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Gamespot Interview with J. Allen Brack

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Gamespot talked to Blizzard's President J. Allen Brack about WoW Classic, mobile titles, porting WoW to consoles, and Activision. Here are the highlights.

Interview Highlights

  • Announcing WoW Classic at BlizzCon and the game being released has been a peak career experience for J. Allen Brack.
  • Despite the recent layoffs, Blizzard is a values-driven and values-led company, and they make all their big strategic decisions through that lense. They still prioritize gameplay first and focus on delivering great player experiences and focus on the community.
  • Blizzard did a poor job at communicating the announcement of Diablo: Immortal. The key thing that was lost is that they are a PC developer first.
  • Mobile doesn't have to be a lesser-quality experience, and they think it's possible to make Blizzard-quality games on various platforms, which is why they ported Diablo to all both Xbox and PlayStation along with the Switch.
  • They had a candid look at themselves, post-BlizzCon, to digest the fan reaction.
  • Hearthstone is the only mobile game they've done so far, and it took them quite a while to figure out how they were going to find the Blizzard way of making a good mobile game.
  • Blizzard doesn't have a history of having Mike Morhaime or someone else at the top saying, "Hey, Blizzard should go make, insert type of game." Instead, a team of developers who are passionate about a particular idea or genre are given the space to create and iterate and deliver something that they think it's excellent.
  • In a question about the influence of Activision on the company, J. Allen Brack responded that Overwatch League Finals had been created in conjunction with some people at Activision Blizzard and the desire that they have is the same as the desire they have, which is to have their games exposed to and played by millions of players around the world and while both companies have different ways to think about how to achieve that goal, their goals are very aligned with them.
  • The fact that a developer was put in charge of the company after Mike and the fact they promoted Ray Gresko to be the chief development officer speaks to not only what Blizzard values are but is also an indication that Activision Blizzard understands what's important to Blizzard.
  • They've talked about porting WoW over to consoles, but the game has been built for a keyboard type experience from a UI standpoint. The controls would be also bad due to classes having more than 50 abilities at level 60.

Click here to read the full Gamespot interview.

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There were a lot of people saying (possibly correctly) that all the pruning being done to classes was to make it easy to port it in the future.   That obviously hasn't gone well though, as rotations for classes are almost automated in many cases and there's a distinct lack compared to previously.      I could tank mythic raids on my prot paladin by pushing 6 buttons if I really had to, and the only one I wouldn't simply use on cooldown is my taunt.  

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Am i the only one that I would like to see WoW, or parts of the game, ported to Consoles?

I'm a PC player, but growing up, makes me wanna play from the comfort of my sofa

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1 minute ago, K1ngMrglMrgl said:

Am i the only one that I would like to see WoW, or parts of the game, ported to Consoles?

I'm a PC player, but growing up, makes me wanna play from the comfort of my sofa

It is possible, given that someone is levelling purely from their phone in Classic, I can see it possible to play wow on console. Would I want it though? No I don't think so... Sofa play would be ace, but there's so many abilities and extras that to be able to do it on 14 or so buttons would require so much pruning it's not worth it.

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3 minutes ago, Bobbis said:

It is possible, given that someone is levelling purely from their phone in Classic, I can see it possible to play wow on console. Would I want it though? No I don't think so... Sofa play would be ace, but there's so many abilities and extras that to be able to do it on 14 or so buttons would require so much pruning it's not worth it.

Indeed mate. But i would love to see in example, the pet battles to be ported on phone or even at consoles.

Or some mini games that we play at WQ

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1 minute ago, K1ngMrglMrgl said:

Indeed mate. But i would love to see in example, the pet battles to be ported on phone or even at consoles.

Or some mini games that we play at WQ

And go full circle? Pet battles is just Pokemon, and the mini games in WQ, simple memory game, Bejewelled, draw a shape, simple programming commands (make loh go), and F*** TURTLES? 

If they were added to the companion app so that we could complete said WQ's on the app by playing them, sure, otherwise, just search your app store my dude.

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53 minutes ago, K1ngMrglMrgl said:

Am i the only one that I would like to see WoW, or parts of the game, ported to Consoles?

I'm a PC player, but growing up, makes me wanna play from the comfort of my sofa

I never ever EVER understood this. You can just as much play your PC on the sofa as you could a console, wireless keyboards and mice are a thing, as are controllers and mods that let you play on them. I've been playing from a sofa chair for like 10 years now and it's 1239213x better than any gamer chair and table combo. And especially for WoW where even if you had to buy a second PC cos your work/main one has to be at your desk, the game can work on a new PC you buy specifically for the couch that doesn't cost more than a console.

