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Blizzard vs. Relic Entertainment in The Escapist's March Mayhem

The good folks over at the Escapist are giving March Madness a little game developer spin -- they've pitted 64 different videogame developers up against each other in an NCAA Basketball-style showdown, with readers voting for which dev moves on to the next match. And our favorite developer, Activision-Blizzard, is still in the running after a few rounds: they've beaten Wideload Games and Crytek, and are currently facing Relic Entertainment (makers of the Dawn of War RTS series, as well as the classic Homeworld). Unfortunately, Escapist had to list them as "Activision-Blizzard," though what we're really voting for here is Blizzard, since companies who make Activision's other hits (like Infinity Ward, who make the best Call of Duty games, as well as Neversoft, who've overseen most of the Guitar Hero games lately) have their own places in the showdown.

Blizzard's got a tough road ahead, though -- if they win, they're likely facing fan favorite Harmonix (heck, I love Harmonix), and then will probably show down against either Bioware or Rockstar, both extremely popular developers. The other side of the bracket will likely have heavyweights like Nintendo and Valve coming out of it, too, so it'll be a tough road if Blizzard wants to make it to the top.

To vote, you just have to head over to The Escapist's forums -- the next round starts tomorrow morning, and every few days they're moving the developers on to the next matchup. The final round will be decided on April 8th, and while of course winning means nothing at all, this is a nice chance to show off your developer pride. Say what you want about the recent class changes, but Blizzard has given you Starcraft, Diablo, and World of Warcraft -- how can you not vote for them?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Humor

Who's Jay Wilson?

Jay Wilson is on stage at WWI right now, showing off Blizzard's new game, the very hot-looking Diablo 3. But just who is Jay Wilson, and why is he in charge of the new Diablo game? Wilson's worked with Blizzard on World of Warcraft, and he's even got a character named after him.

Previously, he'd worked for a company called Relic Entertainment, and was the lead designer on Dawn of War, a Warhammer 40000 (Warhammer, but in the future, kind of like Starcraft to our Warcraft)-based RTS game. The good news is that the game was fairly well reviewed, but of course Diablo 3 isn't an RTS game, it's a hack-and-slash, so we're not sure how Wilson will do on that front yet.

In this interview, Wilson was known to be at Blizzard and supposedly working on Starcraft II but of course now we know better. This new Diablo could be the chance for this developer new to Blizzard to claim his place in history.

UPDATE: Our very own Joystiq caught up with Jay Wilson at the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational. Find out what Diablo 3's lead designer has to say about porting to consoles, the next Deckard Cain rap and the notorious dupe exploits of previous games.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Worldwide Invitational

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