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Posts with tag Mike-morhaime

Blizzard cancels Titan

Well, it's official - Blizzard has stopped all work on their mystery next-gen MMO Titan. The never announced project is as dead as Starcraft Ghost. In the interview with Polygon Mike Morhaime says that Blizzard 'didn't find the fun' and that they attempted something very ambitious only for it to never really come together. Chris Metzen states that the decision to pull back was 'excruciating' -

"We were trying to do the right thing and build the right, smart product, and keep it all moving," Metzen said. "The opportunity to get that perspective and dust off a little bit, scraped knees and all, stand back up and reevaluate as a team, as leaders, as a culture - it was a big blessing."

We reported last year when Titan went back to the drawing board - seems like it may have been a victim of Blizzard's desire to really only focus on the one MMO. When asked about supporting World of Warcraft, Metzen said "My hope personally is that we'll support it forever." Alas, Titan, we never knew ye.


Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Mike Morhaime apologizes for lack of diversity in Blizzard games

It's been a bad year or so for women in Blizzard games, for a lot of reasons. At BlizzCon, Warlords of Draenor was described as a "boy's trip" that Aggra wasn't invited to -- which fits with the Warlords marketing material that shows almost exclusively male characters (a few women appear in the trailer and one in the art, but they're unnamed). But Warlords isn't the only concern: the company's April Fool's joke came off as tone-deaf to many, Heroes of the Storm uses female characters as eye candy (which game director Dustin Browder argued didn't send a message), and, recently, Rob Pardo stated in a talk at MIT that diversity wasn't really a value for the company.

Though Warlords has come a long way since BlizzCon and both Browder and Pardo apologized, the fact that any of these things were an issue in the first place is off-putting -- at best -- to female gamers. Even long-term Blizzard fans have started to wonder why they're continuing to play in a gaming world that didn't accept women amongst the cast of heroes. It's from this place of disappointment that Starcunning wrote to Mike Morhaime, explaining why she's walked away from Blizzard's games. The surprise, however, is that Mike Morhaime responded stressing Blizzard's commitment to listening to the playerbase and building games that are fun for everyone.
Mike Morhaime
We are very conscious of the issues you raise and are discussing them more than ever, at every level of the company, in an effort to make sure our games and stories are as epic and inclusive as possible. Blizzard's employees form a broad and diverse group that cares deeply about the experiences we are creating for our players. And we know that actions speak louder than words, so we are challenging ourselves to draw from more diverse voices within and outside of the company and create more diverse heroes and content. We are also actively looking at our story development and other processes to ensure that our values are fully represented. We've always believed that positive, lasting change comes from examination, discussion, and iteration, and this applies as much to story as to gameplay. There is no reason why inclusivity should come at the expense of an amazing game experience.

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Mike Morhaime talks about eSports, pro-gaming

If for some reason you didn't recognize this year's Battle.net World Championship as a move towards cementing Blizzard's role in the pro-gaming world, Mike Morhaime is making the subtext into text. Clearly, with the release of Starcraft II's Heart of the Swarm expansion coming on in March 2013, Mister Morhaime's been thinking about how eSports are going to evolve, and whether or not there's a role for them in the US market.

There's a lot of room for improvement in that area. It's really going to take mainstream news publications to start treating eSports like sports, and when events like this happen, report on them. Give them the recognition that they deserve. These guys are very good, and I think that the people that follow eSports recognize them as at the same level as pro athletes, but I think the mainstream press really needs to start covering it that way as well.

So to take a look at Mike's thoughts about how piracy affected Warcraft, how Starcraft II functions as an eSport, about what he calls 'so-called free to play games', about the lack of respect for pro gamers and a lot more, head on over to Forbes and read what the man has to say.


Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Patch 5.1: Latest build is a release candidate

Patch 51 Latest build is a release candidate
On logging in to the Patch 5.1 PTR this morning to investigate some other issue, WoW Insider noticed a rather important change to the version information, which can always be found to the bottom left-hand side of the screen. This usually indicates the build of the PTR that is active on servers, notable but not of huge interest, but it recently changed:
Patch 51 Latest build is a release candidate
While this is exciting, it definitely doesn't mean that Patch 5.1 is ready to go live. This is one of what could well be several release candidates, far from a complete version. At the Activision Blizzard Investor Call, however, Mike Morhaime did mention that World of Warcraft had more content coming during the holiday season.

Will Blizzard be able to keep up this pace? While patch 5.1 isn't complete, it's only been 8 weeks since the launch of Mists of Pandaria.

Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Mike Morhaime confirms BlizzCon is on for 2013

President and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment Mike Morhaime has confirmed the news everyone wanted to hear: There will definitely be a BlizzCon in 2013. Morhaime pointed out this year is a big year for Blizzard releases, so resources had to be focused on games rather than conventions. However, next year will see a return of BlizzCon and it should be back with a vengeance, according to Morhaime.

