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Blizzard: We're a Games Developer, Not PC Developer

By - Source: PC Gamer | B 57 comments

Blizzard has never considered itself as a PC gaming developer, just a developer of games that happen to reside on the PC.

While Blizzard doesn't have any immediate plans to become a full-blown console developer (outside Diablo 3), the company doesn't consider itself a studio fully dedicated to the PC platform either. Instead, it's just a game developer that focuses on the best platform for the needs of its AAA products.

Blizzard's Jay Wilson, game director of Diablo 3, made this revelation to PC Gamer weeks ago during Gamescom. He indicated that despite the financial success and overall focused support for the console sector, the install base of PCs and Macs outnumber all the consoles combined "hands down." In fact, this massive base of revenue-generating consumers loves games too.

"It’s unfortunate that the illusion that the PC is dying has been propagating for so long and that people have bought into it," he said. "On the other hand, I’d say Blizzard has done quite well off of that – the fact that people have the illusion that PC is not a place where you can make money. It’s made it even easier for us to do really well."

Blizzard should actually be awarded for sticking with the PC platform and not following other developers over to the console (dark) side. Many of Blizzard's peers have sited piracy as one of the factors behind their platform jump; others have complained about the growing fragmentation and the overall cost of developing for such a seemingly infinite number of configurations. For a long time, the console sector was -- and still is -- the main source of revenue for many publishers and developers, but that is slowly changing thanks to tablets, the evolution of the smartphone and cloud computing.

All of a sudden, the PC has become a favorite platform once again.

Still, for Blizzard, the PC has always been a "favorite" given the company's game lineup and its specific style of gameplay. "We don’t see ourselves as a PC developer – we see ourselves as a game developer," he said. "It’s just that the games that we wanted to make suit the PC platform. And one of the things that we’re not willing to ever do is go to a platform just to cash in on it. We don’t believe you can make a Starcraft style RTS and make it great – Blizzard great – on console."

He pointed out that anyone doubting that the PC platform can bring in significant revenue needs to take a closer look at Blizzard's previous and current success.

"If people think that you can’t make money from the PC they should really look at us as a symbol and they should really be asking why we’re so successful," he said. "It’s primarily because of the quality of the games, but when you have a high quality product, very little competition and a high install base..."

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Top Comments
  • 32 Hide
    rantoc , September 14, 2011 9:38 AM
    "It’s unfortunate that the illusion that the PC is dying has been propagating for so long and that people have bought into it,"

    Much thanks to persons like Toms Hardware's Wolfgang for instance, claiming that PC is crashing while its infact growing in sales as late of yesterday. Amazing what a few journalists can do. Maby its time that Tom's Hardware sack's that kind of so called "journalism" and focus on quality not speculations made without proper information much like "fanbois" do.. that don't belong in a professional site.
  • 29 Hide
    dthx , September 14, 2011 9:07 AM
    The current high-end consoles (XBOX360 / PS3) have been on the market for too long. Although their price has been amended several time, their "performances vs money" ratio is no longer interesting compared to what reasonably priced PC's can now achieve. Once a totally new console design comes out, it will take lots of PC gamers away from their computer for some time, until they get bored and find out that recent PC hardware can again do much better. It's cyclic...
  • 21 Hide
    Rizlla , September 14, 2011 8:33 AM
    Don't start developing for the console. I don't want their shoddy hand me down graphics.
Other Comments
  • -8 Hide
    whysobluepandabear , September 14, 2011 8:15 AM
    Whatever. I'm done with this company. Their devs are idiots, and they sold themselves to the Devil (Activision). They can, and by large part, piss off.
  • 21 Hide
    Rizlla , September 14, 2011 8:33 AM
    Don't start developing for the console. I don't want their shoddy hand me down graphics.
  • 19 Hide
    thomaseron , September 14, 2011 8:44 AM
    More games for LAN-play!
  • 20 Hide
    Anonymous , September 14, 2011 8:56 AM
    Piracy is an issue, but I don't think it is the major one, it is still about the quality of the game. All those best selling games are cracked, and I don't think HAWX 2 is that successful.
  • 29 Hide
    dthx , September 14, 2011 9:07 AM
    The current high-end consoles (XBOX360 / PS3) have been on the market for too long. Although their price has been amended several time, their "performances vs money" ratio is no longer interesting compared to what reasonably priced PC's can now achieve. Once a totally new console design comes out, it will take lots of PC gamers away from their computer for some time, until they get bored and find out that recent PC hardware can again do much better. It's cyclic...
  • 9 Hide
    Anonymous , September 14, 2011 9:09 AM
    Rizlla since when has Blizzard been at the cutting edge of graphics? Their focus is usually game play which is for me what makes them a special company.
  • 14 Hide
    tomate2 , September 14, 2011 9:17 AM
    DARK SIDE lol....
  • 10 Hide
    anony2004 , September 14, 2011 9:30 AM
    But I do like the fact that their games are actually built for the mighty PC too, infact most of their games have been for PC only.
  • 32 Hide
    rantoc , September 14, 2011 9:38 AM
    "It’s unfortunate that the illusion that the PC is dying has been propagating for so long and that people have bought into it,"

