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Posts with tag infinity-ward

Relic beats Activision-Blizzard in developer showdown

Here's an update, albeit slightly unexpected, from The Escapist's big "March Mayhem" tournament that we reported on a little while ago. They were pitting Relic Entertainment up against Activision-Blizzard in a developer vote-down, and apparently, after a tie and a little ballot box stuffing, Relic, not Blizzard, has emerged out on top. Quite an upset in a number of ways -- Relic was seeded #12 in the bracket, and Activision-Blizzard was seeded as number one (the bracket also included Harmonix, Infinity Ward, and another big MMO developer, Mythic). In fact, Relic also went on to beat Harmonix, and is now facing Bioware for a spot in the final matchup.

Is it fair to say, then, that the mighty have fallen? Blizzard was (and still is, for the most part) held in high esteem as a developer -- most of the games they've released in their vast history aren't just hits, they're classics. But even commenters here on our site felt that the "Activision" on the front of the dev's name was distasteful: Blizzard's new owners don't demand as much respect as the studio itself does. And Blizzard has definitely changed lately. Some might say that the developer that allowed Diablo 2 players to play for free on Battle.net (which, to be fair, has had its own issues) isn't the same company that's planning to sell Starcraft II three different times.

And let's not forget that, ballot-stuffing or not, Relic has moved on to beat Harmonix, and still has a chance to win it all, so it could just be that they have a much bigger fan following than anyone expected. But does a loss like this mean Blizzard has fallen from their fans' grace?

Has your estimation of Blizzard raised or lowered since they joined up with Activision?
Raised496 (5.0%)
Lowered6207 (62.0%)
About the same3304 (33.0%)

Filed under: Polls, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard

Activision exec: Videogames will eclipse other entertainment

Activision-Blizzard exec Mike Griffith also made a showing at last week's CES, crowing about an industry that he and his company are heading towards the top of. He said to a crowd there that videogames would "eclipse" "movies, recorded music and TV" as forms of entertainment in the future. He claimed that media such as films and music were passive, and that games are moving ever closer to becoming "a legitimate story-telling medium that rivals feature films."

Which all seems true, except that it's coming from someone who stands to make a lot of money off of just that happening. Still, for all of the bluster of Activision-Blizzard's hotshots, they've got a few of the most popular franchises in gaming behind them -- Blizzard (of course), the Call of Duty franchise, and Guitar Hero, which has made over a billion dollars for Activision. Especially in a time of declining CD sales, Griffith's words ring truer than ever.

But let's not forget, of course, that you can't have great stories without great storytellers, and the folks at Blizzard are definitely that. For all of Activision's bragging, they can't forget that these franchises, all of them, came from strong and talented studios -- Call of Duty was crafted by Infinity Ward, Guitar Hero by Harmonix, and obviously all of Blizzard's properties were put together by the company formerly known as Silicon and Synapse. Griffith can brag that his media is taking over the world, but we hope Activision doesn't forget who helped them get there.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Economy, Making money

Blizzard named 3rd of 50 top developers

Game Developer magazine has done a study naming the top 50 videogame developers in the world, based on "sales and reputation data," and our favorite folks at Blizzard have been named number three on the list, just under Nintendo Kyoto (responsible for Brain Age and Wii Play) and Infinity Ward (most notable lately for Call of Duty 4), and ahead of EA, Valve, Harmonix, and Square Enix.

I tend to think this chart is weighed a little bit towards recent sales more than reputation -- as far as I know, Infinity Ward doesn't have a big enough following to actually hold a convention based on their games, and while there's no question that Nintendo has a huge fan following, I'm not sure that it's quite right to include a first party console maker on a list of developers (yes, I know Nintendo Kyoto is a studio, not the company itself, but would the average Nintendo fan on the street know the difference?). Still, lists are lists, and there's no question that all of these developers, Blizzard included, are held in the highest regard by fans of their games.

[Via Massively]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, The Burning Crusade

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