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The Path of the Blizzard

GI.biz: The games which Blizzard Entertainment has made have, almost without exception, been popular with fans to such an extent that the company can almost guarantee a significant dedicated base for any product they'd care to work on - probably regardless of genre.

Even before the mighty MMO project that these days nobody needs to name, the Diablo, StarCraft and Warcraft games were big-sellers for their time, particularly in the US - but it was World of Warcraft that's effectively transformed their position in the industry and essentially fuelled the deal that saw Vivendi Games combine with Activision last year.

The end of 2009 heralded the fifth anniversary of World of Warcraft (WoW), and the fifteenth birthday for the Warcraft franchise as a whole, so it seemed a fitting time to sit down with two of the company's executive management team - CEO Paul Sams and executive producer Rob Pardo - to look back on the journey as the rest of the industry ponders what lies ahead. Part two of this feature will follow next week.

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