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Posts with tag rock-band

Is Bobby Kotick bad for Blizzard?

Yesterday, when we wrote about Blizzard's mistakes in patch 3.0.8, I made very sure to stay away from any mention of Activision. Call me naive, but I still don't think the Activision-Blizzard relationship has yet affected how Blizzard conducts business -- Blizzard's mistake of releasing the patch before it was ready was, in my mind, all their own. But not everyone feels that way (just read the comments on yesterday's post), and Ben Kuchera of Ars Technica will go a step further: he's calling Activision-Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick out for caring more about how much money his games make rather than how good they are.

We've talked about Kotick here before, and we've got him saying both that Activision will leave Blizzard alone and that they'll be seeking additional revenues where they can get them. But Kuchera isn't so balanced -- he's ready to pin Blizzard's decisions, including the idea to cut Starcraft II up into three different games, and the pending monetization of Battle.net on Activision's influence. And the last nail in the coffin is Kotick's recent profile in Forbes, which apparently had the writer calling Rock Band a "knock-off" of Activision's Guitar Hero (even though history says otherwise, since Harmonix, without Activision, created both franchises).

But that gets a little too far into non-Blizzard territory for us. Kuchera finishes by saying that there's two forces at work in Azeroth: "the loyalty of [WoW's] players" and "Kotick's cash lust." And he questions what will happen when the two finally face off. Which is basically what we've been saying for a long time. But the question so far is whether that's happened or not. Have Activision and Kotick pushed Blizzard to make the Starcraft II and Battle.net decisions, or is Blizzard making all of these choices on their own?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Expansions, Making money

Meet WoW Insider at the Chicago Child's Play benefit

Child's Play, the charity started up by Penny Arcade that hooks up kids in the hospital with videogames to play while there, is holding a benefit event in Chicago early next month on December 9th, and I'm going to be there. It's definitely a worthy charity, and I know there are lots of WoW Insider fans in the Second City (many of whom I was able to meet at our Wrath launch meetup), so if you're a fan of videogames, helping sick kids, and want to come out and talk some WoW with me, tickets are available right now.

There's a raffle going on as well (I'm angling to get some World of Warcraft-related gear in the pot), and there'll also be a Mortal Kombat vs. DC tournament going on thanks to Chicago's own Midway Games (and I heard there was a Rock Band event, though that may have since fallen through -- we'll see). And oh yeah, since the event is taking place at Plan B, there'll be drinking. It's $10 admission, or you can give $50 for admission and an open bar, though you have to be over 21 for both. I'll let you guess which ticket I bought (hint: the one with the booze).

Should be a lot of fun -- if you're in Chicago and weren't able to make it to our launch party, see if your calendar's clear for this event. And if you're not in Chicago, Child's Play has lots of events going on around the country, and obviously they're happy to take donations anyway. Hopefully we'll see lots of WoW Insider readers at the event next month -- when else do you get to drink, play games, and help kids all at the same time?

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

"I am Murloc" gets rocked already


Well that didn't take long. Despite the song only being announced yesterday,"I am Murloc" has been 5-starred on Expert, and you can see the video above to prove it. You can also see the notes they've chosed -- as a veteran of all three Guitar Hero games (and a current owner of Rock Band, though "Green Grass" is giving me trouble on Expert), I have to say that it looks pretty simple, especially compared to some of the other songs in GH3. It is too bad that they used the normal Guitar Hero 3 singer, too, and not a virtual version of Samwise.

If you want something a little tougher, head down after the jump to see a hacked custom version of "I am Murloc" for Guitar Hero 2. The phrasing on that one seems to fit much more, and it seems to work a little better than the official version that got released in the latest game.

Read more →

Filed under: Machinima, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard

The Guild visits Blizzard HQ


The cast and crew of The Guild got invited by Blizzard to come take a tour of the new facilities the other week, and they have a writeup on their website right now (written by Jeff Lewis, who plays Vork on the show) of their trip. Sounds like a lot of fun -- they got to tour the place, obviously, checking out the Hall of Fame, the gym and cafeteria (including the official "Blizzard Trays" area -- that sign makes me laugh), and the main offices. They also got to sit down and each lunch with Mike Morhaime, and then got to play both Starcraft 2 and some Rock Band with the staff. No Wrath?

Blizzard sent them home with lots of swag, too. I was under the impression, especially given the comments on our last Guild post, that we weren't really sure that the game these guys were playing was World of Warcraft -- they've never said the name, as far as I know, and we've never seen any character shots. But Blizzard disagrees, apparently -- they've very sure The Guild is playing WoW, and they gave them a super nice tour for being a part of the game and the community.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Guilds, Blizzard, News items

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