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Posts with tag franchise

Blizzard looking to hire "product placement" producer for next-gen MMO

As Blizzard charges into 2012 with three big releases (Mists of Pandaria, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, and Diablo III) coming soon, rumors begin to swirl as a new job posting became available on the Blizzard career site for a franchise development producer. The interesting facts in the job listing are that the position is for the next-gen MMO, focused on working with consumer brands and creating brand-extending merchandise.

What does this mean for the next-gen MMO currently roasting slowly at Blizzard's complex? We don't really know. If we look at other games that have had advertising, it's usually in the form of billboards or sponsorships, featuring products that you and I know of. The possibilities for where ads could go within the game world of an MMO are endless, but it does preclude some settings and time periods. Intriguing, no? Something to freak out about? Definitely not.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Is WoW popular because it is fantasy?

Richard Bartle at Terra Nova asks an interesting question regarding MMORPGs in general, wondering why so many of them tend toward the fantasy genre. Did Lord of the Rings have such a phenomenal impact on our cultural imagination that it made every story (or gaming environment) even loosely based on it more likely to succeed, or is there something deeper here?

The question sparks an interesting discussion which I encourage you to read. It certainly makes me think about WoW in a new light. Suppose we imagine that Blizzard had made a different decision about which franchise to develop into their first MMO: would World of Starcraft have been as popular as World of Warcraft is today if its gameplay was more or less just as good, or is the science fiction environment inherently less appealing to the masses than fantasy?

To me, it makes sense that Blizzard chose the Warcraft franchise over Starcraft (or even Diablo for that matter), not just because it is fantasy, and certainly not just because it draws on elements of Tolkien's literature, but because it draws on a wider range of mythic elements, contains more layers of conflict, and generally provides a greater diversity of opportunities for a new gamer to find something he or she likes in it. What's your opinion?

Filed under: Lore

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