conducted a review of its business based on current organizational needs. Following a completion of the review, the company is conducting a global reduction in workforce of approximately 600 employees. The company anticipates approximately 90% of the affected employees will come from departments not related to game development. The World of Warcraft(R) development team will not be impacted.

"Constant evaluation of teams and processes is necessary for the long-term health of any business. Over the last several years, we've grown our organization tremendously and made large investments in our infrastructure in order to better serve our global community. However, as Blizzard and the industry have evolved we've also had to make some difficult decisions in order to address the changing needs of our company," said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "Knowing that, it still does not make letting go of some of our team members any easier. We're grateful to have had the opportunity to work with the people impacted by today's announcement, we're proud of the contributions they made here at Blizzard, and we wish them well as they move forward."

Blizzard's current development and publishing schedules will not be impacted. The company will announce specific release plans for Diablo(R) III in the near future, and it's continuing to drive aggressively toward beta testing for World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria(TM), Blizzard DOTA, and StarCraft(R) II: Heart of the Swarm(TM). Blizzard also remains committed to maintaining its high standards of quality for customer service delivery. In addition, Blizzard is still recruiting and looking to hire qualified developers for a number of open positions. Further details are available at http://jobs.blizzard.com .

Source: Blues News

Monday - October 24, 2011

Blizzard - Gamers Can Sell Their Mods Through Blizzard Arcade

by Skavenhorde, 11:19

I realize this has more to do with StarCraft modding than our regular RPG news, but since a lot of the RPGs we play can be modded it seems very relevant to us as well.

Blizzard will let gamers sell their mods through the soon to be launched Blizzard Arcade. Blizzard Arcade is a new version of their old Marketplace. Their goal for this is to let gamers sell their mods in hopes of creating higher quality mods. I'm not sure if they've seen some of the Bethesda mods because some of those are already at the highest quality.

Blizzard Arcade launches alongside the release of StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. You can find out more about it here. Here are some more details on Blizzard Arcade:

Arcade

 

Arcade will serve as a hub for both free and premium games created by the community, for the community.

The commerce elements will come later on, but the changes made to the interface will serve as a foundation for custom games on Battle.net going forward.

Allowing custom game makers to charge for their games will incentivize higher quality custom games, benefitting players and game creators.

 

Goals:

 

-Easy to locate quality games

-Play the games you want to play

-Prepare a place for selling games

Thursday - October 20, 2011

Blizzard - Chris Metzen Interview @ Eurogamer

by Dhruin, 22:26

Eurogamer has an interview with Blizzard's chief story-teller, Chris Metzen, in an article format:

So does story lead design, or does design lead story at Blizzard? "It's as collaborative as we can make it," he says. "Sometimes story and design are not always best friends - and I don't mean that in terms of our people and our teams, I just mean that purely thematically." But "we're not BioWare," he adds, and ultimately gameplay comes first.

"I think all things being equal, it's easier to manoeuvre story around design than it is the other way. At the end of the day, it's got to be fun and it's got to play, and it's got to be ideas that the design team can actually execute against. Whereas story, I believe inherently that there's ten ways to solve any problem with story. Or at least, of the two sciences, it's the one that's more adaptable." 

Monday - December 27, 2010

Blizzard - Holiday Cards

by Dhruin, 23:11

Alrik writes in to point out Blizzard's traditional holiday cards - Christmas themed art from the Blizzard folk.

Sunday - December 19, 2010

Blizzard - Project Titan Acknowledged

by Dhruin, 00:48

MMOs aren't our thing but BlackCanopus writes that Blizzard's Frank Pearce has acknowledged Titan from the recently leaked 5 year plan is their next MMO.  Follow the story at Destructoid.

Tuesday - November 16, 2010

Blizzard - Exploring Diablo 3 on Consoles

by Dhruin, 21:06

Blizzard has several new jobs on offer that suggest a console version of Diablo III.  Posting on the official forums, Bashiok says they are merely exploring the possibility and Diablo III won't be affected by a console interpretation:

As some of you may have seen over on the Diablo III home page, we’re currently exploring a Diablo-related concept for consoles. As we’ve said in the past, with proper care the gameplay could suit the console platform, and we’re interested in seeing what talent out there might be interested in contributing to such a project.

To further reiterate what’s posted on the home page: this is not an announcement of a console title. We are first and foremost developing Diablo III for Windows and Mac PCs, and we have no intention of allowing a console interpretation to delay or otherwise affect the release of the game. As always feel free to discuss this topic here, but please note that we don’t have any further details to share at this time.

If you or someone you know would be interested in joining the Diablo team, then head over to the job posts to check out the requirements and submit an application. 
 

Source: Shack News

Wednesday - August 11, 2010

Blizzard - Serious Gaming

by Myrthos, 19:36

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."

