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Thursday, August 27, 2009
Greg Canessa Talks 2.0
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Shacknews has published a new interview with Blizzard Entertainment's Greg Canessa about the features proposed for 2.0. The article covered a variety of topics including the company's desire to combine social networking with game features, sales of player made maps and mods, the possibility of selling and supporting the games of other developers, and accommodations in consideration for customers who want LAN support.

Shack: Is there a chance you'll look at selling and supporting the games of other publishers on in the future?
Greg Canessa: Yeah, I'm getting this question a lot. [laughs] I can tell you that we don't have any specific plans to talk about today, but it's our first step. Obviously Blizzard is all about the game, and we're focused on quality and a world-class experience. This is a very ambitious project; as you can see it's a very complex service we're providing, and our goal is to make sure StarCraft II is a world-class experience. And so that's our focus right now.

Then of course we're building this system, this online games service, to serve all Blizzard games going forward. So you look at Diablo III, there will obviously be a very deep, integrated experience there. And then you look at World of Warcraft, and some of the things we're doing just even at the ship of StarCraft II to integrate with World of Warcraft, facilitating cross-game chat, cross-realm chat, friends list--those are examples of the type of things we're doing and going forward. That's a lot of work.

And so, future titles--who knows. I can tell you that one of the things we're proud of and excited about with the new is the fact that, since we are focused and have a small number of titles, we're not constrained by the need to be a platform, in the same way that Xbox Live and Steam and PlayStation Network need to be a platform, and need to provide that lowest common denominator set of features that all games can plug into despite what genre they are. We're not bound by that constraint at Blizzard; we can build deeply integrated, super-cool scenarios for our games.

The decals stuff is an example, that's a StarCraft II-specific feature. The leagues and ladders stuff is a StarCraft II-specific feature. We can afford to do those types of things that are deeply integrated, that nobody's been able to do with these generic platforms, because it's too much work. They can't support hundreds of games and do that level of integration. So that's really a competetive advantage.

Shack: Maybe something where you connect once to, but from that point on you'd only connect every now and then, and the connection would essentially act as a zero-ping LAN?
Greg Canessa: Something like that. Maintaining a connection with don't know if it's once or periodically--but then also having a peer-to-peer connection between players, so that it'll facilitate a very low-ping, high-bandwidth connection between two players. Those are the types of things that we're working on. So we understand and acknowledge and sympathize. I think part of this LAN thing was that people saw that out of context, without understanding what we were doing with the service. And hopefully now that people understand this huge service we're building.

Shack: And you couldn't possibly be abandoning the competitive leagues of StarCraft II.
Greg Canessa: Right, and we have solutions for location-based tournaments and other things. We just haven't announced the specifics for a lot of things. But we're working on it.
Visit the site below to read the entire Q&A.

Shacknews: 2.0 Q&A
Blizzard Entertainment

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