Morhaime appeared on a recent episode of TableTop, Wil Wheaton's board game celebrity poker-style show that's featured on the Geek and Sundry YouTube channel created by Felicia Day. After playing a rousing game of Elder Sign, Morhaime did a quick interview about his history with Blizzard, Warcraft's development, gaming, and heavy metal, as well as the BlizzCon mention.

When you're done watching the interview, pop in and take a look at the full episode of TableTop with Mike Morhaime, Felicia Day, and Bill Prady, co-creator and executive producer for The Big Bang Theory. Sure, it's not Warcraft, but it's a rollicking good time.

[Thanks to Scott for the tip!]

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

The Lawbringer: Mailbag 3.0

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Running parallel to the games we love and enjoy is a world full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps. How about you hang out with us as we discuss some of the more esoteric aspects of the games we love to play?

Since last weekend was my stepsister's bat mitzvah, I was incommunicado down in Florida celebrating with family, eating a ton of delicious food, and getting sunburned within 30 seconds of stepping into the punishing Florida sun. The emails to Lawbringer never stopped, however, and I picked my favorites to answer while lounging next to the pool, happily oblivious.

A lot of people sent me emails about the Blizzard earnings call that has been making the rounds in the gaming news cycle this week, for a few specific reasons. First, Diablo III's beta is coming between August and September, which is super exciting to me because of how much I want to be playing that game again. BlizzCon was not enough. Friends at Blizzard, send all beta invites to mat@wowinsider.com.

Second, Mike Morhaime revealed that World of Warcraft is currently boasting subscriber numbers mirroring pre-Cataclysm subscriptions. Subsequently, the internet went crazy and collectively, shall we say, made a mess in its pants about the state of WoW's prominence.

Let's mailbag.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

Blizzard 20-year anniversary retrospective video now online

Blizzard turned 20 years old this year, and we have been given a wonderful treat by Blizzard's founders -- the story straight from their mouths. Are you interested in Blizzard history? I sure am.

Mike Morhaime and Allen Adham lead us through a 20-year retrospective about the foundation and formation of the company, their trials and tribulations, and how we got to the Blizzard of today from two guys in the same computer architecture class. The video is absolutely fascinating. Check it out at the Blizzard Entertainment 20-year anniversary site.

Filed under: Blizzard

Morhaime says moonkin hatchling available this month

Yes, that's right. During the ATVI earnings report conference call today, Mike Morhaime, president of Blizzard Entertainment, announced that the Moonkin Hatchling will be available for purchase later this month, as he had already stated at BlizzCon. In addition, 50 percent of the proceeds from the sale will go to charity. The last time Blizzard did something similar, it raised $1.1 million for the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Can the hatchling possibly dethrone the Pandaren Monk as the most adorable charity money generator?

Gregg's speculation on whether or not we'd see more charity pets seems confirmed. Were you already planning on picking one up, and if not, does this news make it any more likely?

Filed under: News items, BlizzCon

BlizzCon 2010: Moonkin Hatchling mini-pet going on sale in November

There has been some data-mining in the past couple weeks which found mention of a Moonkin Hatchling in the beta game files. During the BlizzCon opening ceremonies, Mike Morhaime (Blizzard CEO) announced that this new vanity pet will be available for sale from the Blizzard store coming in November. We still don't have any idea how adorable this pet will look, but if it's anything like the other hatchling pets the cuteness will be epic.

They also announced that their Pandaren Monk pet when it donated all proceeds to charity when it was first available made $1.1 million for the Make-a-Wish Foundation. We're curious if this is a sign of more charity vanity pets to come in the future as that will make a serious impact for almost any cause.


BlizzCon 2010 is upon us! WoW Insider has all the latest news and information. We're bringing you liveblogging of the WoW panels, interviews with WoW celebrities and attendees and of course, lots of pictures of people in costumes. It's all here at WoW Insider!

Filed under: Events, Blizzard, BlizzCon

BlizzCon 2010: Mike Morhaime announces number of Arthas kills

Our liveblog of the opening ceremonies is continuing over at Joystiq if you want up-to-date information, but Mike Morhaime did say something really interesting concerning current Wrath of the Lich King content; Arthas has apparently been killed a grand total of 489,000 times. Otherwise, Mr. Morhaime looked like he was enjoying himself up at the podium, and the crowd (ourselves among them) enjoyed him too. Come back! We need more genius Star Wars jokes.
BlizzCon 2010 is upon us! WoW Insider has all the latest news and information. We're bringing you liveblogging of the WoW panels, interviews with WoW celebrities and attendees and of course, lots of pictures of people in costumes. It's all here at WoW Insider!

