Blizzard Founders Interviewed from Spike VGAs


The two Blizzard founders who remain with the company, DiabloWikiMike Morhaime and DiabloWikiFrank Pearce, were interviewed backstage from the Spike VGA awards last week, and the transcript has been posted on the USA Today website. Most of the questions are about WoW, but there are a couple of D3 queries near the end, plus a question about DiabloWikiProject Titan.

The answers are generic, PR-friendly stuff, and anyone who regularly reads this website could have provided these exact answers last week if I’d asked you to pretend you were these guys… but since the text appears in that special shade of blue, the content automatically becomes fascinating. So here it is:

Diablo will be big part of the awards show. It’s up for most anticipated game and there will be a new trailer, right?
Morhaime: Our cinematics team has been hard at work doing some really beautiful pre-rendered cinematics for Diablo III so I think this is the first one we are showing in its entirety. It’s some pretty amazing work. We are really proud of that team.

Do we have a release date for the game yet?
Morhaime: As soon as possible. We have pushed it into 2012. Really at this stage, it’s about completing the polish on the game and preparing it for launch. As with any Blizzard game, we really try not to rush these things out. We try to give them time to bake. We are in beta right now, so we have a lot of people out there helping us test the game. We have been getting great feedback. People are really excited about it.

Thanks to Popez for the tip, and in his forum thread there’s some freaking out/nit-picking over the fact that Morhaime didn’t say “early” before “2012,” but I wouldn’t read too much into that. He was speaking off the cuff.

It would be interesting to get someone at Blizzard to provide their definition of “early.” We’ve all learned (painfully) that when Blizzard says it, “DiabloWikisoon” they mean sometime between “now” and “the heat death of the universe.” But “early” is a fairly new term for them, and thus many fans are taking it at least semi-literally. What does “early” mean in regards to 2012, though? The first month? First quarter? First third? First half? Any time before December 31st, 11:59pm?

If you want a look at the three guys answering inaudible questions backstage after the show, here’s the video for you. Click through to see it embedded, and thanks to PaNtsONhEaD for the tip.

In case you’re wondering, of course Frank Pearce still looks pissed off, even while cradling the Gamer God award in the crook of his elbow. He’s just got that face mastered.

Tagged As: | Categories: Blizzard People, Interviews

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  1. Ha, “time to bake.”  That b***h is burnt to a crisp.

  2. BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP! BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP! BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP! thats Diablo III on fire in the oven.. better open up some doors and windows to let out the smoke.

  3. I bet the game is already “golden” and on the way to the manufacturers. They are just waiting for the OK from the Korean GRB regarding the RMAH gambling issue, and then they will launch promptly. Anything else is just PR talk. They certainly keep polishing and finetuning the game – which is what they always do, even after launch – but development is completed and not the reason why we are still waiting. It is just the RMAH – you know, that “optional thing that should allow players to make some money and which costs just a small fee to use”. By no means is the RMAH the most important thing, it’s the game itself. Right? 😉

    • Actually it’s more likely that you don’t have a clue how game development works and just talking out of your ass. But you’re from the internet so you must know everything, right?

      • Actually I’ve been working as 3d modeler in internet game development before I moved on. But why am I telling you this at all? You have your opinion, I have mine. And opinions are just that – opinions.

    • I don’t know… when they say “we’re trying different things on the rune system” sounds like “it’s not working at all and we have no ideia about how to release a feature we just promissed” to me…
      Sometimes I feel like they’re not gonna make it to february and early is going to be late. But I hope I’m really wrong about it.

    • Bobby would disagree. RMAH is the single most important thing! No RMAH = No Bobby Bucks = NO BLIZZARD! RAWR!

    • The RMAH is legal in Korea…

      http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/3657432730?page=1

      “There have been many questions about the currency auction house. An auction system like this is in some ways an unprecedented new effort, and there are different regulations and laws in other regions, which we are working on. After an internal investigation, we concluded that the auction house system is legitimate in Korea. However, we respect and are taking the classification system for each region very seriously. Blizzard has been working closely with the national regulation groups, and we are cooperating fully with the Korea rating committee. We are getting closer to release more information, and we will let you know the status soon.”

      But there seems to be other hold ups still…

  4. Off topic, but did anyone see this blue post?
     
    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/3657284291?page=5#87
     
    Here’s the TL;DR — “We simplified tooltips so the players can be free mouthpieces so we can sell more boxes.”

    And then the part about possibly having a website/forum open while playing. How many times is Blizzard going to waffle back and forth on this game? Geez.

  5. Good thing that Morhaime clarified that they’re really not trying to “rush out” Diablo 3.  Yeah, we were definitely all confused about that at this point.  I, for one, was really sitting here the night of the VGAs thinking: “Ghee whiz Blizzard really seems like they’re in a rush to get Diablo 3 on the shelves!”  What?  Was it just me thinking that??

    Really?  That’s what he’s got on the night that the Diablo Universe was hoping beyond hope that Blizzard might bless us with something (anything) that might at least hint at a release date or at least a more narrow time frame for release?

    These and all other Diablo forums (even those picky official ones that only Warcraft and Starcraft players can post on because, you know, that makes sense) will be flooded with release date angst until they remove this 5000 lb gorilla from the room.  I just wish they’d get on with it so everybody can focus more on talking about what we really should be taking about – the game itself.

    No worries though – I’ll just start reading my Book of Cain that chronicles the lore of the game with the mystery release date.  Ooooh, it’s all so mysterious!!!!  Can’t wait….(sigh)

  6. The way I see it, this whole simplified tooltips thing, along with the runestone system redo (which was as ludicrous and was conveniently reverted), are just distractions to keep us busy and \freaked out\ (TM) until they get that damn approval from Korea.

    I have a feeling the simplified tooltips issue will be put aside and they’ll go back to the initial implementation once the need for stalling is over. This move is so wrong and ridiculous (not to mention Bashiok’s reasons for it), that I can’t believe Blizzard will actually do it. It’s so unlike them.

    If they stick with it, I’m afraid this game will slowly turn into Diablow.

    • So your thesis statement is that D3 wants to miss revenue for a Christmas launch in western nations just because of South Korea?  I sir, reject that hypothesis on the basis that AAA games launch in a dozen or so countries on day 0 only to release in other countries (Australia, Germany) months later.  Preposterous.

  7. Please remind me the last time Blizzard cared about Christmas sales. I will give you an example that proves exactly the opposite: Burnig Crusade was released on January 17th. Had they cared so much about Christmas sales, they would definitely have put in the extra effort to release it three weeks earlier, especially with it being the first WoW expansion and all that jazz. Out of that 2 years+ development time, I think they could have squeezed three weeks to cash in on Xmas frenzy.
     
    But actually, Blizz know Christmas ain’t got shit on their release dates. :mrgreen:
     
     

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