The OC Register (Blizzard's HQ
-- I'm pretty sure that's where it's at, as they're not exactly open with their location info -- is located right down near them in Southern California) has a blog post up
featuring 11 "innovation lessons" other companies can learn from the folks behind World of Warcraft
. While the lessons aren't exactly innovative themselves (I think there are lots of companies that do this stuff, and none of them have a ten million player game), the post does provide a good look inside Blizzard's process and the thinking behind what they do.
Blizzard is pretty stubbornly committed to quality -- not only do they notoriously release things "when they're done," but if something doesn't work they apparently are happy to trash it completely (see Starcraft: Ghost
). It is amusing, too, that Rob Pardo says he and Frank Pearce are trying to make "great entertainment projects, not perfect ones." WoW
has its bugs, sure, but when you look at Blizzard's catalog: Diablo, Starcraft, Warcraft
, you have to wonder what a "perfect" game looks like in Pardo's mind. Those are about as perfect as they come.
And they "eat their own dog food," too: J. Allen Brack apparently spends four hours a night (up to 15 hours a week) playing the game on his own time at home. Seems like it would be tough for other companies to pull these strategies into their own plan (Blizzard really releases one-of-a-kind products), but as consumers, it's neat to get another look into the way they work.
Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Blizzard