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Mike Morhaime Gamelab Interviews

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Ex-Blizzard President Mike Morhaime talked to multiple sites about why 50% of Blizzard's projects do not get to see the light of day, why Heroes of the Storm failed, and more.

Mike Morhaime recently talked at Gamelab in Barcelona on a variety of topics.

VG247 asked him why he thought Heroes of the Storm had failed. Morhaime said he thinks it's a great game, but they didn't pursue Dota early enough, because they were all focusing on World of Warcraft.

Quote

“But the community was doing a great job supporting it and we didn’t want to disrupt that,” Morhaime continued. “And frankly we had our hands full trying to support the growth of World of Warcraft. We felt like focusing on Warcraft was the right call at the time. In retrospect – boy, if I could go back in time and say, ‘You know what? Why don’t we have a small team that’s focused on doing something with Dota? Or why don’t we include Dota with the launch of StarCraft 2 and have a mode or something?’ I’d love to try doing that a little bit earlier. I think Heroes was probably too late.”

Mike Morhaime

Click here to read the full interview.

Eurogamer also had the chance to talk to the Ex-President of Blizzard and found out that:

  • Morhaime left Blizzard to spend more time with his family.
  • Approximately 50% of the games developed by Blizzard will never ship, because the company is known for its renowned quality. 
Quote

"I've gone back every few years and checked the math on that, and it's pretty consistent," Morhaime said today. "It's like half the titles we work on never make it."

"There's a saying that 'perfect is the enemy of great', because if you strive for perfection you'll never ship. But I do think that there's so much competition out there,"

Mike Morhaime

  • Blizzard's canceled Titan was a follow-up to World of Warcraft, but they failed to control the scope. It was an ambitious next-gen MMO, but Blizzard struggled to wrangle Titan's engine into a workable enough state, so they made Overwatch out of it.
Quote

"The pitch was basically an evolution of a sort of Team Fortress-style game in a superhero universe,"

"It was going to leverage some of our best technology from Titan and World of Warcraft. We were going to take some characters and worlds from the Titan universe design.

"We thought we could make a really compelling game with much tighter scope control. And I think it was probably one of the best decisions that we made. We took something that wasn't going to ship for a very long time, might never have shipped, and turned it into an awesome game."

Mike Morhaime

Other discussed subjects include Diablo III's RMAH, and Diablo: Immortal. You can read the full interview at Eurogamer.

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Heroes of the Storm was never supposed to be a standalone game. Blizzard originally planned it as a custom game for Starcraft 2. I wonder if Morhaime forgot about that.

HotS just became its own game because the community supported the "Blizzard DotA" minigame idea. It still came further than it was ever supposed to be. So in that case it did not really fail. They just pushed this idea too far with expensive tournaments and and too many development goals.

Resources that could have been spend on their main projects.
 

 

Edited by Alkasar
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2 hours ago, Alkasar said:

HotS just became its own game because the community supported the "Blizzard DotA" minigame idea. It still came further than it was ever supposed to be. So in that case it did not really fail. They just pushed this idea too far with expensive tournaments and and too many development goals.

Indeed, they have invested too much into e-sports as they wanted every of their current games to become an e-sport. It was forced, instead of allowing a rather small scene to grow organically. This is rather worrying about Overwatch too, where there is also a heavy push for e-sport, way too much (imo) invested into it, again forced through heavy marketing, instead of letting people organise it themselves with maybe some smaller financial support. Many casuals are leaving that game as well. I can see OWL running for like 1 or 2 years more, but after that? I'm not sure.

Another thing was that HotS initially scared away many casual players (which was a targeted audience at the beginning), there were no skins for f2p players to unlock, long grind to get heroes (when DotA 2 had heroes for free). I still remember how people who tried HotS with me (things like Oni Genji OW challenge) left early, because "29,99 unicorn" and other stuff locked behind paywall. It seems they had overestimated how much value their trademarks had to players unfamiliar with Blizzard characters. For many, playing classic heroes was what had drawn them into the game, but for others (on top of nothing cosmetic available for f2p player) it did nothing. It was rather bizarre watching people claim characters like Kael etc., were cloned from other mobas.