    Much thanks to persons like Toms Hardware's Wolfgang for instance, claiming that PC is crashing while its infact growing in sales as late of yesterday. Amazing what a few journalists can do. Maby its time that Tom's Hardware sack's that kind of so called "journalism" and focus on quality not speculations made without proper information much like "fanbois" do.. that don't belong in a professional site.
  • 13 Hide
    alidan , September 14, 2011 9:50 AM
    mjelloOr maybe the PC is becoming a popular platform for developers again. Thanks to succesfull antipiracy measures for the first time ever.No crack was ever made for HAWX 2. And there is more than the one noncracked title out there. I just can't recall the names.And multiplayer seems to be effectively cut down to paying customers as well .


    i remember a while back a crack team said they only work on games and software that interests them, hawks 2 has so little interest in their community that no wants to, its not uncrackable, just no one cares.
    AfrospinachRizlla since when has Blizzard been at the cutting edge of graphics? Their focus is usually game play which is for me what makes them a special company.


    havent they always been more or less cutting edge?
    wow for mass appeal, was held back graphically, but look at current star craft 2 and tell me it isn't?

    i should define that cutting edge and bleeding edge have 2 different meanings for me, cutting = whats now, bleeding = future

  • 5 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , September 14, 2011 10:49 AM
    Devs really need to put the pressure on Nintendo, Sony and XBOX to build Next-Gen consoles and stop porting games over to them. Rather, just make games for PC.
  • 5 Hide
    Rizlla , September 14, 2011 11:27 AM
    AfrospinachRizlla since when has Blizzard been at the cutting edge of graphics? Their focus is usually game play which is for me what makes them a special company.


    As alidan wrote. Starcraft2 has great grapihcs. If you have a system that can run the game @ 1080p full detail have a good look at it. It really does look good. Cataclysm does not look too bad either.
  • 12 Hide
    Ciuy , September 14, 2011 11:56 AM
    Consoles suck
  • 5 Hide
    Travis Beane , September 14, 2011 12:00 PM
    Quality sure as hell beats quantity. I've spent $1,000 on Blizzard games, and a couple thousand hours.
    If Diablo 3 is all I hope it'll be, I'll pay $150 or more for a collector's edition without a second thought.
    Part of what makes Blizzard games so great is the community around them.
    As much as I love my high end rig now, I used to just buy whatever used gaming computer a nerdy store owner recommended to me that was in the $800 range, and they ran Blizzard games just fine for me.
  • 5 Hide
    trombocyte , September 14, 2011 12:12 PM
    "Many of Blizzard's peers have sited piracy as one of the factors behind their platform jump;" - should be "cited". dropped through the cracks of grammar and spellcheck haha
  • -9 Hide
    reggieray , September 14, 2011 12:12 PM
    Maybe thats why I have not purchased one of your games for years, SC2 in three parts developer.
  • 3 Hide
    mobrocket , September 14, 2011 12:25 PM
    Wish I Was Wealthy"BLIZZARD" they're all cool by me! They have to make go as wide as possible to get into every single games market that they can.


    I dont know why this is thumbs down so much... Consoles are the money makers and I rather have a company like blizzard make money then companys that just kick out the same tired Madden / COD crap every year
  • 5 Hide
    bearracuda , September 14, 2011 12:28 PM
    RizllaAs alidan wrote. Starcraft2 has great grapihcs. If you have a system that can run the game @ 1080p full detail have a good look at it. It really does look good. Cataclysm does not look too bad either.


    Maybe if you've looked at NOTHING else for the past 4 years. I mean, have you SEEN the in-game graphics for final fantasy 13? "blew them out of the water" would be an understatement. A big one. Blizzard has the capabilities to make cutting edge graphics, yes, but they don't want to. Their cinematics are serious quality, but we get 4-5 of those per game, if we're lucky. And their in-game graphics are awful compared to their cinematics.

    On top of that, they do half their cutscenes in gameplay graphics. Usually that's not a big deal, but some of the wrath of the lich king cutscenes just made me wanna barf. They hardly even took the time to match mouth movements to dialogue. >.> I was perfectly ready to forgive that, though, given the quality of gameplay we got in WotLK. Which is something that severely dropped off in Cataclysm.
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