Monday - June 28, 2010

Blizzard - The Collaborative Story Process @ Gamasutra

by Magerette, 15:24

Gamasutra interviews former Bioware writer (for Jade Empire and Mass Effect 2) and now Blizzard's lead writer for Starcraft 2, Brian Kindregan, on how creating a storyline works at Blizzard, especially for an RTS. There are some tidbits for strategy fans on the game's development, but the interview really focuses on how writing and story work in Blizzard's scheme of things:

BioWare as a company is very explicitly about storytelling in games. It's the number one thing in their mission statement. But StarCraft II is a strategy game. How do you make a story around that that is engaging and striking but doesn't step on the toes of someone who just wants to go in and fight a bunch of RTS battles?

BK: That's definitely something we think about every day. The answer I've come to is that everybody is interested in characters and people -- at least interesting people -- and events. If you get plugged into those things, they'll sweep you along. What they do is they inform the gameplay you're experiencing.

Rather than thinking of them as two separate things, we focus on making one complete experience so you can get swept up into the total experience, rather than compartmentalizing it...

Coming from a story-centric studio like BioWare, how does Blizzard compare in writing, on the development side? Their games are absolutely miles apart in almost every respect. How does the writing differ under the hood?

BK: That's one of those things where, certainly, you might say the delivery method is different. The way we get story to the player is different. And that's also true just coming from film. When you have someone sitting in a dark room staring at a screen that's 20 feet high, you know you have their full attention.

All of these different experiences have all shown me that there are really different ways to approach the story, but the unifying theme is just getting what giving the player or audience member or whoever to be a complete experience of characters and storytelling [is], and trying to engage them. That, fortunately, stays the same everywhere. I say "fortunately" because that's obviously the most important thing in entertainment.

 

Monday - April 26, 2010

Blizzard - The Magical Inner Sanctum

by Dhruin, 21:04

Ars Technica goes on a guided tour of Blizzard's offices.  These articles are normally pretty dull but Blizzard does look like a cool place to hang out:

To put it mildly: we weren't disappointed. The Blizzard campus is a magical place, completely covered with the culture of the company and the art of its games. From statues, to murals, to jokes, this is where you dreamed video games are made when you were young. The campus houses offices, a theater, a museum, a library, a gym, and of course, the games are everywhere. Let's take a look at what we saw.

Thanks, Omega!

Saturday - March 13, 2010

Blizzard - Core Game Concepts Summary @ Gamasutra

by Magerette, 18:01

Gamasutra has posted a summary of a lecture directed at game developers given by Blizzard's Rob Pardo at the GDC on the core design concepts used in Blizzard's multiplayer games, particularly WoW and Warcraft III.

The summary includes five basic design concepts: gameplay first; easy to learn, difficult to master; make everything overpowered; play don't tell; and make it a bonus.

Here's the explanation behind 'easy to learn, difficult to master:'

More specifically, Pardo says the objective he pushes at Blizzard is more akin to "Easy to learn and almost impossible to master." Because almost all Blizzard games are primarily multiplayer, the company must focus a significant amount of depth to the multiplayer.

"When we shipped WoW, people say we dumbed everything down," said Pardo. "Actually, WoW is a really hardcore game, it just happens to be more accessible than a lot of other games."

Pardo says that the Blizzard design pipeline is to design the games depth first, because it's the hardest part of design. He suggested that rather than worrying about the multiplayer component of a game last, Blizzard tweaks that component first and feeds what they learn into the single-player campaign.

 

 

Source: GameBanshee

Thursday - March 04, 2010

Blizzard - More Diablo Games?

by Dhruin, 19:43

ActiBlizzard's recent annual report contains the interesting gem of a snippet, saying they are working on "sequels to the Diablo franchise".  That plural has sent the gaming press into a frenzy - Diablo 4, a bunch of DLC or a typo?  We'll probably have to wait a long time to find out.

Read the full newsbit at Big Download and a nod to Omega for the link.

Friday - February 26, 2010

Blizzard - Podcast 13

by Woges, 00:25

As Starcraft 2 is in beta the lateset BlizzCast is, unsurprisingly, primarily about that. They do promise info on WoW and Diablo 3.

Welcome to BlizzCast 13! In this edition we are pleased to present our StarCraft II beta special. StarCraft II developers chat about what players can expect now that the beta has begun. Our second segment includes a Q&A with World of Warcraft and Diablo community managers sharing exciting information about those games.

Wednesday - July 01, 2009

Blizzard - Interview with Rob Pardo @ Eurogamer

by Magerette, 17:51

Eurogamer posts a two page interview with Blizzard's executive vice president of game design, Rob Pardo, mostly talking about the development of Starcraft II, but also covering some of the basics of Blizzard's approach to game design.

Here's an excerpt:

One of the first things we discuss is the balance between hardcore and casual players - especially relevant to StarCraft, I propose, given the obvious difference between the average gamer mucking about with friends and the Korean pro-gamer scene.

"It's not really any different for StarCraft than it is for World of Warcraft, Warcraft III or Diablo, to be honest," Pardo says. "We really try to serve both audiences.

"One of the ways we do that is that we build for the depth first - for the hardcore first. When we're first prototyping and working on the game, we're very meticulous. The game speed has to be fast, the units have to be perfect, we have to be thinking about balance. We don't balance it early on, but we have to be thinking about whether each unit is balanceable, whether we have all the right hooks in the game to be able to do it.

