Frank Pearce Discusses All Things Blizzard
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story
GamesIndustry.biz recently published an interview with Blizzard Entertainment's Frank Pearce about the company's current and future game projects. The Q&A style article includes coverage of StarCraft II, World of Warcraft, Blizzard's secrecy, and the recent merger with Activision.
Q: When it comes to putting together a sequel for a benchmark title like StarCraft, do you look around at what other companies have done in the genre since the original title? Check out the full interview at the link provided below.
GamesIndustry.biz: Frank Pearce Interview
Frank Pearce: Yeah, we've got a lot of guys on the team that are pretty passionate about playing RTS games, so they're playing all the games that come out as they're released. We don't try to chase feature sets for the sake of chasing them
If it makes more sense for the game because it's fun, or makes it more immersive, compelling or whatever it is, then we certainly want to do that. But a lot of the feature set we've got with StarCraft II, we've used our previous series of RTS titles as a foundation.
So like Warcraft III, the replay functionality wasn't something we contemplated from day one, it was an afterthought and wasn't implemented as well as it could have been - so that's something that we can do from day one for StarCraft II, which should be pretty cool.
We want to take the storytelling component in the single-player campaign to the next level, so we're talking about branching missions, decisions on the gamer's part in terms of the technology that's available to them - there's a lot of buzz on the Internet around social communities, and we've got those social communities around our games and we want to leverage that to bring those players closer together on Battle.net.
Q: How interesting has it been for you to watch the success of World of Warcraft?
Frank Pearce: I don't know if I'd describe it as "interesting" as much as exhausting. We've got almost 3000 employees worldwide now, and the majority of that growth is due to the success of World of Warcraft.
As a company we've found ourselves spread very, very thin - because the World of Warcraft community has a voracious appetite for content. That development team is 130 people, they're working on content patches, they're working on an expansion set, they've got their hands full - and then we've got the other development teams that we need to continue to support as well.
So it's great, it's a great problem to have, but it is a lot of work. We've learned a lot, made a lot of mistakes along the way. It's been good experience for us, I wouldn't say that we've regretted it... but "interesting" isn't how we'd describe it necessarily.
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