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20 Years of Blizzard

The Blizzard Entertainment 20th Anniversary Trailer offers "a message from Blizzard Entertainmentís founders, interviews with developers, video retrospectives, and more." There's also an interview on VentureBeat talking with Blizzard CEO Paul Sams on the occasion. Here's part of his look back: "Back in the early days, we didnít think 20 years out into the future. We didnít think it was possible to have the type of success we have been fortunate enough to have. But when I sit back and I reflect on these two decades, itís been an incredible ride for us. Weíve maintained our core mission of making the most out of our games. We focus on making the most epic entertainment experiences ever, and I think weíve really stuck with our values. It drives our decisions and has allowed us to provide a level of consistency in what weíve been able to deliver. We have been able to make many of the top-selling PC games in the world for many years. Itís tough to run a successful company for 20 years. We are very proud and humbled by it."

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16. Re: 20 Years of Blizzard Mar 8, 2011, 06:46 Cram
 
That's a matter of opinion. Blizzard innovated. Activision Blizzard just improve upon the previous.

Blizzard didn't start improving upon the previous after they merged with Activision. When did Blizzard innovate beforehand?

Starcraft set the bar. Then Diablo 2 set the bar. Then Warcraft 3 set the bar. Then World of Warcraft set the bar.


It can be argued Diablo was just an improvement from Ultima and a handful of other games beforehand. Diablo was not the first of its kind. Darkstone and Revenent, despite coming slightly later, were a far greater source of innovation in the genre then Diablo was at that time, and to be honest that is not saying much since did neither of those two games innovate much beyond graphics and new system or two. Starcraft? Ideas stolen and improved upon from Command and Conquer and a handful of other games, who no doubt got their ideas from other games before that, just in a different setting albeit a vast amount of improvements, but not innovative at all. How did Diablo 2 set any bar from previous games in the genre? Skill trees had already been done a couple years before. Nothing else to discuss there. How did Warcraft 3 set any bar over WC1 and 2? It was, to some (not everyone) an improvement over the previous two games. To those others, from what I remember, it was actually a step backwards.

Now WoW is a touchy subject because of how successful it became. How do you argue anything against this glorious empire right?

I personally think it ONLY improved upon Everquest and a handful of other MMO's of the time. It also brought a recognized IP into the fray. I do not see any innovations in Vanilla WoW compared to the MMO's before it. At all. It was just an unbalanced a level grinding mmo as any other before it, that thanks to a massive budget and excellent team it eventually received decent end/game content and subsequently very well developed expansions and support. Expansions that, compared to other similarly priced expansions in the genre, offers far more polished content and experiences. Again, not saying too much since it's all an unbalanced mess just like most other MMO's.

Starcraft set the bar.
Starcraft 2 did not set the bar.

What were you expecting? Starcraft 1 was and for all I know still is one of the most played games in the RTS Capital of South Korea. It was the pinnacle of RTS genre perfected (and not through any form of innovation). Why would Blizzard reformulate the sequel to something that has already been proven right? If you were expecting some sort of revolution, that was on you and in no way is Blizzard at fault. You're disappointed in your own self-mislead expectations. They did exactly what they wanted to do with Starcraft 2 and they did it right and I say that as a non-RTS player.

Maybe I've just tired of RTS games in general, and Diablo 3 will do it for me, but that their first major release since the merger has turned me off definitely has me thinking that the company is no longer what it was.

I see nothing that shows their first major release would have been any different merger or not. From a business standpoint, it works. From a gamers standpoint, it works. SC2 was an excellent complete release, sans LAN support which I agree kinda blows but I don't see how Activision would be to blame there, and its expansions look to improve the storyline and gameplay. You are the only one that may have set the expectation that you should have gotten three massive campaigns at release of SC2.

In an era where single player portion of games are 4-5 hours long, SC2 was far beyond that. Its multiplayer is again proving timeless. None of this came from innovation, but from support and improvements in the genre and the IP.

I will concede my argument if you can list and prove what Blizzard has done to innovate the respective genres they've developed games in. Forcing MMO developers to develop perfected games with huge end game content at release in order to be at all successful, fyi, is not an innovation. In the last few posts, it may come off that I've both defended and attacked Blizzard. I respect the hell out of them, despite being extremely pissed off at how they've handled SC2 and D3 with massive pre-release information drawn out over years etc. I stand firm, however, that Activision has yet to do anything to degrade Blizzards integrity in any way over the last three years. And I despise Bobby K.

How about Micro-transactions? Hah, no one is forcing you to buy that flying star horse for 25 bucks, nor does it give you any advantage. No matter what money grubbing things you think you've seen to shake your fist in Activisions direction, it has not given anyone the advantage for having money, effected their integrity, quality or gaming social responsibility in the products themselves.

Blizzard is the same Blizzard they were last year, three years ago, 10 years ago and 20 years ago. It's your own self-created expectations that have let you down if anything.

This comment was edited on Mar 8, 2011, 07:06.
 
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