"Then, what we do gradually once we have that basic game ... then we really start trying to make the game more and more accessible....

"The reason we build the game in that order is because you can easily come up with game design concepts or ideas or mechanics that are shallow and designed for a more casual, broad-market gamer - they're not going to put fifty-five hundred hours into a game, right? But we really want to make sure that we build in those features that have a lot of depth and a lot of replayability first, because we can always make that stuff much more accessible for someone that's not going to put in the same amount of hours."

Monday - May 11, 2009

Blizzard - Develop's Most Bankable Studio

by Woges, 12:52

Blizzard have knocked Nintendo from Develops top 100 money makers.

Today sees the publication of the Develop 100 - our yearly guide to the world's most bankable studios - and Blizzard Entertainment this year takes the top spot.

Knocking Nintendo down to second place, the studio responsible for World of Warcraft takes the number one position thanks to its yearly billion dollar revenue generating ability across both online and offline forms. World of Warcraft has also truly penetrated pop culture, inspiring everything from web memes to episodes of The Simpsons, showing Blizzard's ability to not only create compelling experiences but also court user expectations.

The listing, from 1 to 100, plus a free digital edition, can be found at www.develop100.com.

More analysis and data can be found here on the Develop site, with a free edition also available to view at Issuu.

Wednesday - May 06, 2009

Blizzard - Blizzcon Ticket PR

by Dhruin, 01:17

Blizzard has anounced ticket details for this year's Blizzcon:

Tickets to this year's BlizzCon gaming convention, being held on August 21 and 22 in Anaheim, California, will go on sale worldwide on Saturday, May 16 for $125 each, with a second block of tickets going on sale Saturday, May 30.

For those unable to attend, DIRECTV will once again be televising BlizzCon in high definition as a Pay Per View event, featuring coverage from the show floor, exclusive interviews, demos, and more. In addition, for the first time, players around the world will be able to watch the DIRECTV BlizzCon event as a Pay Per View Internet stream.

Check out the press release for further details, and head over to www.blizzcon.com on May 16 or May 30 to buy your tickets.

Monday - March 23, 2009

Blizzard - 5th Game in Development?

by Dhruin, 21:03

Diablo fansite diii.net surmises Blizzard has five games in development, with a job opening popping up for an "unnanounced project", listed separately to their "next gen MMO" and other projects.  Does this represent a new development?  They lay out the case, including hints from Paul Sams from 2006.

Friday - March 20, 2009

Blizzard - Battle.net 2.0 Launched

by Dhruin, 21:13

Blizzard updated their venerable Battle.net service the other day.  The shiny new version combines access to all Blizzard's games, merging Diablo, Warcraft and World of Warcraft and so on into a single account.

Thursday - March 12, 2009

Blizzard - Patent Dispute Possible

by Woges, 13:13

Eurogamer have an update on Worlds.com's intentions should their suit agaisnt NCSoft be successful.

Confirming our suspicions, Worlds.com has revealed that it intends to sue Blizzard and Linden Labs if its patent suit against NCsoft is successful.

Worlds.com has a patent that describes virtually any 3D MMO or virtual world, and dates back to the mid-1990s. It selected NCsoft as its first target for a lawsuit, but Worlds.com chief Thom Kidrin told the Silicon Alley Insider that he would "absolutely" pursue cases against World of Warcraft and Second Life, and any MMO operator that's not prepared to pay licensing fees.

Thursday - February 12, 2009

Blizzard - One "Frontline" Release for 2009

by Dhruin, 22:20

Edge Online reports Blizzard COO Paul Sams said during an earnings call they intended to have "one frontline release per year", which has obviously lead to speculation about whether StarCraft 2 or Diablo 3 is due this year - SC2 looking the more likely, it seems.

Wednesday - October 29, 2008

Blizzard - Interview @ GamesIndustry.biz

by Dhruin, 21:16

I've filed this under "Blizzard" because GamesIndustry's interview with Senior VP Frank Pearce ranges across a variety of topics, from Diablo III to the Activision merge.  A snip on D3:

Q: Diablo III looks set to be a success given the large fan base the series already has, but how do you intend to draw in new players who have never experienced the original two?

Frank Pearce: It's just one of those things where we have to abide by our philosophy of making a game accessible, 'Easy to learn, hard to master', I know we say that all the time but it's true. If you make the entry level experience accessible and introduce the concepts gradually to the player they learn how to play the game without even knowing that they've learnt it.

I found WoW, which was my first MMO, pretty accessible to someone who has never played an MMO before. We've got guys on the WoW team whose fathers play the game. play it at an expert level and they've never played an MMO or a computer game before. It's just a situation where we'll make sure that we make it accessible to players that are new to that experience.

But I think that the Diablo style of play is actually lends itself very well to that because the interface with the mouse is very straightforward and simple, for the most part, and to get to the more expert level of play you have to add in keyboard short cuts.

Tuesday - August 12, 2008

Blizzard - Podcast 4

by Woges, 15:00

Blizzard have released their forth Podcast which their overview suggests is mostly concerning WoW. You can listen to or read it here.

