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..."