Also from Blizzard’s recent NYC media meet, this article on Kotaku about the overall company direction, post-Activision merger. The interview is with WoW director Jeffrey Kaplan, but the information applies to to all Blizzard’s ongoing projects.

    “There’s no outside influence at all in the development of Diablo 3, StarCraft 2 or WoW.” In fact, Blizzard sees an upside to being hitched to the Activision star. “They have a lot of expertise in the console area, where we’re very-headed in addition to PC and online,” Kaplan said. “Activision’s point of view is, there’s a lot of trust in Blizzard and what we do. Activision’s just trying to figure out how we work and try to learn from us.”

    However, might Activision might push to implement some changes to the game design and financial models?  RMT or microtransactions in WoW or D3? Blizzard’s certainly considering it, and despite numerous opportunities, they’ve never said that D3 will be free on b.net, just as D2 was. They’re keeping their options open:

    Jay Wilson, lead designer on Diablo III, summed up the developer’s policy on the microtransactions issue: “I think we always look to make the game we want to make, and then figure out the kind of financial model that works with that game.”

    In related news, Activision/Blizzard just posted their June quarter sales, and they’re #1, with over $1b in revenues, well ahead of EA’s $800m for the same time frame.

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