BlizzCast episode 4 brings us several new perspectives on World of Warcraft. Starting us off is an interview with Russell Brower, director of audio and video, about the process of creating music for World of Warcraft to be a part of an evolving, epic experience in the world of Azeroth. Next we interview World of Warcraft game designer Jonathan LeCraft about professions, covering both what we have learned from them in the past and where they are going in Wrath of the Lich King. We finish up the episode with our Q&A segment, which features developers answering a variety of questions from our communities.

Saturday - August 02, 2008

Blizzard - All New Games Will Have Achievements

by Woges, 16:09

With achievements being announced for WotLK some time ago and now D3 & Starcraft 2 it looks like Blizzard's new Battlenet will be something similar to the MS LIVE network.

When the new Blizzard Accounts are active, a player’s ‘WoW’ points can be added to an overall score dubbed an account holder’s “Blizzard Level.” “It’s basically a gamerscore,” Kaplan said, when I made reference to Xbox Live’s Achievement system. “For now the points are just a ‘WoW’ character score. As we graduate to that Blizzard Account system, which is right on the horizon, it will switch over to a Blizzard Level.”

He added, “Your ‘WoW’ score would be just one factor that will go into your Blizzard Level. And rather than call it a ’score,’ we just wanted it to be like you’re leveling up on Blizzard games… You’ll have this Blizzard identity, and you’ll be able to see things like ‘Oh, this guy was great at Diablo III, but he never played Starcraft and he was mediocre in WoW.’ That sort of thing.”

Check the article out at MTV.

Friday - August 01, 2008

Blizzard - Mike Morhaime on The Edge

by Woges, 12:18

Some WoW players left for AoC but 40% have already returned to WoW's 10.9 million.

Morhaime said that players that leave WoW are often drawn back because of the content and service that Blizzard provides.

"Any massively multiplayer online game that launches today isn't just competing with the amount and breadth of content that we launched with back in 2004," Morhaime stated.

He said that other MMO companies entering the market are also competing with the service and content that Blizzard has been honing within World of Warcraft for nearly four years.

Morhaime expects that when the next WoW expansion Wrath of the Lich King launches later this year, more players will be compelled to return to WoW, which currently boasts 10.9 million subscribers.

Source: Blues News

Sunday - July 27, 2008

Blizzard - Rob Pardo Interview @ CVG

by Woges, 13:28

Rob Pardo talks game design with CVG.

There's a quote from Raph Koster that 'the singleplayer game is an aberration.' Historically, games have always been played together.

Rob: I think that's wishful thinking on his part. I think when you look at Raph, all the games he's worked on have been multiplayer games. I think maybe, to him, that might be true. But I don't see any sort of trend that leads me to believe that we're not going to see Half-Life 3, or God of War 3, or any of those kinds of games. Those games are awesome, amazing experiences.

For me, games become exponentially more entertaining when experienced together.

Rob: Don't get me wrong, I love multiplayer games, and from a Blizzard perspective, all of our games have a hefty multiplayer component, but I just don't see them as mutually exclusive. Even games that are traditionally singleplayer, like Super Mario. Nintendo added some pretty interesting co-op gameplay to Galaxy. I totally see that there's going to be more and more multiplayer functionality in games. To say that 'singleplayer epic games are going to disappear because of MMOs...' I think that's a reach.

We actually ban our writers from using the word 'gameplay'. We think we can make a better and more precise point than that. Do you agree?

Rob: To me, a game mechanic is something that's in the game that allows players to have fun. But gameplay is 'what a player does'. It's where they derive fun from the game design. There's lots of things that people enjoy in games. It might be technology, it might be the photorealism, it might be the visceral mechanic... gameplay is just one of those things. Gameplay means quite a bit to me as a game designer... It's really interesting too. I think a lot of people think the way you do: younger designers often come in and I'll ask them, "what do you think was fun in that game?" and they'll talk about things I wouldn't consider to actually be gameplay.

So can you describe what gameplay actually is?

Rob: It's the player's interaction with the game mechanics.

Thursday - July 24, 2008

Blizzard - No room for Growth in MMO subs

by Woges, 13:03

 In case you didn't know, Blizzard have all the subscribers already. Oli Welsh says never say never though.

Market research firm Parks Associates has found that the majority of gamers have no interest in subscription-based MMOs, and concluded that free-to-play titles supported by micro-transactions are the only way to grow the MMO market further.

According to WorldsInMotion.biz, the Parks survey of over 2000 online gamers found that 14 per cent currently not playing MMOs would be interested in playing them if they could for free, while only 2 per cent of gamers from the same group were interested in playing a subscription MMORPG. The latter, the report found, were all hardcore gamers.

Thursday - July 03, 2008

Blizzard - Mike Morhaime Interview @ Eurogamer

by Woges, 02:03

 Blizzard's CEO speaks to Oli Welsh.

Eurogamer: World of Warcraft expanded Blizzard's audience hugely by moving into a new area for the company - MMOs. But with StarCraft II and Diablo III you've got games that seem made very much for your core fans. Do you see yourselves experimenting with other genres again?

Mike Morhaime: You mean taking a franchise into a new genre, kind of like we were going to do with StarCraft Ghost?

