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Executive Producer Allen Adham and Principal Game Designer Wyatt Cheng confirmed at BlizzCon's Diablo Immortal press conference that many of Blizzard's best developers are currently working on new mobile titles across all IPs.
No autoplay is planned for the game right now. Diablo Immortal does not have the Witch Doctor. The six classes have been chosen to represent a variety of playstyles. The game will have content updates over time and the plan is to release additional classes in the future. In terms of Blizzard's approach to mobile gaming, they have many of their best developers now working on new mobile titles across all IPs. Some of them are with external partners like Diablo Immortal, many of them are being developed internally only and they'll have information to share in the future. They have more new products in development today than they've ever had in their history and the future is "very bright". Diablo Immortal is being designed so that everybody can play it from all ages. The game won't be mature-rated. The level of fidelity on mobile is becoming very close to the kinds of games we can see on PC and console. There are some key differences in play sessions and play patterns. The reason why they're bringing Diablo to mobile is to introduce the game to a much broader audience. Netease has been Blizzard's partner in China for almost 10 years. Skepticism demonstrates intellectual curiosity and what people saw at BlizzCon did not really meet their expectations. Allen Adham repeated that the company is currently working on multiple unannounced Diablo projects for die-hard PC fans.
Quarterly results of the Activison Blizzard Investor Call are here and Blizzard has 37 million monthly active users across all games, same as in Q2 2018.
Activision launched Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Blizzard released World of Warcraft: Battle of Azeroth King launched Candy Crush Friends Saga Franchise Expansion onto Mobile
Many top mobile games are based on IP originally created for console or PC Hearthstone fanbase grew significantly upon its mobile launch Investing in mobile releases for Activision and Blizzard franchises Many more initiatives underway across the entire company Audience Reach (345 MAUs -- Activision = 46M, Blizzard = 37M, King = 262M monthly active users)
Candy Crush Saga MAUs grew Y/Y In October, King launched Candy Crush Friends Saga, building on five years of learing in Candy Crush The game has reached the top of iPhone download charts in 93 countries While still early, retention and monetization metrics are strong, and the game is on pace to drive meaningful growth for the franchise World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth set a new day-one franchise record with more than 3.4 million units sold-through World of Warcraft engagement grew strongly Q/Q, and the expansion saw strong participation in value-added services Heartshtone continues to attract new players, surpassing 100 million life-to-date registered players Destiny MAUs grew Q/Q and Y/Y, driven by the launch of Forsaken and reach initiatives for the base game Activision MAUs increased significantly in October following the launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Black Ops 4 versus Black Ops III (the highest-grossing game in the franchise) in the first three weeks after launch: Units sold-through were higher; PC units sold-through were over 3x higher Total active users were 16% higher Hours playerd were 20%+ higher Deep Engagement & Player Investment
Continue to add new ways for fans to show their passion for or great franchises, including esport, linear content and social connections. Continue to innovate in how additional content is offered, to drive strong engagement and commercial performance. Activision Blizzard
Players spent a record 52 minutes per day in Activision, Blizzard, and King games in the quarter. Viewership of our games was up significantly this quarter. Call of Duty
In the month of October, Activision Blizzard had seven of the top 20 most viewed games on the industry's largest streaming platform, including Black Ops 4 where vierwership cotinues to break franchise records. Overwatch League
The Overwatch League continues to build on the success of its inaugural season with the announcement of the sale of another six teams in September, again at substantioally higher valuations than team prices in the first sesason The latest sales take the league to 20 total teams, with nine of these teams outside the U.S. BlizzCon & World of Warcraft & Diablo
In November, BlizzCon drew over 40,000 fans in person with millions more livestreaming from around the world Announcements included new content for every franchinse and Diablo Immortal for mobile Q3 2018 Segment Results // Blizzard
Q3 Segment Net Revenues: $635M Q3 Segment Operating Income: $189M (30% operating margin) Key Highlights
Revenues grew 20% Y/Y, driven by World of Warcraft and the Battle for Azeroth expansion, which offset lower revenues for Overwatch & Hearthstone, with the latter facing a tough comp Operative income grew 13% Y/Y as revenue growth offset investments in strategic initiatives, including the Overwatch League, other esports activities, Battle.net, and franchise incubation across multiple platforms Check out the full presentation here.
BlizzPlanet interviewed Robert Bridenbecker, Vice President of Technology, Strategy and Planning, on Warcraft 3: Reforged. The interview focuses on the engine overhaul and assets, Battle.net Launcher transition, as well as the World Editor and mapmaking’s capabilities side.
With the remaster of Warcraft 3 announced, it's natural that all kinds of question about how the 2002 iconic game would be re-animated (literally) with modern graphics. Robert Bridenbecker explained all the technical details and challenges the team has faced.
Here is a recap of the most interesting points of the interview:
The same team that worked on StarCraft Remastered worked on this. There are no plans for new story content or DLCs yet, they are focused on the pre-existing game. Animation variety of units and generic portraits from the original WC3 will be updated to be unique. They used the original WC3 engine that has been evolved on the graphics side, with modern trimmings like wide screen support, Battle.net support and lag/networking issues addressed. A brand new engine would break existing functionalities. The map editor is there and there's compatibility with the original version of the game. They want to have all custom maps working for Reforged. Moddable UI: they are talking about it, an area to explore – not a day 1 feature probably. You will be able to switch from old to new graphics, but it won't be instant like in SC Remastered. It's feasible to make SD and HD assets work together. No decisions yet on changes on unit pathfinding and AI improvements. They are in dialogue with the community on this and they are open to exploring it. They have also reached out to players for other potential changes to the original experience (gameplay, balance). They want to be careful with this as they want to be as close to the original as possible. They've made a lot of bug fixes. There are no plans for classic games on other platforms, but it's always something on their mind. Warcraft 3: Reforged will contain the original version of the game.
The very controversial announcement of Diablo Immortal is still what everyone's talking about after BlizzCon has concluded, with fans of the franchise getting pretty upset. From a bunch of "Do you guys not have phones?" memes, to the off-season April fools Q&A guy, and accusations of the game simply being a reskin of another mobile hack 'n slash made by Netease, Blizzard's partner in development, it seems the decision to make Immortal the big finish for BlizzCon's opening ceremony wasn't that great. And all of that is not even going into some pretty poor PR moves after the fact, such as re-posting the cinematic and making it unlisted due to the huge number of dislikes the public one has and using the unlisted one on the official site.
It's safe to say Immortal was "a bit" of a misstep, at the very least in the way it was announced, but Blizzard don't seem to be backing down from their newfound mobile-friendly attitude, as co-founder Allen Adham mentioned in an interview with Digital Trends, where he had this to say when asked how long Immortal has been on Blizzard's minds:
In the same interview he also went on to reassure Diablo fans that there are indeed multiple projects being worked on in the franchise, but was also very careful to dance around the specific issue of Diablo 4 proper.
The full interview also features Production Director for Diablo Immortal and Incubation Dan Elggren and has more details on the game itself, as well as what fears and expectations Blizzard had for this move and fan reactions after the announcement, so it's absolutely worth a read.
So, what do you guys think about the possibility of all Blizzard franchises getting their own mobile games/spinoffs? Were you upset by Diablo Immortal or all the side-shenanigans surrounding it?