Snack content! For Blizzcon, I prepared some questions for a game journalist friend in case there was an interview. I don’t know if they even made it to be honest.
So this isn’t a full article but I thought it could be interesting to share. Below you’ll find my questions (slightly edited.)
When Hearthstone was released, the digital card game genre was pretty desolate. Currently we have games like Gwent, Magic the Gathering and Artifact, that bring new practices. Do you think Hearthstone still has a niche? What are the plans for HS’s future in relevance to the growing genre?
Heroes of the Storm
Heroes was released as the “different” game, with characters like Abathur and Murky; mechanics like tower ammo, shared experience and flexible roles. In fact, the game was explicitly identified as “team brawler, not moba.” In time, the truly crazy hero releases were almost non-existent and some unique mechanics were removed. Is esports the main reason behind these trends and are we going to see a more and more “normalized” game in future?
How is the growth of Heroes? The game was constantly compared to already-established games like LoL from the very beginning and deemed small. Today, after 3 years and 2.0 patch, is the game and community where you thought it would be? Do you see more interest in casual players or competitive scene?
World of Warcraft
WoW is one of the oldest games around and despite the efforts on regular content releases it looks like interest and perceived quality of the game fluctuates. Do Blizzard plan to keep the game strategy or are there talks (if not plans) of any dramatic changes such as changing the business model or moving to a new engine etc?
WoW seems to be getting a lot of “easy-to-generate”, recyclable content such as World Quests, Warfronts and Island Expeditions. When done right, they do create a good source of content for players, but too much of it can backfire as seen with BFA release. Is this a trend that we’ll see go on further? Do Blizzard invest in technologies such as procedural generation or AI to improve such content?
Blizzard games have been almost exclusively multiplayer-focused the last years. WoW, HS, Heroes and Overwatch all are multiplayer. D3 is playable solo but the real value and content generation is mostly considering multiplayer experience. Starcraft 2 has a single player campaign and map editor but the real focus on development has been multiplayer core game and later on, co-op missions with the expansion of the one-time DLC Nova Packs. Is the strategy of the company set on this multiplayer focus? What sort of content models should we expect from Blizzard in future?
During the launch of Overwatch, the interviews pointed sort of a “depression” period after Titan’s failure and that Overwatch helped the company recover. Following that, we’ve seen several important figures leave the company. Of course, there is also the Activision effect. Has Blizzard recovered and how is the overall feeling in the company nowadays?