I think with each game that we create, we try to figure out what type of game we want to make, and then we think about what's the most appropriate franchise, the most appropriate setting for that game. We do it on a case by case basis.

For instance, World of Warcraft - I think the foundation for that idea probably dates back to after we released Warcraft II. We thought, wow, this would be such a great game to create a virtual world around, where you're a character inside the game and you can explore this fantastic universe. Technology finally advanced to the point where it was feasible to make the game. So, genre first, then franchise.

Wednesday - July 02, 2008

Blizzard - Case becoming EULA Test Case

by Woges, 01:29

Ralp Koster brings to attention, a rather important issue for MMOs (and Games) in general, a case on the the selling of licensed software. In regards to this; Blizzard Responds to Amicus Brief in MDY Bot Suit.

This is an important issue with implications that go well beyond this dispute. Although it has not put the issue in quite such stark terms, Public Knowledge is essentially seeking a ruling that says that the sale of consumer software is, in most circumstances, a sale, pretty much regardless of what the agreement that comes with the software says. If the court agrees in spite of MAI and its progeny (and the ruling survives certain appeal) then U.S. copyright law would protect, among other things, making copies of purchased software in RAM in order to use the software — no matter what the “license agreement” says. Resolving this issue in favor of Public Knowledge would call into question provisions in EULAs governing nearly every virtual world and multiuser online game, as well as EULAs for other software.

Monday - June 30, 2008

Blizzard - Paul Sams Interview

by Woges, 23:27

Game Industry has an interview with Paul Sams (Blizzard's COO) that discusses developing three titles at the same time, the Activision merger and Consoles.

Q: What is it that's keeping you on the PC and off consoles?

Paul Sams:

It's really an issue of the games that we're making. I think a lot of companies and a lot of management teams sit down and look at the Wii as being popular, or that the Xbox 360 is doing well, and try to figure out what their product plans will be for that platform.

We don't care. Our attitude is, what game will we make? This is the game we want to make, so what is the appropriate platform for that game? And if the answer is PC only, then we've proven that we're comfortable with that.

In the event that we think it should be a different platform, we'll explore that, and if the right answer is to do that for the game that we're making, we will. We keep in constant contact with all the console manufacturers, we have a great relationship with them. When they do their roadshows and go talk to the publishers that they work with, they always come and see us - and when we're in their areas we always go see them.

So we have the relationships, and believe me, they want to see us on their platforms, but we haven't had the right game for it yet. But I don't think that at any level suggests that we won't be there if the right game comes along.

Thursday - June 26, 2008

Blizzard - Latest Rumor Mongering

by Magerette, 16:12

ShackNews has a piece summing up the latest batch of Diablo 3 talk as everyone waits for Blizzard to make their new game announcement this weeekend in Paris. Here's a sample of what's making the rounds:

 Diablo fan website DiabloII.net reports that Blizzard's game announcement will be Diablo III, the long-awaited next title in Blizzard's hack-and-slash RPG series.

The site claims to have confirmation of the forthcoming announcement from "inside sources," but does not specify whether the information came from within the company or an external source.

Speculation flared this week over teaser images posted on the front page Blizzard's website, which many believed to contain possible connections to the anticipated hack-and-slash sequel.

Other evidence pointing towards a Diablo III announcement includes the Diablo3.com domain, now empty after previously directing to a Diablo community website. The domain was acquired by Blizzard last month.

Additionally, many speculate that the Worldwide Invitational's June 28 and 29 dates, which coincide with Diablo II's June 29, 2000 release date, lend further credence to rumors of a Diablo III announcement after the event.

 

Wednesday - June 25, 2008

Blizzard - More Hints on New Game

by Magerette, 15:28

Eurogamer has a couple of paragraphs up continuing the Diablo III tease motif that's running hand in hand with the idea that Blizzard will announce a new game at their World Wide Invitational event this weekend. As usual, this snippet from Blizzard's Rob Pardo doesn't really say anything, except they'e not saying anything yet:

Asked by a member of the audience if the company will announce a new game this weekend, Pardo deflected the question - but accepted the premise.

"So you want me to announce the game before our announcement?" he said. "No offence, but I think there's like 300 people here, and I'll be ripped apart by 8000 people [at the Invitational] if I pre-announce it.

"But it's going to be really exciting," Pardo continued. "I think everybody here will be really excited about the announcement."

We'll see if they actually commit to anything this Saturday. 

 

Blizzard - Rob Pardo lecture @ Gamasutra

by Woges, 00:22

Rob Pardo's lecture rounds up GDC Paris.

Finishing up, Moledina asked Pardo a variety of questions on a wide-ranging set of subjects. One of particular interest was the discussion of the upcoming Activision and Vivendi Games merger, to create an entity called Activision Blizzard.

When asked how it affected Blizzard's design, budgeting, or hiring, Pardo explained: "It really doesn’t affect us at all. One thing that was great about this particular merger is that Bobby Kotick and all the great people at Activision didn’t want to do this deal unless everyone at Blizzard bought into it."

