Former Blizzard CEO Opens new Studio, gives industry hope

Hawki

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Blizzard is worse that Square when it comes to announcing games way too long before they'll ever release.

Diablo Immortal is just a fucking mobile game announced two years ago and it still aint out.
Diablo 4 announced last year, with no hope of anything even close to playable beta anytime soon.
Diablo 3 was revealed in 2009 and released in 2012.

While square certainly takes longer to develop a game, one could argue that Square works on more games at any given time than blizzard. You'd think for a company that only is really actively working on three projects continously, they would have a more consistant output. Hell even Activision has been annoyed with how long Blizzard takes to fucking do anything on several earnings calls.
Are we really taking Activision's side here?

Think about it for a second right... Square this year alone (a pandemic year mind you) Has worked on and released: Kingdom Hearts 3 DLC, Final Fantasy 14 content, Final Fantasy 7 Remake, Trials of Mana, Avengers, (and that's the stuff that released.) Additionally projects in development are: Nier remaster, FF7R-2, FF16, FF14 content and expansion, plus much more we dont know about yet. And their production is higher in years when there isn't a Plague.

Meanwhile Blizzard is working on:

WoW
Hearthstone
Overwatch 2
Diablo 4
and a little bit of Heroes of the Storm but I don't think they do much with it anymore.
If you're throwing in Square's remakes and DLC, then you also need to include SC2 and D3 (still getting extra content), StarCraft: Remastered, and Warcraft III: Reforged.

I'm not sure if this is even a good comparison, because Blizzard's M.O. has been to have a few select titles and keep adding content, whereas Square is more conventional (numerous titles released).

On the bright side I can't recall ever hearing about dangerous crunch periods from them so......
StarCraft and Diablo II both had infamous crunch periods. But you're right, not recently. Blizzard's got the cash to develop at its own pace...or did, before Activision fucked things up.
 

BrawlMan

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Because of course Superman is the answer to our problems...yay...
You missed the point. Check again.

In Suicide Squad, a general asks who would have stopped Supes if he flew into the White House and kidnapped the president. If that happened in 2020, I'd ask Supes what took him so long.
That got a quick laugh out of me.
 

CriticalGaming

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If you're throwing in Square's remakes and DLC, then you also need to include SC2 and D3 (still getting extra content), StarCraft: Remastered, and Warcraft III: Reforged.
1. I forgot Warcraft 3 even happened. And we can not count that because they did as little for that shit as possible.
2. D3 doesn't get new content, it gets seasons which is basically ladder resets, and even two or three seasons MAYBE there is another set. If people are working on D3 it is a skeleton crew because the game makes them no money.
3. Does SC2 get updates? I thought that ship has long since been abandoned. Hell they don't even have panels for it at Blizzcon anymore as far as I recall.


Are we really taking Activision's side here?
Certainly not. But it just goes to show that the parent company is unhappy with the output.

In all fairness Blizzard is a single studio and most studios don't make more than 1 game every 2-3 years. But Blizzard was also so fucking big that they were their own publisher for ages, and have essentially 6+ developmental teams. They are 6 games studios in one basically and still they don't output shit.

Especially when you consider that Overwatch 2, is basically just an expansion onto Overwatch. So it's not like it's being built as a new game from the ground up.
 
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SupahEwok

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"Gives industry hope"? What, so that he can make an off-brand of one of his old projects and sell his studio out for big bucks again? Cuz I feel like that's a part that's always missing in these "big bad corporate" narratives: these dudes sold their companies for money and stability, and money and stability is exactly what Blizzard in particular received.

Anyway, the big Blizzard breakthroughs have always been in revolutionizing multiplayer play, and their last big hits were rip-offs of collectible card games, TF2, and League of Legends (and yes, LoL is what made Dota's big, not the original Dota for Warcraft 3). Maybe this dude still has a fountain of inspiration to draw from for the 90s/early 00s "Blizzard Magic", but given he was the boss I think he had plenty of say in what Blizzard could make, and that the fountain has been dry for a long time.
 
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Kae

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He's a CEO, who gives a crap about the businessman?!

Tell us about the talent instead, who do they have that might bring that old Blizzard Magic back?!

From what little I was able to gather because I'm not feeling like doing much research on this we have Dustin Browder, which was the Lead Designer of StarCraft 2, Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 and Command & Conquer: Generals as well as being the Director of The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle Earth and later being one of the Directors of Heroes of the Storm, which is an impressive resume if they're working on RTS in particular.

The other name I found was Jason Chayes, who was the Production director of Hearthstone, as well as being a 3D artist for Disney & Electronic Arts (Don't know what he worked on those companies) and he was the Lead Producer for Battle.Net, which I mean is cool but I have no idea what to make of this guy.

