More on the Blizzard Departures

Gaming defections could hamper Vivendi gaming unit sale on CNN Money offers more on the shake-up at Blizzard following some key departures. Along the way we get the first hints that plans from the group that has departed may be more forthcoming that might have been imagined:
Later Tuesday, the now former-Blizzard employees will sit down for the first time to discuss – and name – their new game development company. None of the four were under contract nor were they bound by non-compete agreements. And all, he said, are eager to start working on a new product.
Update: Another Q&A with Bill Roper discussing the departures is up on HomeLAN Fed.
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1.
 
In other words...
Jul 1, 2003, 15:16
1.
In other words... Jul 1, 2003, 15:16
Jul 1, 2003, 15:16
 
...."Rooooaaaarrrrrr!"

Smirking,
Ray

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2.
 
Re: In other words...
Jul 1, 2003, 15:21
2.
Re: In other words... Jul 1, 2003, 15:21
Jul 1, 2003, 15:21
 
What are you talking about "roar"?

3.
 
rawr
Jul 1, 2003, 15:25
3.
rawr Jul 1, 2003, 15:25
Jul 1, 2003, 15:25
 
RAWR!!!!!

4.
 
blech
Jul 1, 2003, 15:26
4.
blech Jul 1, 2003, 15:26
Jul 1, 2003, 15:26
 


double post... sorry
This comment was edited on Jul 1, 15:27.
5.
 
MARK MY WORDS
Jul 1, 2003, 15:26
5.
MARK MY WORDS Jul 1, 2003, 15:26
Jul 1, 2003, 15:26
 
they will make us their bitch.

...oh, wait a minute...

6.
 
Comedy here
Jul 1, 2003, 15:42
6.
Comedy here Jul 1, 2003, 15:42
Jul 1, 2003, 15:42
 
You know, there's actually alot going on if you analyze all of this in detail.

The French are getting the revenge they deserve. Why? Blizzard is worth less without the stars, like a movie. Read the last paragraph of the article, and that's what Bill talks about. Vivendi held out to long, trying to get as much money as possible, and now they get screwed royally. The winning bidder will get the games division at a reduced price.

Sierra isn't in any better position. They worked on Tribes Vegeance for 6 months, and the release date is late next year. Irrational was hired by Sierra to do the work, so in theory, the people at Sierra are just managing the project. There's no real talent at Sierra, it's at Irrational.

The stars of Blizzard leave, announce their own game company, cherry pick what's left of Blizzard, and wait for some major company to hire them to make a new game. And they will probably get consulting money from Blizzard to keep them floating along, while they start writing their own game or get signed.

7.
 
Re: Comedy here
Jul 1, 2003, 16:06
7.
Re: Comedy here Jul 1, 2003, 16:06
Jul 1, 2003, 16:06
 
For a second.. the thoughts of the ex-blizzardians going to Irrational games to help make Tribes:Vengeance came to mind. I almost cried.


8.
 
Re: Comedy here
Jul 1, 2003, 16:34
8.
Re: Comedy here Jul 1, 2003, 16:34
Jul 1, 2003, 16:34
 
You know, there's actually alot going on if you analyze all of this in detail.

The French are getting the revenge they deserve. Why? Blizzard is worth less without the stars, like a movie. Read the last paragraph of the article, and that's what Bill talks about. Vivendi held out to long, trying to get as much money as possible, and now they get screwed royally. The winning bidder will get the games division at a reduced price.

Interesting comment. however a price of 800 million for a company that turns over 600 million a year seems cheap, even given the loss of key staff. These guys have left the blizzard name behind and may compete but will have to write their own new stuff from scratch. That will take a lot of work. especially for a 4 man co.

No I don't think vivendi handled it well, don't take it as read that these guys will produce anything for 3 years either.

And what is the relevance of noting the nationalities? the daikatana team were US citizens, its an irrelevance.

Anvil
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9.
 
No subject
Jul 1, 2003, 16:53
9.
No subject Jul 1, 2003, 16:53
Jul 1, 2003, 16:53
 
I just hope the Roper quartet will make us many more good games and extend the craft series a long time.

10.
 
Um...
Jul 1, 2003, 16:58
10.
Um... Jul 1, 2003, 16:58
Jul 1, 2003, 16:58
 
The French are getting what they deserve? What kind of asinine statement is that? It's like everytime an American soldier is killed in Iraq someone moron saying 'The US is getting what they deserve'.
Show a little class, pal.
This is business, it has sweet FA to do with Franco-US relations between governments.


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11.
 
Re: Um...
Jul 1, 2003, 17:07
11.
Re: Um... Jul 1, 2003, 17:07
Jul 1, 2003, 17:07
 
I still think the French are getting what they deserve for being French and all that...or Canadian as well. Everyone knows that the French and Canadian are from France and Canada.