He explained: "They really wanted to get to know us, and that’s never happened before... they wanted to merge with us because ultimately it would make us a stronger company."

On a completely different subject, Pardo was asked what kept MMOs from consoles. His answer was simple: "Lack of hard drive space, and difficulty in certifying patches. Basically just that.... another problem is that they want a piece of the subscriptions (laughs)."

Monday - May 12, 2008

Blizzard - BlizzCon™ 2008 Announced

by Woges, 19:05

Incgamers have a Blizzard press release, fueling the possible Diablo 3 announchment.

Blizzard Entertainment® gaming convention returns to Anaheim Convention Center 10-11October

MARLOW, UK – 12th May, 2008 – Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced plans for its third BlizzCon™ gaming convention, to be held at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California on 10 and 11 October. BlizzCon is a celebration of the global player communities surrounding Blizzard Entertainment®’s Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® franchises. In response to the demand to accommodate more attendees, this year’s event has expanded from two convention halls to three.

“Whenever we’ve been able to meet and interact with Blizzard gamers from around the world, it’s been a great experience for us,” stated Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We’re looking forward to seeing even more of our players at this year’s BlizzCon and delivering another entertaining and informative event for them.”

BlizzCon will offer a wide variety of activities to help all attendees get the most out of the two-day event. In addition to serving as a gathering place for the different Blizzard Entertainment gaming communities, attendees will be able to enjoy:

  • Hands-on play time with upcoming Blizzard Entertainment releases
  • Discussion panels with Blizzard Entertainment developers
  • Competitive and casual tournaments for players to showcase their talents
  • Areas and activities devoted to licensed products such as the World of Warcraft® Trading Card Game
  • Costume, machinima, and character sound-alike contests with great prizes
  • Commemorative merchandise based on the Blizzard Entertainment franchises
  • A silent auction
  • More exciting activities to be announced

Tickets for BlizzCon will go on sale in the next few weeks at a price of $100 USD per person. As the event draws closer, further details will be announced on the official BlizzCon website: www.blizzcon.com.

Source: Blues News

Blizzard - Abusing Copyright Law

by Woges, 15:53

Or so says The Inquirer.

The World of Warcraft licence agreement explicitly forbids the use of programs like Glider. Blizzard claims that Donnelly's enabling users to breach its licence.

However, Blizzard is also claiming that, because its licence prohibits the use of programs like Glider, Glider users are also committing copyright infringement every time they load their copy of the WoW client software into RAM to play it.

If the court accepts Blizzard's position, Glider users could find themselves liable for statutory damages which might start at $750 for every time they use Glider.

Blizzard's argument would also give software vendors the right to prohibit the use of any and all third-party software that interoperates with their products.

But WoW players each own their copy of the client software, and Section 117 of the Copyright Act says they all have the right to copy it -- that is, load it into RAM -- if that's necessary to use the software, which it is.

Blizzard argues that its WoW players don't own their copies of the WoW client software, but merely licence them. But courts have held that whether or not a user is an owner under Section 117 depends on the substance of a transaction, not just how one party describes it.

If you buy a copy of piece of software, install and use it on your own computer, and don't have to return it to the vendor when you're finished with it, that likely means you own it.

Thursday - March 27, 2008

Blizzard - Worldwide Invitational Tickets Sold Out

by Asbjoern, 10:58

The tickets for Blizzard's Worldwide Invitational have been sold out. A World of Warcraft fansite writes that some fans experienced technical issues which prevented them from buying tickets leaving them disappointed now that the tickets have been sold out. Below is Blizzard's press release:

All available tickets for the 2008 Blizzard Entertainment Worldwide Invitational are now sold out! Taking place over Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th of June at the Porte de Versailles Convention Centre in Paris, France, the 2008 Worldwide Invitational looks set to be another exciting Blizzard Entertainment gaming event. Be sure to check the 2008 Worldwide Invitational website often for ticketholder updates, the latest news on the tournaments, panels, and showcased content, and other news on what to expect at the event!

Source: Bluesnews

Thursday - March 20, 2008

Blizzard - Samwise Didier Interview @ Eurogamer

by Woges, 15:46

3 pager with Samwise Didier - he doesn't use many light colours and pastels.

Didier is art director at Blizzard, and a veteran of the company's early days. His bold, humorous style has set the tone for much of the studio's output, not least the look and feel of the planet's most popular virtual world. He also draws cover art for the World of Warcraft comic and the albums of Swedish power metal band Hammerfall, and sings (or rather, bellows) in Blizzard's terrifying in-house band, Level 70 Elite Tauren Chieftain. (L70ETC's imposing body of work includes Rogues Do It From Behind and the mighty metal anthem I Am Murloc.) You can see examples of his work in a gallery at the Blizzard art site, Sons of the Storm.

On our recent visit to Blizzard HQ to play StarCraft II, we sat down with Didier to discuss what makes Blizzard games look like Blizzard games.

Tuesday - March 18, 2008

Blizzard - Job Opening Hints at Diablo III?

by Magerette, 18:49

Strategy Informer stirs up the rumor mill with this completely unsubstantiated inference that the long anticipated sequel to Diablo II:Lord of Destruction may be finally gearing up based, as usual, on not much; in this case, a job opening posted on the Blizzard website.

