Blizzcon Interview: Josh Mosqueira on Free Patches


PCGamesN has posted a an article about an interview they conducted at Blizzcon with Josh Mosqueira and Travis Day. The article is very brief, just a couple of paragraphs summarizing some of the interview conversation, but there’s one interesting bit about Reaper of Souls’ content-rich free patches:

When discussing how to monetise after Reaper of Souls, it was Mike Morhaime that told the team to “just release the stuff for free.” Mike apparently said that it was about winning back the hearts and minds of people who were disappointed with the original release.

When I posited that I always felt there was an apologetic tone to the massive patches, Josh said that while it may appear that way from the outside, for them it was about pride – having pride in their product, and it being up to Blizzard’s usual massive standards. That was the core of why Mike pushed towards free patches, not letting anything get in the way of restoring that.

Free content forever?

Free content forever?

The patches have greatly improved the game (in the opinion of most fans) and it’s nice to hear official logic for it, and reassuring for those of us who keep wondering why they’re not monetizing, and how long they can keep going like this.

Talking to Wolfpaq on the new podcast, I put forth the theory that the lack of a D3X2, and seeing so much content in patches, means we’ll never get a second expansion pack. Wolfpaq didn’t agree and thought maybe Bliz was just taking their time working on it, or delaying it since they’ve got so many other brand new and upcoming game releases.

He has a point and might even be correct about the scheduling, but also consider this theory. Blizzcon Interview: Josh Mosqueira on Free Patches.

Blizzard admittedly rushed out patches after D3’s release, and hurried as fast as they could get out Reaper of Souls, since the original D3v game was lacking in many ways. Many of us assumed the developers would push quickly on to a second expansion, and that since we haven’t seen it yet, we’re not going to. Perhaps instead of that, the devs are working to redeem D3’s reputation with quality free patch content, easily paying the bills with the millions of D3 console sales, and biding their time, letting anticipation build (and fans embittered by D3v forget the intensity of their disappointment) for D3X2, which will come… sometime. Soon?

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  1. As long as WoW lives we're probably fine. Even at 2,000,000 subs for WoW that's £20,000,000 a month in revenue from one product. There's obvious upkeep costs from that but it's not that high. The online only decision is also a bit of a thorn in their sides – they've talked about wanting to hire more coders to get legacy Blizzard games working so they can't have D2 working but drop the support out of D3. I think we will see an expansion but not for some time. It's not like they need to revenue it would raise right now.

    • From what bliz talks about on the conference calls and other financial reports, Hearthstone is fantastically profitable.  Vastly more than WoW, these days.  I dunno about Heroes of the STorm, but they're certainly trying to monetize every bit of it.   In a way, the biggest news from Blizzcon was that Overwatch is just going to be a box product, ala SC or D3.

  2. “When discussing how to monetise after Reaper of Souls, it was Mike Morhaime that told the team to “just release the stuff for free.” Mike apparently said that it was about winning back the hearts and minds of people who were disappointed with the original release.”

    Mr Morhaime knows his business.

    “When I posited that I always felt there was an apologetic tone to the massive patches, Josh said that while it may appear that way from the outside, for them it was about pride – having pride in their product, and it being up to Blizzard’s usual massive standards.”

    Pride before a fall much? D3V was a steaming pile btw.

    FWIW, the additional content in 2.3 and 2.4 is equal to a whole new expansion in today’s gaming standards. If D3 ever have another expansion, it would most likely be with a new story arc to lead into D4.

  3. I think Mike is missing a big opportunity here. RoS greatly improved the game. Another expansion should also do the same. People would pay for it.

    The thing about this free stuff being given out is that we’ll never get a new class or anything of the things that are big and game changing. Diablo 3 will forever remain this way – just with more places to go and small changes.

    Again, I think Mike is missing an opportunity here.

    • i think Mike is right. Giving QoL pathces and update the game  and also working on a Expansion. This way people will gain confidence in D3 again and will buy the expansion.

      • If, and only if, they are ALSO working on an expansion, then hell yeah! Free content plus an expansion on the horizon would be awesome. But I fear they’re not making the expansion at all and are instead releasing bits of what would have been an expansion as free content to ‘win back players’ at the expense of an expansion.

        I personally think they’d ‘win back players’ more by making a full on awesome expansion – and they’d get paid for doing it! Hence, opportunity missed.

  4. This is just a speculation, but it's possible that the additional stash space sum, one free and one for each coming season (which totals to 4, including Season 5), roughly leads us to the time frame of next year's BlizzCon, when they may have something to announce.