12.
 
w00t!!1
Jul 1, 2003, 17:22
12.
w00t!!1 Jul 1, 2003, 17:22
Jul 1, 2003, 17:22
 
*sigh* to some of the previous comments

on a lighter note:

aww yeah! any takers on what type of game they'll be designing first? my bets on tactical first-person-shooter.

And all, he said, are eager to start working on a new product.

hmmm... I'm wondering if they already had ideas for a game floating around that got shot down. hopeful speculation I guess

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13.
 
Re: Comedy here
Jul 1, 2003, 17:31
13.
Re: Comedy here Jul 1, 2003, 17:31
Jul 1, 2003, 17:31
 
So what if they turn over $600 million a year?? How much profit do they make? That's what I'm interested in. As a buyer, how long is it going to take me to make $800 million in profit?

14.
 
Bleh
Jul 1, 2003, 17:35
14.
Bleh Jul 1, 2003, 17:35
Jul 1, 2003, 17:35
 
I just want to know when they start hiring ; )

Course I did just apply to Blizzard North, and that scares me ; (

-Alamar

15.
 
Re: Bleh
Jul 1, 2003, 17:50
15.
Re: Bleh Jul 1, 2003, 17:50
Jul 1, 2003, 17:50
 
papyrus will probably also leave sierra/vivendi

16.
 
Re: Bleh
Jul 1, 2003, 17:59
16.
Re: Bleh Jul 1, 2003, 17:59
Jul 1, 2003, 17:59
 
oh well papyrus puts out the same boring race games where you go in a circle 200 times and you crash and you're out of the race

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17.
 
hee
Jul 1, 2003, 18:12
17.
hee Jul 1, 2003, 18:12
Jul 1, 2003, 18:12
 
Bill Roper quote:

Almost immediately after word of the resignations got out yesterday, the rumor mill began spitting out wild conspiracy theories. One of the most popular was the Blizzard North co-founders and Roper had learned of the gaming unit's likely buyer and quit, feeling their creativity might be harnessed. Not true, said Roper.

"I wish we had gotten wind of anything," he chuckled. "No idea. No clues. No inklings. To be honest, that's part of the problem. What we know about the sale is what we read off the Internet and in the magazines and newspapers."

I know it sounds crass but I get a big ol' boner whenever anyone sticks it to suits in upper management, especially when said management are an arrogant bunch pricks (and French of all things..yesss). Blizzard has "Annual revenues of $600 million"??!! ...and Vivendi is going to kick them to the curb and keep them in the dark as to who may be picking them up?

Bill Roper says..."I don't THINK so..."


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This comment was edited on Jul 1, 18:18.
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18.
 
Re: Bleh
Jul 1, 2003, 18:16
18.
Re: Bleh Jul 1, 2003, 18:16
Jul 1, 2003, 18:16
 
papyrus will probably also leave sierra/vivendi

doesn't matter, Vivendi lost the NASCAR liscense to EA. Papyrus will find work though, they're extremely talented.

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PAH!
----------------------------------------------------------------------
"Both the “left” and the “right” pretend they have the answer, but they are mere flippers on the same thalidomide baby, and the truth is that neither side has a clue."

- Jim Goad
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19.
 
Re: Bleh
Jul 1, 2003, 18:33
19.
Re: Bleh Jul 1, 2003, 18:33
Jul 1, 2003, 18:33
 
I think people are giving these four guys a little TOO much credit. What game(s) did Blizzard North make? Diablo, its sequel and associated expansion. Starcraft, Warcraft-series, WOW, and Starcraft-Ghost, are being developed by Blizzard, not Blizzard North, if I remember correctly.

Sure, losing four talented higher-ups is bad, but to be honest they were/are responsbile for only ONE game out of MANY that has made Blizzard popular and successful, not all.

BTW, we have an employee discount program that allow us to buy ALL Blizzard and Sierra published games for $10 each. Ha! WC3-expansion is next on my list


Edit - spelling

This comment was edited on Jul 1, 18:36.
You cannot make anything fool-proof. The fools are too inventive

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20.
 
Re: Bleh
Jul 1, 2003, 20:05
20.
Re: Bleh Jul 1, 2003, 20:05
Jul 1, 2003, 20:05
 
I rather suspect Roper was instrumental in a lot more than just Diablo, given that he was a VP there and the guy that got trotted out to do all the interviews for WarCraft III, Ghost, etc. What his role in developing all of those games was I'm not 100% sure but it sure seems he had an impact across the board, not just on the Diablo line.

But that doesn't answer the question of what impact this departure will have on the rest of the company, that's true.

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