So far that's the only talent I've found out about for this company so not knowing who the artists will be, who the writers will be, who the coders will be and so on leaves a lot of doubt and therefore makes me pretty sceptical of the project, I have no idea why anyone would be exited over a fucking suit, seriously why be exited for a CEO? I don't get it.
 

Hawki

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2. D3 doesn't get new content, it gets seasons which is basically ladder resets, and even two or three seasons MAYBE there is another set. If people are working on D3 it is a skeleton crew because the game makes them no money.
3. Does SC2 get updates? I thought that ship has long since been abandoned. Hell they don't even have panels for it at Blizzcon anymore as far as I recall.
I'd say both still count as updates/content, however slow. And yes, SC2 is still getting new commanders and new maps, albeit slowly.

In all fairness Blizzard is a single studio and most studios don't make more than 1 game every 2-3 years. But Blizzard was also so fucking big that they were their own publisher for ages, and have essentially 6+ developmental teams. They are 6 games studios in one basically and still they don't output shit.
Calling them games studios is a bit of a misnomer. Blizzard's current M.O. is basically one team per game/set of games. So right now, it's:

-Team 1: Heroes of the Storm, StarCraft II
-Team 2: World of Warcraft
-Team 3: Diablo III/Diablo IV
-Team 4: Overwatch
-Team 5: Hearthstone
-Classic Games: StarCraft: Remastered, Warcraft III: Reforged
-Incubation: Diablo Immortal

So while you could call them studios, it's not a case of "make a game, ship a game, move onto the next game." It's more "here's your property, develop it." Also fair to say that not all teams are the same size.
 

Hawki

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"Gives industry hope"? What, so that he can make an off-brand of one of his old projects and sell his studio out for big bucks again? Cuz I feel like that's a part that's always missing in these "big bad corporate" narratives: these dudes sold their companies for money and stability, and money and stability is exactly what Blizzard in particular received.

Anyway, the big Blizzard breakthroughs have always been in revolutionizing multiplayer play, and their last big hits were rip-offs of collectible card games, TF2, and League of Legends (and yes, LoL is what made Dota's big, not the original Dota for Warcraft 3). Maybe this dude still has a fountain of inspiration to draw from for the 90s/early 00s "Blizzard Magic", but given he was the boss I think he had plenty of say in what Blizzard could make, and that the fountain has been dry for a long time.
Blizzard taking an idea and 'polishing' it has always been their M.O., there wasn't some shift in that M.O. I mean, Lost Vikings stemmed from Lemmings, Blackthorne stemmed from Prince of Persia, Warcraft stemmed from Dune, Diablo stemmed from Rogue, StarCraft stemmed from Warcraft, World of Warcraft stemmed from EverQuest, Hearthstone stemmed from Magic, HotS stemmed from MOBAs in general, Overwatch stemmed from TF2, etc. However one feels about Blizzard as a whole, iterating on pre-existing ideas is kind of their jam. And even if that wasn't their 'thing,' technology doesn't exist in a vacuum.

Also, I'd say that Dota 1 made Dota 2 big, not LoL. Dota 1 was so big, it pretty much overshadowed WC3 for a time. LoL's certainly more popular than Dota 2, but I'm not sure how LoL popularized it, in that the games are rivals and appeal to different audiences.
 

SupahEwok

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Blizzard taking an idea and 'polishing' it has always been their M.O., there wasn't some shift in that M.O. I mean, Lost Vikings stemmed from Lemmings, Blackthorne stemmed from Prince of Persia, Warcraft stemmed from Dune, Diablo stemmed from Rogue, StarCraft stemmed from Warcraft, World of Warcraft stemmed from EverQuest, Hearthstone stemmed from Magic, HotS stemmed from MOBAs in general, Overwatch stemmed from TF2, etc. However one feels about Blizzard as a whole, iterating on pre-existing ideas is kind of their jam. And even if that wasn't their 'thing,' technology doesn't exist in a vacuum.

Also, I'd say that Dota 1 made Dota 2 big, not LoL. Dota 1 was so big, it pretty much overshadowed WC3 for a time. LoL's certainly more popular than Dota 2, but I'm not sure how LoL popularized it, in that the games are rivals and appeal to different audiences.
To say that all that Blizzard did was "polishing" products is a disservice to their history, and reductive; by that logic, any 90s RTS that had more features than Dune was a "polish" job. Warcraft, Diablo, and Starcraft all made major strides in the development of internet multiplayer, in addition to any gameplay evolutions they may or may not have made. It's been 12-14 years since Blizzard shifted from setting market trends to following them.

