Blizzard and slow development cycles

  • Since there is no Blizzard general forum and I cannot post on any of the US forums where developers might actually read this post... I decided to slap it on here because it's slightly related to Diablo 3 but generally encompasses all Blizzard games.

    Our favourite Blues are known for 2 things: great games and extremely slow and painful development cycles. From the topic's title people might think that I'm going to complain about the second but actually I'll be embracing the first. Blizz, for the past 2 decades, have managed to push out some of the most played, competitive, beautiful, wide audience, community friendly games out there. I wouldn't change anything that they've given us over the years and will continue throwing money at my monitor for each incoming game. There is still one small issue that is in the way of progress though and that is all other video game companies.

    The problem here is not that there are other games out there, it's that very often they tend to copy from Blizz. There's no shame in that, Blizz often copies and evolves other studios' ideas. But the beef here is that companies copy from Blizzard games before they're even released. There is one advice I'd like to give the Blues and it is: make games at your own pace and... *bites lips* DO NOT share that much info with us. That was very hard to say...

    It's been 15 years now that I've followed Blizz games and every time they start announcing things for their new games, every video, every screenshot - the feature present on it gets completely copied by other studios that make games in 6 to 12 months. There are so many RPGs that are close to or have already released that look exactly like Diablo 3 and have many of its features and yet Diablo is still a few months from release. I've seen exact copies of skills from Diablo 3 characters that are already out there looking exactly the same. There are at least a few MMO's out there that had some sort of "Cataclysm" just a few months prior to said WoW expansion. Even God damn Maple Story.

    Torchlight 2 is a good example and while I may get a lot of criticism for saying that it's the absolute truth. If you look at a gameplay video for the game and then at a Diablo 3 video you'll notice way too many similarities. My beef of course is not against Torchlight 2 per se. It's just a simple example of a game that has ripped off much of what D3 will be. But it's really getting to a point that some developers pretty much release exact clones of Blizz games before they're even finished, grabbing a lot of newcomers which, after D3 releases will go "oh, they so ripped off *My fav RPG* with this".

    I'm not trying to get any responses, this is mainly targeted towards Blizzard, but as always, the community is free to share its opinions, because as we all know, Blizz does listen. Maybe just not on the EU forums. >.>

    TL;DR - Blizz, please don't release almost any of your cool features for your future games while far from the targeted release date, because some people have no shame.
  • We're not slow. We're differently fast, that's all.

    And of course we listen to you people, even on these forums. Your passion for the games we develop is just amazing and it's truly an inspiration for us all. Listening to you is just the direct consequence of sharing this passion and dedication.