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Update: With Activision's Influence Growing, Blizzard Is Cutting Costs (Kotaku/Jason Schreier)


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Blizzard is dead boys.  It began with StarCraft II, then Diablo 3, then WoW BFA, and now HoTS.  Even Overwatch is dropping in popularity and complaints of imbalance run rampant.

I honestly can't express how goddamn sad I am.  Add Blizzard to the list alongside Bioware, Bullfrog, Origin, Rare, and so many others that were beloved fan favorites, but bought out by publishers who slowly but surely strangled every last vestige of the original company's ethos and replaced it with a pure cash grab to satisfy shareholders until all goodwill is destroyed and that company is tossed on the trash heap.

It feels like my childhood just died.

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1 hour ago, Toronado97 said:

Blizzard is dead boys.  It began with StarCraft II, then Diablo 3, then WoW BFA, and now HoTS.  Even Overwatch is dropping in popularity and complaints of imbalance run rampant.

I honestly can't express how goddamn sad I am.  Add Blizzard to the list alongside Bioware, Bullfrog, Origin, Rare, and so many others that were beloved fan favorites, but bought out by publishers who slowly but surely strangled every last vestige of the original company's ethos and replaced it with a pure cash grab to satisfy shareholders until all goodwill is destroyed and that company is tossed on the trash heap.

It feels like my childhood just died.

 

Bury it deep so you never have to feel again

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14 hours ago, projectmayhem said:

Activision is now in charge, quality no longer matters. 

Activision left them alone as long as they were profitable. They didn't have the most sustainable model. They release so few games that if one under performs it really hurts. Plus the stock hit as a result of a botched Diablo announcement. 

 

From the point of view if Activision, Blizzard is having a management issue. 

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50 minutes ago, Spawn_of_Apathy said:

Activision left them alone as long as they were profitable. They didn't have the most sustainable model. They release so few games that if one under performs it really hurts. Plus the stock hit as a result of a botched Diablo announcement. 

 

From the point of view if Activision, Blizzard is having a management issue. 


The problem with Diablo and HoTS both has been how they were monetized.  Diablo III had a lot of problems at launch, but none of them inflamed the playerbase like the real money auction house.  That was Blizard (I'm certain at the behest of Activision) finding a way to scrape extra money out of a full priced game.

HoTS underwent a huge change a year and a half or so ago into HoTS 2.0.  Before that you could buy any hero and any skin in the game with real life money with the exception of "Master" skins which you bought with gold earned in game only and could only get if you've reached maximum level on a hero.  After 2.0 everything went loot box.  You could still buy heroes with real money but everything else came out of loot boxes, which would have been okay if they hadn't added a bunch of filler shit that is ultimately meaningless to dilute the loot pool.  I understand the motivation behind it, but it's pretty transparent what was going on.  I'm going to guess they thought they'd see a lot more revenue with the 2.0 model, and probably did for a short while after it went live as the whales bought loot boxes in droves to unlock everything.  Once that happened though, there's very little incentive for a casual gamer to buy lootboxes when you can just get them for free by playing the game, and then use your shards from duplicates to selectively purchase what you want.  It's not ideal but I'm willing to bet a very large portion of the base was doing that.  Hell before 2.0 I bought almost every hero with it's release skin for real life money, and kept a stimpack going.  That's probably $25 a month I was paying to play, but after 2.0 I was keeping the stim pack going for $10 a month and almost never buying heroes at release anymore, and certainly not loot boxes.  It's possible the decision to move to lootboxes only was a Blizzard idea, but I can see Activisions hands all over that one too to try and increase revenue. 

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With Activision's Influence Growing, Blizzard Is Cutting Costs (Kotaku/Jason Schreier)

Blizzard has spent the year taking big measures to cut costs as it prepares for a lean 2019. Those measures, as conveyed by people who work or have worked for the iconic studio, include employee buyouts in which workers are offered money to leave, a broadening of the finance department, and the limitation of budgets for any team at the company that isn’t directly making video games

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I hope Blizzard doesn't end up becoming just another Activision dev. I think that Diablo and Starcraft could easily have sequels out far more frequently, but it would really change the nature and quality of the games.

 

I'm holding out hope that the rumors of their demise are greatly exaggerated, and that Blizzard's slump resembles that of Pixar. Cutting costs isn't necessarily the sign that they've completely lost their way, and they haven't really released any terrible games. 

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29 minutes ago, TwinIon said:

I hope Blizzard doesn't end up becoming just another Activision dev. I think that Diablo and Starcraft could easily have sequels out far more frequently, but it would really change the nature and quality of the games.

 

I'm holding out hope that the rumors of their demise are greatly exaggerated, and that Blizzard's slump resembles that of Pixar. Cutting costs isn't necessarily the sign that they've completely lost their way, and they haven't really released any terrible games. 

Blizzard's output  in recent years with the exception of Overwatch has not been particularly well received:  Starcraft II, Diablo III, and multiple WoW expansions simply have not lived up to consumer expectations.  In addition, we have to factor in the number of times Blizzard has either cancelled projects well into development (Titan, which eventually turned into Overwatch) or were rebooted several times (Diablo III/Diablo IV).  It's not unreasonable -- and in fact, probably desirable -- that Activision would want to take a more active role in imposing a sense of "discipline" on a division that really does feel like it sorely needs it.  

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