...and are you forgetting that League of Legends came out 4 years before Dota 2? And Dota 1's place in history is essentially the same as TF1's, a very popular mod that spawned a commercial genre, but was not a commercial product itself. And like TF2 being the successful commercial product that brought that style of game to popular consciousness, so did LoL take Dota-clones from a popular mod to, for a time, the single largest multiplayer game genre.
 

Hawki

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To say that all that Blizzard did was "polishing" products is a disservice to their history, and reductive; by that logic, any 90s RTS that had more features than Dune was a "polish" job. Warcraft, Diablo, and Starcraft all made major strides in the development of internet multiplayer, in addition to any gameplay evolutions they may or may not have made. It's been 12-14 years since Blizzard shifted from setting market trends to following them.
I'm not disputing that Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft were influential. But has the approach really changed? Hearthstone is pretty much the gold standard to beat in CCGs, least as far as market share goes. Overwatch is pretty much the front-runner in hero shooters right now - dunno if it has more or less players than TF2, but it's the hero shooter that everyone knows about, and was at the cusp of a wave of hero shooters that left few candidates left when the field cleared (apart from Paladins, what's left?) And HotS, while it failed to make as much mark on the MOBA landscape as Blizzard wanted, was still the same formula of "take something and make it our own."

I don't think Blizzard's approach has changed here. What HAS changed, much to my annoyance, is the dearth of singleplayer experiences. You could dive into Diablo, Warcraft, and StarCraft, and have a good time without ever playing multiplayer. Overwatch, Hearthstone, and HotS? Not so much. :(

...and are you forgetting that League of Legends came out 4 years before Dota 2? And Dota 1's place in history is essentially the same as TF1's, a very popular mod that spawned a commercial genre, but was not a commercial product itself. And like TF2 being the successful commercial product that brought that style of game to popular consciousness, so did LoL take Dota-clones from a popular mod to, for a time, the single largest multiplayer game genre.
I know that LoL came out before Dota 2. But on the question of DotA 2's popularity, was that popularity due to LoL, or the original mod? I have to say the latter, because:

-Dota 1 was insanely popular. Again, as I stated, Dota 1 kind of eclipsed Warcraft III itself for a bit, with people purchasing the game just so they could play Dota.

-The development of LoL compared to Dota is, as far as I'm aware, pretty fraught, given how IceFrog went to Valve, and Guinsoo went to Riot. Even now, there seems to be bad blood between them. That in part due to how LoL is a more 'casual' game than Dota 2, and in theory, the two games appeal to different audiences.

-Dota 2, as far as I can tell, is Dota 1 with some QoL features and a reskin. It's specifically designed for fans of the original mod.

It's possible that some people went from LoL to Dota, but it seems more likely that more people went from Dota 1 to Dota 2.
 

Gyrobot

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So when did you give up and start drinking Kun Lan's or Junko Enoshima's kool aid? I know the industry has a lot of assholes in it, but giving up is the easy way out. You got to look at the positives. Here's some motivation for you. Listen to it real good.


FTR, never was a Warcraft fan, but I do wish best of luck, and that they treat each other with kindness and respect.
And unfortunately, like SilentPony, I agree with his sentiment because the industry is now an effective self sustaining beast that can tank controversies from the government, players and press and still keep walking in spite of all the shit it has endured. No amount of legislation and outrage will stop it.
 

BrawlMan

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And unfortunately, like SilentPony, I agree with his sentiment because the industry is now an effective self sustaining beast that can tank controversies from the government, players and press and still keep walking in spite of all the shit it has endured. No amount of legislation and outrage will stop it.
My hope lies mainly in the smaller (mostly indie, AA) and those that care. For them not to lose their way. Greedy bastards up top don't give up, and neither do I. Neither should you. You and Silent Pony have fun drinking the kool aid and say nothing matter all you want if you wish. Your despair and apathy is their best friend. Good night, be safe, and have a blessed evening.
 

Gyrobot

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My hope lies mainly in the smaller (mostly indie, AA) and those that care. For them not to lose their way. Greedy bastards up top don't give up, and neither do I. Neither should you. You and Silent Pony have fun drinking the kool aid and say nothing matter all you want if you wish. Your despair and apathy is their best friend. Good night, be safe, and have a blessed evening.
Unfortunately 2020 taught to give up on the notion of hope with the worst case scenario in full force. Better to die woke then to live asleep to the injustice of the industry and reality.
 

BrawlMan

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Unfortunately 2020 taught to give up on the notion of hope with the worst case scenario in full force. Better to die woke then to live asleep to the injustice of the industry and reality.
You do that then.
 

NerfedFalcon

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Unfortunately 2020 taught to give up on the notion of hope with the worst case scenario in full force. Better to die woke then to live asleep to the injustice of the industry and reality.
2020's going to end eventually. When 2021 rolls around, what are you going to do?