Filed under: News items, BlizzCon

Mike Morhaime: Real names will not be required on official Blizzard forums

In a move that is sure to generate just as much discussion as the initial decision itself, Mike Morhaime, co-founder and CEO of Blizzard Entertainment, has released a statement that says "real names will not be required for posting on official Blizzard forums."

Morhaime says that Blizzard has been "constantly monitoring the feedback" given by the community and that they are "driven 100% by the desire to find ways to make our community areas more welcoming for players and encourage more constructive conversations about our games."

The other upgrades to the forums will still apply, such as rating posts up or down and conversation threading.

This will, no doubt, make many members of the community quite happy.

The full statement (updated) after the break.

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Filed under: News items

Cataclysm release confirmed for 2010 in Activision Blizzard conference call

Just in case we weren't completely sure of it yet, Activision Blizzard confirmed in today's quarterly earnings call that World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will be released in 2010. For general Blizzard fans, another game was given a 2010 release date: StarCraft II, which will begin its beta phase within a month. As was pointed out during the conference call, it has been twelve years since Blizzard released two major titles in the same calendar year.

The Cataclysm news is in line with everything we've heard so far, including Mike Morhaime's comments during BlizzCon that the expansion has a targeted release date of 2010. Things seem to be moving along right on schedule, but remember that this is Blizzard. Things could change at any time, so I wouldn't start preparing for leveling vacations yet. Actually, you probably shouldn't do that at all. It's kind of silly.

Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm targeted for a 2010 release date


One small bit of rumor has been floating around the BlizzCon floor the last couple days: that World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will be released in 2010. We hear these kind of rumors all the time, and don't give them very much credence. Whatever date is up on Game Stop (November 1st, 2010) or Amazon or wherever are just placeholder dates until they start to change or we hear from trusted sources that the dates are correct.

But this time, things are a little bit different.

WoW.com has been able to confirm that during a DirecTV interview, Mike Morhaime, CEO of Blizzard, revealed that Cataclysm is targeted for a 2010 release date.

Now a targeted release date should be clearly understood for what it is. It is a date that Blizzard wants to ship their game, nothing more, nothing less. It means that they have a plan and schedule to get the game ready by then. But as everyone knows, long term schedules can and do change. Please limit the QQ if we don't see Cataclysm next year.

Interesting news nonetheless!

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Cataclysm

Blizzard on the Battle.net update


Activision-Blizzard held their second quarter conference call yesterday, and in addition to addressing the Starcraft II delay, both Mike Morhaime and Activision CEO Bobby Kotick shared some insight into what the revamped Battle.net will be like. The brand new system (which is currently up and working, albeit in a very skeleton form so far) will have "social networking features, cross-game communication, [and] unified account management," in addition to features that will let players "share experiences" with each other online (we'd presume that means things like screenshot galleries and leaderboards, but who knows?). Kotick also spoke up, and compared the service to that other popular online community, Xbox Live.

Blizzard is still saying the new Battle.net will come in conjunction with the new Starcraft, so we'll have to keep an eye out for them both in the first half of 2010. It'll be interesting to see what other features Blizzard adds in, and exactly what form features like "cross-game communication" take -- do they mean actual in-game messaging across games, or just status updates and messages on a social network? Kotick's comparison to Xbox Live raises some questions, too, as that's a much wider service than you'd think Battle.net would be. But then again, the guy's a CEO, and all CEOs have a tendency to overestimate exactly what their company is doing. Like most of Blizzard's upcoming releases, we'll have to wait and see on Battle.net.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Account Security

Mike Morhaime and Paul Sams accept Guinness World Record awards

Apparently there were a few Blizzard blokes at E3 last week, even though we didn't see them wandering the floor at all. Mike Morhaime and Paul Sams were both there to accept their awards for world records from Guinness after making it into the 2009 Gaming edition. World of Warcraft picked up a record for the most popular MMORPG in the world (with, as you probably know, 12 million players), and Starcraft gained recognition for being the best-selling PC strategy game, with 9.5 million copies sold worldwide. Neither of these awards are really that much of a surprise -- both games have already garnered tons of other awards, and both games are already squarely in the pantheon of the best and biggest PC games ever sold. But being recognized is always nice, we're sure.

They honored a number of other extremely popular games and services as well, including two big Activision Blizzard titles: Call of Duty 4 was recognized for being the most-played online video game, and Guitar Hero was recognized for being the best-selling rhythm game series (though Red Octane, the game's original publisher, was honored, and they've only recently been acquired by the Activision overlords).

Congrats to all the award winners, as if they even needed it. Something tells us the millions and millions of dollars in revenue from all of these games was probably a nicer reward than Guinness recognition. Just a guess.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard

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