As stated in the article, it's hard to see the event as a total financial loss for them though when you consider the entire event is like one huge advertisement for their games. It gets people psyched up about what's to come and news from the convention spreads around like wildfire around the globe. Sounds less like a financial loss and more like a smart investment to me. What do you think?"Blizzard?s annual BlizzCon expo celebrating all things Starcraft, Warcraft and Diablo isn?t as profitable as one might think. Despite selling 20,000 tickets at $125 a pop, a ton of merchandising at the con and the DirecTV deal, Blizzard didn't see any profits from the show.
Executive Vice President, Frank Pearce, spoke at Austin GDC yesterday where he opened up on the cost of the convention:
"BlizzCon is operated at a substantial loss for the company. It's a huge marketing opportunity, so that's the benefit we get out of that. But in terms of any kind of financial gain, it actually is a loss for us."
Frank wouldn?t go into details on how much is lost, but it?s got to be a pretty penny. GameSpot points out that Blizzard has to rent out the Anaheim Convention Center, provide around 2,000 PCs for demos and there?s all those cash prizes too. Plus, there?s the celebrity factor with Kerrigan's voice actress Tricia Helfer making an appearance along with Ozzy Osbourne?s concert.
It may have cost them a ton, but I?m sure the 11 million World of Warcraft players help Blizzard sleep at night.
FUN FACT TIME! Frank also gave an insight on some interesting numbers in relation to WoW:
"Put together, the massively multiplayer online role-playing game and its two expansions have 7,650 quests, 70,000 spells, 40,000 NPCs, 1.5 million assets, and 5.5 million lines of code, and requires 4,000 employees, 13,250 server blades, and 75,000 CPU cores."
Hamza CTZ Aziz, a writer at Destructoid, just posted an interesting article about how Blizzard is actually losing money at every BlizzCon event they throw. I guess it's not too surprising, but check out some of the details provided by Frank Pearce:
Gamespot has just posted an article about Blizzard's next MMO and how Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick says it will have a broader appeal than their previous titles. Here's what was said in the article:
So for those of you who were hoping for a World of Diablo / World of Starcraft type game, I wouldn't really count on it. I don't know about you guys, but I wouldn't mind seeing Blizzard coming out with a new IP. Either that or World of Lost Vikings. ;)After confirming it was working on a new massively multiplayer game in 2007, Blizzard Entertainment has divulged only a few details on the project. Today at the Deutsche Bank Securities Technology Conference in San Francisco, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick offered another breadcrumb of information about the unnamed title--which won't be a competitor to World of Warcraft.
When asked about the efforts behind the new Battle.net online gaming service, Kotick listed Blizzard's upcoming slate. "What we've announced at Blizzard is that we have Starcraft [II] coming, Diablo has been in production?and a new, unannounced MMO that has a little more broad appeal," said the executive.
Kotick's talk of a more accessible MMORPG ads a bit more detail to the still very sketchy picture of Blizzard's mystery-shrouded project. Before officially acknowledging it was in development in 2007, Blizzard said that any new massively multiplayer game it may would not be a World of Warcraft clone. This February, now-ex-World of Warcraft game director Jeff Kaplan began working full-time on the unnamed title, which will be a brand-new property.
Besides mentioning the Blizzard MMORPG and Activision's plans to begin bypassing consoles, Kotick dropped hints of what features the new Battle.net might have. "As we start to add cash play and prize play and better rewards and recognition systems that come through the Internet, you will start to see audiences expand even further," said Kotick, showing a slide of a BlizzCon StarCraft II tournament.
When asked if Kotick's comments meant that cash prizes would be awarded directly over Battle.net, a Blizzard rep pointed out his company's longstanding tradition of having contests that begin online and end at BlizzCon with large cash prizes. "Tournament play and e-sports have been part of the Battle.net experience for years," said the rep, who declined to comment further.
Hello! My name is Rapture. Myself and Tyveris were responsible for the new design that launched for BlizzCon. We've been lurking for a little while, getting to know the other admins and mods here as well as getting acquainted with the site. We are both huge fans of the Diablo franchise, and we're extremely excited about making DiabloFans as well as DiabloWiki the most comprehensive Diablo community and resource available on the web.
After talking with the mods, we decided to introduce a new forum organization that puts more emphasis on organizing our discussions around Diablo III. You will now find that there is a new Diablo III category as well as forums for each of the classes (including the unannounced class) and forums for general discussion as well as game ideas. We hope this will make everything easier to sort through and find.
Please don't hesitate to post any feedback you may have, and we look forward to getting to know everyone here.
Just got word from the Curse network guys that they're doing a new League of Legends beta key giveaway and you're all welcome to try your luck (you don't need to be a premium Curse member or anything). Here's the official press release:
In other news more related to Diablo 3, Bashiok recently responded to comments on Battle.net about how the public sees the game differently so far. He brought up some interesting points about how hardcore gamers view Diablo 3 versus the general game buying public. Here's what he had to say:"The Creators of DotA and Curse bring our users exclusive early access to the League of Legends beta!
This giveaway is open to US and EU Curse members!
For EU Members please visit the League of Legends EU Beta Key Page!
For US Members please visit the League of Legends US Beta Key Page!
