Blizzard, the house that WarCraft, StarCraft and holy balls our fans do not like mobile Diablo game announcements at BlizzCon built. Decades of development and publishing has made the company a powerhouse built on several franchises, albeit franchises which are rather sparse in number. That’s a heck of an achievement, but there has to be more to Blizzard than just games ending in Craft and Overwatch, right?
Right! While Blizzard subsists on five core properties presently, that doesn’t mean that the studio doesn’t have other new franchises in the work. “If you think about Blizzard, Blizzard is fairly unique in our industry. There’s one or two other companies that have been around for almost three decades now,” Blizzard co-founder and executive producer Allen Adham said to Game Informer at BlizzCon 2018.
And it took us a long time to go from one team to two teams. And the reason we were able to do that is because we had so many people on that first team that knew how we did things. And then as that team scaled, and as everyone on that team became bonafide long-term Blizzard developers – that lets you carve off a chunk of those people and start the next thing.
Then you have two teams, and then another decade passes and those two teams have been around for 10 years with lots of very experienced seniors, you can carve off some of them and then start another two teams. And that’s a gross oversimplification, but you can look at our teams now. We have five public-facing teams: Overwatch, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, Diablo, and World of Warcraft.
Each one of those teams is between a hundred and three-hundred people. And each one of those teams has been around for at least a decade. So again, staff top-to-bottom with bonafide Blizzard developers, that lets us – and if you look at Overwatch, that’s how Overwatch started. Jeff Kaplan was the co-game director on World of Warcraft for a long time and he left to start something new, which eventually became Overwatch.
Tom Chilton – so, this isn’t commonly known, but we do talk about it – Tom Chilton left World of Warcraft a few years ago. He’s on something new. Dustin Browder left Heroes of the Storm. He’s on something new.
Sounds like a simple but effective strategy: Cultivate talent over several years, and then unleash those experienced hands on new projects that will secure the future of Blizzard. “So our best and brightest – top tier and super seniors – many of them have now moved on and taken some of their best friends and bonafide Blizzard developers to start up these new things,” Adham explained.
We can do many at the same time, because we have five very large, very experienced Blizzard teams. It puts us in a pretty unique position to be able to do that at scale and start that many things that quickly.
I like that. Blizzard seems to have a patience for new franchises that is unrivalled within the industry, trusting its developers to put new spins on familiar ideas for the company. Heck, just look at Hearthstone. What started as a side project with a very small team of passionate card game players, quickly evolved into one of the most popular games of its genre once it was unleashed.
It’s going to be interesting to see what else Blizzard has up their collective sleeves. When they feel like announcing it, of course.
Last Updated: November 9, 2018