Blizzard is mainstream

Looking at the coverage from Blizzcon 2011, I had a sudden realization: Blizzard cannot survive on cult games any more, they need blockbusters!

With the wild success of World of Warcraft, Blizzard has turned from a company specializing in cult games for hardcore gamers to a generic game company producing for the average Joe.

It’s just like a Porsche that’s been made into a sedan and fitted with a 1.6 liter engine. Average Joe is more than happy by the fact he’s driving a Porsche but to anyone who has driven a Porsche from 10 years back, this looks like an abomination.

It’s not like Blizzard has a choice in the matter now. Ever since they married Activision, it was all about mainstream success and blockbuster titles. They simply cannot go back.

Listen to a list of random updates from Blizzcon:

  • New WoW expansion called Mists of Pandaria!
  • – Is it possible to make WoW more cartoony and animaly than already is? Looking at the trailer, the answer is an emphatic YES.

  • Mists of Pandaria will allow pets to fight pets
  • – the only question is when POKEMON is going to sue them.

  • Diablo 3 will allow skill swapping only in town
  • – noobs have a problem switching between skills, so everyone will now spam just two skills the whole game?

  • Diablo 3 PVP will have endless re-spawning
  • – qq much?

  • Diablo 3 light radius removed
  • – is darkness too scary for new players?

  • Diablo 3 beta keys rewarded for Facebook likes
  • – also for email collection on a massive scale (over 1,400,000 likes compared to 400,000 a month ago)

  • Marketing gimmicks
  • – buy 12 months of WoW and get Diablo 3. Or buy Diablo 3 and get the next WoW expansion free. Welcome to our cross-promotions!

Does that mean we won’t enjoy the new 1.6 liter Porsche… I mean Diablo 3? Well, I certainly hope it is as good as a Porsche 911 (Diablo 2) but I doubt it will have the cult appeal of the classic. It is not so much about the game itself but about the people who will play it… teenagers who failed Angry Birds on their iPhone and are looking for something prettier and easier.

Reprinted from Diablo 3 news

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