League of Legends is a competitive online game set in an imaginative world. Gamers take the role of a powerful Summoner, calling forth and controlling brave Champions in battle. League of Legends combines the best elements of session-based games with persistent elements of MMORPG?s. Enter the Fields of Justice with your most trusted allies as you fight for your right to rule the world of Valoran. There is only one rule of law among those in the league: Winner rules all."
So I guess the real question this raises is... if Diablo 3 was a car, what kind of car would it be?
Official Blizzard Quote:
"Well I think it's kind of easy to look at changes and advancements in the RPG genre as a whole and narrow them down to any number of sources to fit each use.
To make a car analogy (my favorite!) it would be like having issues with the newest version of the mustang because its body styling takes into account things like passenger safety and aerodynamics, and being upset by this because these are features also found in the ford focus. A clearly inferior car in the eyes of the mustang enthusiast.
These types of ideas could never have been thought of or would ever be included in the mustang, of course, had not both cars been manufactured by ford.
It's just all a bit silly. What I do think is interesting is the differentiation between the hardcore Diablo II players (most of y'all) and the majority of the rest of the game buying public. From our showing at BlizzCon and PAX a lot of the articles and off-site (non fansite) discussions are saying that Diablo III may not be doing enough to change itself from Diablo II.
If those people read some of the posts here you'd think we were putting a Diablo sticker on a WoW box and calling it a day. So it's just an interesting difference between the audiences and how level of dedication changes perceptions and expectation.
And I don't mean to lump everyone together, I'd say aside from the trolls the majority of posters here are actually level headed and logical. At least able to take multiple things into consideration. Reasonable thought process and understanding that the game is a work in progress, and not someone that sees a character with a slight hunch and makes a leap of logic that we must be using model/animation assets from a different game.
That's still my favorite. Cause of it bein' so stupid 'n all.
But anyway I guess what I'm getting at is... I'd really like to read something new and original. These posts are getting tired."
There's an interesting article that recently appeared in the Los Angeles Times' Brand X which discusses the potential of Blizzard returning to game consoles in the not too distant future as opposed to just having their games on computers. Blizzard's COO Paul Sams talks about how console systems encourage people to play games together as opposed to the more solitary nature of computers and and why it's worth doing even if he doesn't like the idea of paying a fee to hardware manufacturers. Of course, there's mention of Diablo 3 being shopped around as we've already mentioned in the past as well. Definitely a solid read. Check it out:
Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing Diablo 3 on all of the consoles. I'm sure it would look great on both the Xbox and PS3, and a Wii version could be entertaining to hack apart enemies by waving the Wiimote around. Actually, given the number of enemies one has to kill in Diablo, I imagine your arms would feel like jelly after playing the game on the Wii for any extended periods of time."In the computer gaming world, Blizzard Entertainment is a juggernaut. The division of Activision Blizzard is responsible for some of the world's bestselling PC games, including World of Warcraft and StarCraft. But the company hasn't released a game for home consoles in more than a decade.
That could change any day.
Blizzard has nothing against controllers, joysticks or living rooms, said Paul Sams, Blizzard's chief operating officer, at last month's annual BlizzCon event in Anaheim. Financial details are what's holding up the company's long-overdue return to the console market.
To release an Xbox, Playstation or Wii game, game producers are required to pay a licensing fee to system manufacturers. It's a big reason why Microsoft and Sony can sell their hardware at a loss.
The simple economics goes: The manufacturers profit on game sales, even if they lose money on the hardware needed to play the games. They might lose money on each console, but the longer term prospect of selling more and more games should make back that loss (and then some).
"The value is the game," Sams agrees. But he doesn't like the business model. "I don't like the idea of paying a console manufacturer a fee. That concept pisses me off."
But the community aspect of consoles is compelling Blizzard to go beyond the all-too-familiar flicker of the bedroom computer monitor. "Because the living room is a place where more people can be around, there's a lot of reasons why it's appealing," Sams said.
In order to get there, however, Blizzard appears to be holding out for a console maker to cut a deal. "They do it all the time," Sams said. True, manufacturers will ...
... sometimes give bags of money in exchange for exclusive rights to high-profile game franchises.
Where might Blizzard go? As it prepares to launch its revamped online gaming network, called Battle.net, the company doesn't have much need for Microsoft's Xbox Live infrastructure or Nintendo's WiFi Connection.
Blizzard has a cozy history with Nintendo, having made games for the Super Nintendo and StarCraft 64 for the successor to the SNES. The Wii's remote control would be well-suited to the developer's flagship real-time strategy games.
Blizzard is shopping around Diablo III to consoles. "We are in ongoing talks with Microsoft and Sony," Sams said. "I think they desire to see us on their platforms."
A near-finished game called StarCraft: Ghost was the closest Blizzard has come to releasing a console game in years. Due to the loss of a key person on the outsourced development team, "it wasn't turning out the way we wanted," Sams said. So, Blizzard scrapped the project. That crucial developer, Ray Gresko, now leads work on Diablo III.
"I think that a lot of other companies would not have hesitated in publishing it," Sams said about the game based on its sci-fi franchise. "We weren't willing to put out a game that was not at the level of Blizzard polish quality that customers have come to expect."
As the battle between Microsoft and Sony becomes more aggressive, with both companies recently slashing the prices of their systems in advance of the holiday season, it may not be long before one plops the right deal down on Blizzard's table. -Mark Milian"