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Posts with tag Blizzard-Entertainment

World of Warcraft earns over $1 billion a year

According to statistics from SuperData Research, World of Warcraft still dominates the MMO market with 36% market share. The game raked in just over a billion dollars in revenue in 2013, putting it well ahead of its nearest competition -- $253 million for NCSoft's 1998 title Lineage. The ranking of top subscription titles suggests that MMOs need staying power -- WoW is nearly 10 years old and Lineage is 16 -- and a strong Asian presence -- the top 3 are all big titles in Asia -- to sustain them over the long haul.

However, even though WoW continues to pull in strong subscription numbers, the industry has seen the subscription model declining sharply while microtransaction revenue has been on an upswing. With both a healthy subscriber base and its own microtransaction strategy, WoW seems prepared to succeed no matter which direction the industry goes. However, the overall subscription trend begs the question: will we ever see a free-to-play version of WoW? Blizzard has said no, and with subscription stats like this we can see why.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

San Diego Comic-Con 2014 programming schedule released

San Diego Comic-Con International has begun to release its program of events for this year's convention. Blizzard Entertainment will once again have a presence at the convention as well as a panel with Chris Metzen himself. The panel, titled Blizzard Entertainment Showcase, takes place Thursday, July 24 from 2:15-3:15pm in Room 6BCF. Attendees looking for expansion information should take note that this is a panel about Blizzard merchandise and licensed products. While it may include some new information on upcoming projects, there likely won't be a lot of talking about game development -- but the panel does include a Q&A.

However, attendees looking for other Blizzard information would do well to hit up Hall H on Saturday, July 26. Legendary Pictures will be presenting a panel featuring their upcoming slate of films in Hall H from 12:25-1:10pm. Last year, Director Duncan Jones made a brief appearance at the convention to show off what he called a "mood piece" for the upcoming Warcraft film. Filming for Warcraft officially wrapped in May of this year, which means that attendees at the panel may very well see more than just a brief glimpse of Warcraft.

Fans looking for Blizzard on the main convention floor can head to booth 115 for Blizzard Entertainment. At the moment, there still isn't an official schedule for any signings that might take place at Comic-Con. Given last year's list of notable names, we should see an official announcement regarding potential signings and other pertinent Comic-Con info soon.


Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Warcraft Movie

Enter to win exclusive Comic-Con prizes from Blizzard

If you aren't lucky enough to be heading to San Diego for Comic-Con 2014, good news -- you can still get yourself some Comic-Con goodies. Blizzard will be giving away 25 Comic-Con goodie bags chock full of cool and exclusive Blizzard merchandise. To enter, simply follow the link provided on the official announcement post, and earn entries by completing a variety of social actions using the contest app.

Winners will receive a Heroes of the Storm T-shirt and lanyard, a Diablo Whimsyshire Treasure Goblin, a Starcraft Cute But Deadly Cloaking Zeratul, a Starcraft Funko Pop! Vinyl Primal Kerrigan, and a Warcraft Nether Faerie Dragon Plush. The contest runs until July 27, so you have plenty of time to get plenty of entries in. For more information, and the official rules, head to the contest app page. Good luck to all who enter!

Filed under: Blizzard, Contests

Bottom's Up for the continued tale of the Mists cinematic

Blizzard decided to post the above video, titled Bottom's Up, to their official Youtube account yesterday, stating that they found some extra footage shot just moments after the Mists of Pandaria cinematic had come to an end. The video features the return of the human and orc featured duking it out in the original cinematic -- only slightly less keen on tearing out each other's throats.

Personally, I could watch these two all day. I kind of want to see a series of cinematic shorts about their adventures, now. My only minor complaint is that they didn't use the kazoo music from Pandaria's inns for the backing track. I mean, I understand why, it would have been far too distracting, but man I love that music, and I'm going to miss it when we leave Pandaria's shores for good.

Filed under: Blizzard, Humor, Mists of Pandaria

Building the Nexus: The voice of Gazlowe

The official Heroes of the Storm Youtube account highlighted a familiar voice earlier this week in its Building the Nexus segments. Travis Willingham is a man of many voices, having lent his pipes to an incredibly diverse list of characters in anime, animation, and video games alike. In Heroes of the Storm, he takes a different direction from the usual heroic-voiced roles and takes on Gazlowe, a goblin that WoW players should be plenty familiar with. The NPC was the Chief Engineer of the Horde back when Orgrimmar was being built after the Third War, but later moved to Ratchet, where he stays today. Affiliated with the Steamwheedle Cartel, Gazlowe now hands out quests to Alliance and Horde alike. He's also one of the few goblin NPCs in the game with unique voice files.

In Heroes of the Storm, Gazlowe charges into battle armed with a load of mechanics and explosives strapped to his back, and a volley of well-placed quips to hurl at opponents. The latest edition of Building the Nexus features Community Manager Josh "Rokcet" Rester-Zodrow having a chat with Willingham about the game and the unique challenges of bringing a character like Gazlowe to life. We don't usually see a lot of voice actor highlights, so this is a pretty cool behind the scenes -- I'd love to see some of these done for Warcraft as well. Take a look at the video above, and if you like it, be sure to check out the rest of what the Heroes Youtube channel has to offer.