Edited by Arcling

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For OWL to pay back properly it will have to go on way longer than that, so lets hope it doesn't go out that fast, for the game (and Blizzard's reputation with everyone who bought teams) sake.

I think a lot of new life, and even quite a bit of what Titan was all about, as a MMO, can be injected into Overwatch if they make compelling PvE content for it...in the style that Destiny 2 and WoW itself are well known for. Can't wait for developments in that side of things :) especially now that Destiny 2 is abandoning Battle.net (rip WoW Tokens).

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On 6/30/2019 at 3:11 AM, Stan said:

Blizzard's canceled Titan was a follow-up to World of Warcraft, but they failed to control the scope. It was an ambitious next-gen MMO, but Blizzard struggled to wrangle Titan's engine into a workable enough state, so they made Overwatch out of it.

well if it was going to be anything like Overwatch, Im glad they kept up WoW instead.  100%.

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20 hours ago, Arcling said:

For many, playing classic heroes was what had drawn them into the game,

Thats actually what drew me in, and continues to make me pick up the matches a few times a month, just kill a couple daily quests and call it a day.  

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Kinda sucks to see them say the game "failed" and that they "stopped supporting" it, neither of which is technically true even if it did turn out to be something of a disappointment for the studio. It does little more than fuel the fire for internet poo stains.

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21 hours ago, Arcling said:

Indeed, they have invested too much into e-sports as they wanted every of their current games to become an e-sport.

I never understood why HotS should be an e-sport game.  It is the opposite and everybody who had just the slightest idea about Esport HAD to know, that HotS would have no chance against Dota or LOL.

HotS is just a noob-friendly game that you could play casually. That sounds why worse then it is.

I have played Dota for a long time and have thousands of games, but I got tired of it after a few years.
I played HotS for some time with a few friends - never close to the number of Dota, just a few casual games.

And that's a good thing. If you want a highly competetive game, where a more skilled opponent will *filtered* you hard - you can play LoL or Dota.
But if you want just a more casual game? Then Dota + LoL are horrible for you. If a teammate plays badly and feeds the enemy you can forfeit the game fast.

If you are worse then your opponent you get outleveled, outskilled and outgeared - and a higher opponent with more gold (better items) and more skill? The game snowballs out of control fast. He kills you one or two times, he last hits creeps and he denies -> after a few minutes the game is effectively over.

In HotS there is no gold -> Being better won't result in having better items and better stats.

Outleveling is way slower, because of team-experience. There is no need for last hitting / denying.

All this is much more "noob-friendly" - and like I said, that's a good thing. Because the "hardcore" gamer can choose between LoL + Dota. (and that's why I played quite a few games with friends - we wouldn't have played Dota or Lol, becaus it would be much too stressfull.)

BUT: All this makes HotS the oppositite of what is attractive to e-sport. HotS HAD to fail as e-sport-title, there was no other outcome.

And everybdoy had to know that. Well, everybody except blizzard. No idea why, probably dellusions of grandeur.

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1 hour ago, WedgeAntilles said:

All this is much more "noob-friendly" - and like I said, that's a good thing. Because the "hardcore" gamer can choose between LoL + Dota. (and that's why I played quite a few games with friends - we wouldn't have played Dota or Lol, becaus it would be much too stressfull.)

BUT: All this makes HotS the oppositite of what is attractive to e-sport. HotS HAD to fail as e-sport-title, there was no other outcome.

And everybdoy had to know that. Well, everybody except blizzard. No idea why, probably dellusions of grandeur.

That's why I like HotS, it's faster and I don't have to bother about things like last-hitting and so on. I know LoL and DotA players certainly hated these aspects of HotS, most of them also didn't like how you can't solo carry in this game. HotS is more team dependent, both teams might have potatoes, but the one with the worst potato is bound to lose and others don't have much control to change the outcome, which is especially annoying in ranked (that's why I stick to qm and it's fine).

They even didn't market this properly to casual playerbase, bad monetisation at launch etc. 

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LoL is boring as fk. I don't understand how people can spend so much time just walking around at such a slow pace. It feels a lot like an RPG PvP zone to me from bigger MMOs. Haven't played Dota since the Warcraft 3 mod first came out where you could play as the cat lady or a troll so no clue about it as it currently is.

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