Here's their take:

Rumour-mill: Blizzard looking to bring Diablo III from depths of hell?
Sure Diablo III is one of the most mythical rumours going for the games industry, but recent job list postings on the Blizzard website may add credence to the wild ravings of fans.
The ad listing says they're looking for new level designers that would work with "the team behind Diablo I and II."

"The team behind Diablo I and II is looking for a skilled lead 3D level designer with experience building levels using Maya or other similar 3D level building tools. The ideal candidate has experience creating levels in a senior or lead role on a shipped game," reads the Blizzard ad...

Continuing it says, "We would also like for this candidate to have excellent analytical understanding of competitive online play with various Blizzard Entertainment games and mods (real-time strategy, World of Warcraft, Defense of the Ancients, etc.). The lead level designer needs to be able to create fun and interesting environments that look and play great while managing and mentoring a team of additional level designers. Skills in scripting or general 3D modeling/texturing are preferred."

Could the action-RPG master finally get a revival and soothe our desires to carry a crap-load of junk and beat senseless monsters with hilariously generated names?

While the idea that this indicates anything about a Diablo sequel is moot, it certainly looks like it could be a neat job for someone out there.

Blizzard - Worldwide Invitational Tickets On Sale

by Asbjoern, 14:20

A press release announcing that tickets to Blizzard's Worldwide Invitational convention and tournament gaming event will go on sale this Thursday the 20th has been sent out. Here's the whole press release:

2008 Blizzard Entertainment® Worldwide Invitational Tickets On Sale 20th March

MARLOW, England – Tickets for the 2008 Blizzard Entertainment Worldwide Invitational convention and tournament gaming event will be available from Thursday, 20th of March on the Worldwide Invitational website at http://eu.blizzard.com/wwi08.

This year’s Blizzard Worldwide Invitational will take place in Paris, France, at the Porte de Versailles Exposition Centre on the 28th and 29th of June. Tickets are priced at €70/£55 for the two-day event, which will feature hands-on play with the latest versions of World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King™ and StarCraft II. Blizzard Entertainment developers and executives will be present to share all the latest news, meet attendees and participate in public discussion panels.

“The previous Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals have provided great opportunities for us to meet with players and share some incredible gaming experiences with them,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We’re looking forward to bringing this event to Paris for the first time and offering an exciting show for everyone attending.”

In addition to invitational tournaments featuring top eSports competitors playing for a total of $100,000 in prizes, the Blizzard Entertainment Worldwide Invitational will also host casual tournaments for attendees, costume and dance contests, live musical performances, and more. All attendees will also receive a goody bag of Blizzard Entertainment items including a beta key for an upcoming Blizzard Entertainment game and an exclusive World of Warcraft in-game pet.

The Worldwide Invitational is open to attendees of 16 years or above, as well as younger individuals accompanied by a consenting parent, guardian or responsible adult of 18 years or above.

Additional plans and content for the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational will be revealed on the official website in the weeks leading up to the event.

Source: GameBanshee

Sunday - March 16, 2008

Blizzard - Video Tour of New HQ

by Asbjoern, 20:26

IGN's Voodoo Extreme has done a video tour of Blizzard's new headquarters in Irvine CA, though we actually only get to see Blizzard's new museum. Be prepared that the streaming might be a bit slow.

Source: GameBanshee

Wednesday - March 12, 2008

Blizzard - Moves into New Campus

by Asbjoern, 19:10

Blizzard has moved into new offices giving them considerably more space.

The new buildings sit behind a guarded entrance, a feature missing from the old location. The 240,000 square feet provide 65 percent more space than the previous facilities. The dozens of meeting rooms and executive board room at the new campus are a far cry from the handful of meeting rooms that the company used to work with.

Don't forget to take a look at some pictures of their new HQ by clicking the "More Photos" button to the right of the article.

Source: Bluesnews

Thursday - November 01, 2007

Blizzard - Job Openings Reveal New MMO

by Dhruin, 09:56

BlizzPlanet has picked up some new job openings that seem to point to a new "next gen" MMO in development at Blizzard:

Blizzard Entertainment updated the US Employment Opportunities section this afternoon. They marked various job openings with a TOP SECRET tag. Just on Halloween's eve. Coincidence? Or was a Diablo Next-Gen MMO project hinted? Visit the job openings and apply for a job, or get a heart-attack out of excitement.

This afternoon I posted news compiling October job openings. These tags weren't there by noon, until now.

Some jobs tagged as "Top Secret" refer to a Next-Gen MMO. Another job requires knowledge of Game Physics/Collision programming for a Next-Gen MMO and familiarity with Havok, Ageia, and O.D.E. physics packages. Same technology used by Starcraft II, and other recent non-Blizzard games.

Source: Bluesnews

Saturday - June 23, 2007

Blizzard - Another Game Near

by Dhruin, 03:29

In a GameSpot article about BlizzCon and Starcraft II, they write:

In addition to the chance to play Starcraft II, attendees will receive a sampling of other Blizzard-related schwag, such as an in-game Murloc suit for World of Warcraft, and a beta key for an upcoming--but unspecified--Blizzard Entertainment game.

