BusinessWeek spent some time examining the indisputable success of our Blizzard overlords. At the very beginning of the article, BusinessWeek credits Blizzard's mastery of gaming to the often-spoken, often-hated "when it's ready." In a quote from Jay Wilson, Blizzard says that if "a product isn't good enough, we cancel it."
The BusinessWeek article talks a lot about the overwhelmingly involved culture of Blizzard employees. The developers play their own games, both on the clock and off the clock. Dedicated "strike teams" spend lunch cruising the games' latest builds. Players in beta provide instant feedback, which executives and designers hungrily consume to make the best possible decisions. And if a game isn't deemed "fun enough," it's sent off to black-can land, where it will never see the light of day.
According to the article, though, Blizzard still plans on releasing a new expansion every year. This is in addition to Starcraft II and Diablo III. While we can obviously expect these games to show up "when they're ready," it paints a very active, competitive future for the Activision Blizzard group. The article does credit a new milestone for our beloved World of Warcraft. According to BusinessWeek, the subscriber base is now nearly 11 million. With the Recruit-a-Friend benefits, I hope we see this number grow to 12 million by the end of the year.
Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Expansions