Filed under: News items, Heroes of the Storm

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls comes to consoles in August

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls will be making its way to consoles in just a few short months, on August 19. The console edition of the popular expansion allows you to play with up to four players on one TV screen. The console release, called the Ultimate Evil Edition, includes all content in the Reaper of Souls expansion set as well as Acts I through IV of the original release. In addition, players that pre-order the Ultimate Evil Edition will receive a pair of Infernal Pauldrons, wearable at level 1 and providing some pretty cool bonuses as well as just looking sharp.

The Ultimate Evil Edition will be available for PS4, PS3, Xbox One and Xbox 360 consoles, with a suggested retail price of $59.99 USD for the PS4/Xbox One editions, and $39.99 for the PS3/Xbox 360 editions. Keep an eye out at your local retailers for more pre-order information, and get ready to storm Westmarch with your friends, from the comfort of your living room couch.

Filed under: News items, Diablo 3

Third annual Blizzard Student Art Contest announces winners

Blizzard has looked through all of the entries for the third annual Blizzard Student Art Contest and chosen the winners, who were announced on the official website yesterday. Entrants this year had four different categories to choose from -- Environment, Character, and Weapons art, and also an Animation category -- the first time we've seen additional categories for the contest. Needless to say the variety of winning entries covered everything under the sun.

The top three winners were Sukjoo-Choi for the mount model shown above, Servando Lupini for an absolutely gorgeous Hallows End-themed environment design, and Duy Nguyen for an eredar-themed, incredibly ornate weapon that frankly I'd love to see a draenei slinging around. Runners up included more environment and weapon art, as well as several incredibly quirky character designs, including an otter fisherman complete with rod and knapsack full of tasty fish. Check out the official announcement page for a look at all of the entries from the talented winners, runner-ups, and honorable mentions -- and congratulations to all!

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Contests

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Collector's Edition content revealed

With all the talk of Warlords of Draenor and Hearthstone around here, you might have forgotten about Blizzard's other expansion release next month. Diablo III: Reaper of Souls makes it debut on March 25, and the contents of the physical Collector's Edition were finally revealed earlier this week for all to see. Purchasers of the Collector's Edition will receive several digital items, including the Treasure Goblin Pet for World of Warcraft, StarCraft II character portraits and Malthael Decals, and a Spectral Hound minion with a set of aesthetic artifacts -- helms and weapons -- to be used with Diablo III's new transmogrification feature.

Of course, this is all available with the Digital Deluxe version of the game as well, so why would you want a physical Collector's Edition? In addition to the digital goodies found in the Digital Deluxe edition, those purchasing the Collector's Edition will get a Behind-the-Scenes DVD and Blu-Ray two-disc set featuring interviews, round-table discussions and behind-the-scenes commentary on the game's development, the official Reaper of Souls soundtrack, The Art of Reaper of Souls -- a gorgeous hardcover book featuring early sketches, artwork, and 3D renders from the game, as well as a Malthael mouse pad.

The Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Collector's Edition is available for pre-order on Amazon for $79.99, as well as at a variety of other retailers. As with all Collector's Editions, supplies are limited -- if you want the physical version and all the bonuses it has to offer, you may want to pre-order your copy sooner rather than later.

Filed under: Blizzard, Diablo 3

Reminder: Blizzard Student Art Contest deadline is this Friday

The deadline for the Blizzard Student Art Contest is fast approaching! If you're working on a piece for the Blizzard Student Art Contest, which this year includes four categories for submissions -- Environment Art, Character Art, Weapon Art, or Animation -- note that the deadline for submissions is Friday, January 31. That's this Friday, so if you're still in the middle of working on submission pieces, you better start wrapping them up.

This year's contest includes a gigantic collection of prizes for winners. Grand Prize winners will receive a one year subscription to World of Warcraft, a Blizzard Entertainment notebook featuring an original sketch by a Blizzard artist, a Blizzard T-shirt, and a three-month mentorship by a member of the World of Warcraft art team in the form of email or phone critique of portfolio work. If you have yet to submit your entry, or just want another look at the official rules and information, head to the official contest page and get it in before it's too late. Good luck to all who enter!


Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Contests

StarCraft II Arcade now free to play

Good news for Blizzard fans looking for more games to play -- the StarCraft II Arcade is now completely free. StarCraft II is not only well known for the game and tournament play, but also for its creative community. The game comes with a map editor that allows you to customize and craft your own creations, using Blizzard art assets and maps to put together whatever game your creative mind happens to dream up. These creations are all available as part of the StarCraft II Arcade, a massive index of player-created games.

So what's in the Arcade? Everything from custom maps and missions to StarCraft-themed versions of popular games like Bejeweled and Pictionary. Full access to all games in the Arcade was previously limited only to those who purchased StarCraft II. With the launch of patch 2.1, all games in the Arcade have now been made available to anyone with a Battle.net account -- even games that previously required the Heart of the Swarm. To access the Arcade, simply download and install the free trial version of StarCraft II, no purchase necessary.