So, another on the way.

Monday - May 14, 2007

Blizzard - Countdown @ Official Site

by Dhruin, 21:53

Must everyone do these countdown things? You probably know that Blizzard will apparently make an announcement on a new game at an event in South Korea on May 19th.  Yesterday the Blizzard site sported a Warcraft-related image and today there's a Diablo shot - I'll let you try to figure it out, although the frontrunner guess seems to be a World of Starcraft followed by Diablo 3.

Thursday - April 12, 2007

Blizzard - BlizCon 2007

by Inauro, 23:32

Blizzard has announced BlizCon 2007. For more details, check out the official FAQ .

IRVINE, Calif. – April 12, 2007 – Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced plans for its second BlizzCon gaming convention. BlizzCon is a celebration of the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® franchises and the players who have helped make them so popular around the world. This year's event will take place at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California on August 3 and 4, and will feature various activities for attendees to take part in.

"We were gratified by the response to our first BlizzCon in 2005 and have been looking for an opportunity to hold a follow-up event ever since," stated Mike Morhaime, president and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment®. "With BlizzCon 2007, we plan to deliver another entertaining and informative experience for the attendees, and we look forward to meeting all of them again this year."

BlizzCon will be open to gamers age 4 and older and will offer a wide variety of activities to help all attendees get the most out of the two–day event. In addition to serving as a gathering place for the different Blizzard gaming communities, attendees will be able to enjoy:

  • Discussion panels with Blizzard developers
  • Artist and developer signings
  • Competitive and casual tournaments for players to showcase their talents
  • World of Warcraft® Trading Card Game tournaments and demos
  • Costume, machinima, and character sound-alike contests with great prizes
  • Commemorative merchandise and other products based on the Blizzard franchises
  • A silent auction
  • Live orchestral performances of music from Blizzard games
  • More exciting activities to be announced
Tickets for BlizzCon will go on sale in the next few months at a price of $100 USD per person. As the event draws closer, further details will be announced on the official BlizzCon website: www.blizzcon.com.

Source: Blizzard

Friday - September 15, 2006

Blizzard Adding Havok

by Dhruin, 02:03
Blizzard has <a href="http://www.havok.com/content/view/371/53/" target="_blank">licensed Havok 4</a> technology for "upcoming games":<blockquote><em>San Francisco, September 14, 2006 a  Havok, the premier provider of interactive software and services to digital creators in the game and film industries, announces today that Blizzard EntertainmentA has licensed Havok 4.0, the market-leading game-play physics and animation solution.<br><br>a SHavok 4.0 will add power and flexibility to our development process,a ? said Mike Morhaime, president and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment. a SWea "!re looking forward to utilizing this technology with our upcoming games.a ?<br><br>Released in July this year, Havok 4.0 is a modular suite of artist tools and run-time technology that enhances Havoka "!s industry-leading game-play physics and animation products (Havok Physicsa c and Havok Animationa c). It also introduced two new products - Havok Behaviora c and Havok FXa c.</em></blockquote>

Source: FiringSquad

Saturday - July 08, 2006

Blizzard: Art Contest

by Inauro, 03:12
Blizzard is holding its first annual art contest. The official <a href="http://www.worldofwarcraft.com" target="_blank">World of Warcraft</a> site has the details.<blockquote><em>Blizzard Entertainment is proud to announce the first annual Blizzard Art Contest! We're looking for talented artists to create their favorite characters, monsters, or locations from the Warcraft, StarCraft, or Diablo universes in both 2D and 3D formats. We'll be posting the winning submissions on our sites, and wea "!re also offering some really cool prizes. Interested? Click <a href="http://www.blizzard.com/inblizz/contests/artcontest2006/" target="_blank">here</a> for more information.</em></blockquote>

Source: World of Warcraft

Wednesday - June 14, 2006

The Facts About Blizzard's MMO "Plans" @ Cesspit

by Kalia, 22:37
Cesspit has made the entire Blizzard slide presentation available for viewers. Given the nature of the slides, particularly the last one, it's easy to see where the rumors started. You can judge for yourself here.

Source: Cesspit

More Blizzard MMOG Rumours (Updated)

by Dhruin, 08:11
IGN is quoting a site called F13.net and their claim about a Vivendi presentation to Wall Street:
According to F13.net during a presentation to Wall Street today, a company representative from Vivendi reportedly said, "All Blizzard franchises will become MMOGs." The rep said they have a model in place to produce an MMOG for $50 million over the next three years.
We do know that Blizzard is working on several titles (story) and Diablo 3 rumours -- including that Diablo 3 is a MMOG -- have popped up several times. Time will tell.

GameSpot is also running this story here.



Update:...and today comes a comment from Blizzard's Rob Pardo that appears on the surface to rule this out:
Nothing in that rumor is true in regards to Blizzard. If I had to guess, there was some confusion between what Vivendi has planned for its its game division versus what Blizzard has planned. While Blizzard is owned by Vivendi, their game division operates seperately from Blizzard.
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