  5. Good decision.
    Take that, capitalism!

  6. While it’s good to hear that Blizz is still supporting D3 and I very much appreciate the free content, I’d still want to be reassured that they work on another expansion.

  7. Who says they don't have an ongoing revenue stream? They wait and gather up all the botters, massive ban them, and voila, new "box" sales.

  8. Not really sure why there's so much call for an expansion… The only upside would be if there's a new class. We're already getting new maps in the big patches, and new monsters, who really cares about another chapter of story mode? Odds are nobody's even touched story mode since at least patch 2.1. Just pay some 4 year old $5 and odds are they'll write you what Blizzard had in mind.Kudos to Morahime though for handling things this way. On the flip side, it sure as Hell doesn't feel like they're being too damn apologetic in their dealings with us, though. They always kick and scream about any changes, then do them anyway. This patch goes a long way towards fixing the items at least, but it's kind of ridiculous when they said patch 2.0 was going to do that, and here we are, patch 2.4 and we're still not quite there yet.

    • I could go either way. If there’s an expansion, I might buy it. I’m pretty satisfied with D3 just going back each season and playing a different class, but the game doesn’t hold my interest long enough. I think it’s in their best interest to move on, let the franchise sit a bit, then work on a new diablo game.

  9. It’s pretty clear to me this is the case. I don’t think Activision has changed what Blizzard is at their core, and to me they’re still one of the 2 best game publishers with Valve. Everything before Hearthstone not named WoW has made all of it’s money from game and expansion sales. This means that any support they give the game after launch is part of their pride as a good company that makes good games. You can still play Diablo 1 online…how real is that? I’m sure eventually the old battle.net will go down, but just recently it was pointed out that they’re hiring specifically to keep these older games playable on modern machines.

    Wow makes them a ton of money sure, and I know I’ve spent too much on server transfers in that game, but there’s nothing devious about it. With SC2 they were upfront about releasing each campaign separately, and I think with the additional changes they made each release it justified the expansion treatment and cost. It’s still fair to say that the original campaign was shorter than SC/BW since it only had 1 race, but I feel that a lot more work went into the campaign in terms of level complexity, specialty UI and extras. Hearthstone and HotS are free, even if there are plenty of incentives to pay.

    People should stop hating on Blizzard’s marketing until they do something other than be a respectful and quality game producer. D3 gets a lot of hate and is repeatedly being called a failure, but I think there are many of us who respect is for what it is and the changes Blizzard attempted even if we had more fun playing D2.

    Also…someone should probably remove that incgamers logo from the banner that only appears when you scroll down.

  10. This is the best news we’ve had for awhile! Diablo is far from dead (both the game and the character). This gives hope for the next expansion.

    In some strange way too, this has restored some of my faith in Blizzard.

  11. I support Mike and his decision to do this but I really want to play in Skovos with the new 'Titan' character (my own fan theory).

  12. i think they are working on expansion or they will start working SOON
    why? because maps they are releasing.. these are themes from act V and act 3… even act 1 like leoric mansion… athey are just filling the game with ideas and expansion will be like … final patch for d3
    that will throw us in new places.. like scowos and “ancient europe” maps

    with runewords, talisman, maybe new game mode, legendary and set rift keystones as drops(path of exile map system) daily quests, alchemic artisan (scrolls, potions with buffs) druid class, paragon 3.0 – skill points in passive tree (like in beta), and things i cant even imagine….

    …yeah a dream

  13. So, finally, the extension is delayed/cancelled because of haters…

  14. This is reassuring to hear. & props to Blizzard for the ongoing patch support. I mentioned in another thread that I strongly believe that expansion 2 is still in the pipeline and they seemed to be presenting the next couple of seasons in game rewards at the Blizzcon panel already. This makes me think they're going to go all hands on deck on the expansion to reveal later next year whilst providing small patch support between seasons e.g. 2.4.1, 2.4.2 and so on. The delay is likely because of all the other games they've got coming out in the next 12 months and they might as well build up the goodwill with Diablo in the meantime until the time is right.

  15. It's certainly a good publicity spin to 'salvaging content leftovers'  and also a classic 'keeping the brand alive'-move. When they might look into the possibility of a new Diablo game in four years or so, younger players should at least be somewhat familiar with the franchise instead of thinking that the demon-gang from Heroes of the Storm are getting their own spin-off. 😉

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