Read more →

Filed under: News items, StarCraft 2

Wowhead covers popular references in WoW

If you've ever wondered about some of the more unusually-named items in World of Warcraft, they might just be named after one of Blizzard's many employees -- or even after someone in the Warcraft community. Wowhead just released an incredibly comprehensive Blizzard and Community References in WoW guide that covers what is a far larger group of references than I'd originally thought. There are even some items on the list that I didn't even know existed, like Brazie's Black Book of Secrets, sold only to Alliance raiders in Icecrown Citadel for a heart-stopping 22,000 gold, and a reference to former Encounter Designer Alexander Brazie.

It's interesting just how many of the items and NPCs we interact with on a daily basis are actually references to real-life people and events. While some are fairly obvious -- who doesn't know that Ghostcrawler the spirit beast is named after Greg Street -- others are far more obscure. I must have picked it up a thousand times, but I never realized that Robble's Wobbly Staff was actually named after someone out here in the real world.

The post, covering only Blizzard employee and community member references, is part of an absorbing pop-culture item reference series. In addition to the Blizzard employee post, the other entries so far in the series include pop culture references in achievements, as well as references inspired by video games, movies and TV, and a lengthy but fascinating post detailing comics, books, music and poetry references. Be sure to check out the entire series, it's well worth the read -- and you may just discover that item you're wearing or that quest you just completed has far more meaning than you'd originally thought.

Filed under: News items

On developer interaction and behind-the-scenes info

There's an interesting thread going on right now on the official forums, concerning the possibility of an ongoing series of interviews or video content exploring the behind-the-scenes at Blizzard. CM Zarhym chimed in with a mention of the A Day in the Life series that was released during Blizzard's 20 year anniversary celebration. But more importantly, he noted that it takes a lot of resources to put that kind of feature together, which is why Blizzard tries to pair things like interviews and behind-the-scenes info with big announcements.

And that's completely understandable. It takes time, effort and resources to put together a feature -- time and resources that could be spent on better things, like improving and working on that game we love to play. But after many other inquires and suggestions on the subject, Zarhym shared another, longer post that made everything just a little more clear -- and raised some good points about developer interaction in general.

Read more →

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Create your own papercraft Treasure Goblin from Diablo III

The folks on the Diablo III team have decided to wish everyone a happy holiday with a fun gift -- a papercraft Treasure Goblin complete with treasure bag. This delightful and kind of creepy little guy, appropriately dubbed Lewt, is free to download on the Diablo III site. Included along with the printable sheets are step by step directions to putting both Lewt and his treasure bag together, just in time for the holidays. Once construction is complete, you can fill Lewt's treasure bag with whatever bits of treasure you think the little guy would appreciate.

And once you've done that, be sure to take some pictures of Lewt in action. Tweet your photos @Diablo with the hashtag #WHERESMYLEWT to show off your photos, and you could find yourself on the official Twitter or Facebook -- Blizzard will be sharing submitted photos, as well as photos of their own, throughout the rest of the holidays. For more information, the downloadable printout, and instructions, visit the official website.

Filed under: Arts and Crafts, Diablo 3

Help Blizzard Software Engineer Ron Nakada beat cancer

Sometimes it's easy to forget that there are so many people working behind the scenes on that game we all love to play. Ron Nakada, Senior Software Engineer at Blizzard Entertainment, was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer six months ago. He's been working for Blizzard Entertainment for five years on World of Warcraft and other Blizzard titles. While Nakada is currently fighting for his life, bills are piling up -- and because of this, his best friend Jon Alvarado has put together a fundraiser to help him pay expenses that weren't covered by short-term disability insurance that recently ended. It'll be some time before his long-term disability insurance kicks in, and until then his family is out of luck.

100% of the proceeds from the fundraiser will go to Nakada and his family to help pay medical bills and keep utilities running over the holidays and beyond. For more information on Ron, as well as information on making donations, Alvarado's fundraiser page on YouCaring has all the details.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Heroes of the Storm Developer Q&A highlights

Yesterday, Senior Community Development Manager Kevin Johnson sat down with Game Director Dustin Browder and Senior 3D artist Phil Gonzales to answer the community's questions on Blizzard's upcoming Hero Brawler. They covered several key topics, and provided some nuggets of new information. If you'd like to watch the interview in full, you can check out the video on WoW Insider.

But let's go through and summarize the key points they covered. This isn't in the order it happened in the video, because it seemed more logical to categorize it by topic.

Overall Design and Philosophy
  • It is going to be free-to-play!
  • Beta is not ready yet, they're working to get it out as soon as they can. There isn't an exact date yet. Internal testing is ongoing.
  • One of the biggest defining qualities for Heroes is the importance of the different maps. This is something that separates it from other MOBAs, you'll want to take different heroes and different strategies and so on. Also, there's heroes with extensive lore behind them, that's a hugely important element, and they aren't afraid to challenge any aspect of the design to make it fun.

Read more →

Filed under: Heroes of the Storm

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