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3 hours ago, CaperfinWoW said:

I hope they DON'T consider porting wow to consoles... 

I mean, it sounds like they considered it but decided naw, it wouldn't work.

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3 hours ago, Starym said:

I've been playing from a sofa chair for like 10 years now and it's 1239213x better than any gamer chair and table combo. 

I can't stand comfy chairs while at the computer. I used to have a swivel chair, but I got rid of it in favor of a plain old wooden chair like you might have around a table. 

A sofa would be weird

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5 hours ago, Halock said:

I can't stand comfy chairs while at the computer. I used to have a swivel chair, but I got rid of it in favor of a plain old wooden chair like you might have around a table. 

A sofa would be weird

Yeah, just when you feel the pain of suffering in a wooden chair for hours and hours, you can call yourself a passionate gamer!

/sarcasm off

for real, try an ergonomic alternative. For your back's sake 😉

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10 hours ago, Bobbis said:

And go full circle? Pet battles is just Pokemon, and the mini games in WQ, simple memory game, Bejewelled, draw a shape, simple programming commands (make loh go), and F*** TURTLES? 

If they were added to the companion app so that we could complete said WQ's on the app by playing them, sure, otherwise, just search your app store my dude.

I'm not playing any games outside the Blizzard IP so adding them to the companion app, it would be great

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10 hours ago, Starym said:

I never ever EVER understood this. You can just as much play your PC on the sofa as you could a console, wireless keyboards and mice are a thing, as are controllers and mods that let you play on them. I've been playing from a sofa chair for like 10 years now and it's 1239213x better than any gamer chair and table combo. And especially for WoW where even if you had to buy a second PC cos your work/main one has to be at your desk, the game can work on a new PC you buy specifically for the couch that doesn't cost more than a console.

As i stated before i am a PC player and i'm playing Blizzard games exclusively. I bought an Xbox One S to use it as a media player and because of my addiction to Blizzard games i bought D3. It was really a great experience that i could play while i was laying at the sofa. 
Indeed, there are mods and stuff to make the PC games to be playd like the console. But i'm a lazy dog to do all the stuff, so i prefer to buy OverWatch i.e. two times-CE edition for PC and retail version for Xbox- than modify them.

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I think a single player adventure (with a pvp multiplayer) set in the WoW universe is more likely to appear on consoles. 

Warcraft: Rise of Zappy Boi, coming to Nintendo Switch 2.

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10 minutes ago, durdyenglish said:

Also, in all seriousness I'm really surprised a game like Heroes of the Storm wasn't ripe for a console port. Every time I play a MOBA, I think about using a controller.

surprising that it hasnt gone mobile either, honestly.  

Console is a shuo-in. 

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17 hours ago, Lawrenz said:

Yeah, just when you feel the pain of suffering in a wooden chair for hours and hours, you can call yourself a passionate gamer!

Yeah but that's the thing -- I find the wooden chair more comfortable. I flop every which way in a comfortable chair until I'm no longer comfortable. But a nice, straight, wooden chair? I sit straight. Ish. 

Which is, ergonomically, also okay. Ish. So long as I keep an eye on it. 

(I will accept being the most passionate gamer though. You amateurs with your comfy chairs. Get on my level. 😄)

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On 10/3/2019 at 3:03 PM, K1ngMrglMrgl said:

Am i the only one that I would like to see WoW, or parts of the game, ported to Consoles?

I'm a PC player, but growing up, makes me wanna play from the comfort of my sofa

you can do that very easily in this day and age thanks to wireless keyboards and mice

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On 10/5/2019 at 10:02 AM, GBeast said:

you can do that very easily in this day and age thanks to wireless keyboards and mice

It's not the same mate. Have you played D3 on consoles?? Way better than PC

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On 10/3/2019 at 10:23 PM, CaperfinWoW said:

I hope they DON'T consider porting wow to consoles... 

To be fair, what issue would it be if they did? I'm not going to play it on console anyway, so why would I even care? If you are afraid to lose player numbers on PC because of that, there are multiple solutions to it. One is to let them play with PC players, though it would suck for them, especially in PvP. So no Issue for us there. Or, the best solution, we lose what some refer to as 'plebs' to console. All in all, it would not affect us at all. Afraid they use to much resources on console port? Most likely not an issue, since they will hire more people to do so, and it wouldn't affect future content release. I'd say they would get more money from it, thus giving us more content. 

'Milking the cow' doesn't really makes sense to say either, if that's a thought. For one, they are a company, and like everyone else, it's about money in and money out. And as said above, it doesn't affect PC at all. 

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