Friday, 6 August 2010

Blizzard: Should I admire you? Or pity you?

An interesting thought hit me today.

I was going over some gamer news, alot of it never really applies to me but I like to know whats going on for when I jump back 'in', when I came across a story about a new blizzard game.

Now what got me thinking was this comment from this clearly cherry eyed youth (In spirit only perhaps) hoping that they come up with something new and innovative. Oh how I wanted to take this person away from this cruel cruel world so no one could hurt them.

Ok, I want you to really think about Blizzard for a moment, especially if your a fan, really think about the sort of games they've made. There is one thing you should notice about all of them, it's not something to be ashamed of... but it is the truth.

Blizzard has never come up with an original idea for a game. No, where blizzards success lies is in taking good games, and refining them to a crisp perfection (For those genres, wither you dislike them or not is not an issue here). There's nothing wrong about that, it's arguably harder to improve something that already exists then to create something (I don't believe that for a second, but that's just me).

It's at this point you should realise the problem Blizzard faces today....

They can never make a new game.

It's gonna be Warcraft, Starcraft, Diablo, or nothing.

This isn't a failing on their part, but it is a trap they unknowingly put themselves into. You need to look no further then the new starcraft game or the up and coming new diablo game... fundamentally nothing has changed... because they cannot afford to risk such a move.

Sometime ago I reviewed the new Command and Conquer and told you I had the utmost respect for the guys behind it. The series was running dry anyway, and so they took a gamble... A gamble that was, to some people, a slap in the face of all their old time fans. But at least they tried to do something, even if it was their last gasp in some respects.

Blizzard can't make this gamble, at least not yet. They've basically hit this point where all their doing, all they can do, is refining their old games... but how long will that last? Will someone speak up, and tell them that this time of bliss cannot possibly last unless they take a risk? Or will they all stay silent, and waste away like so many high mountains that came before them? Or worse yet, perhaps they will turn to stone... and only speak when you funnel money into their mouths...

Did you see the parody's of other stuff in Starcraft 2? Is it just some gamers giving elbow nudges to the past? Or a shriek into the wild that says "I don't know what else to add!"? When does parody became a lack of ideas?

I have this image of all the blizzard guys, riding the ship of dreams and success, and reaching their promised land of fame and fortune. It is a grand time, and the party shows no sign of stopping. But one member looks out the door, into the endless sea and asks "Hey... where did the boat go?"

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