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    An interesting news item from Israeli site Gamepad, which describes a recent appearance by DiabloWikiMike Morhaimeat a sort of informal gamer conference. Many thanks to Ido for spotting the article and sending us a translation which he greatly cleaned up from the Googlebot translation.

    Here’s an excerpt; click through to read the whole thing. The photo was taken by one of the attendees at the event.

    Although it was pretty rushed, Mike Morhaimes appearance was excellent. He briefly reviewed the history of Blizzard Entertainment, from its roots in the early nineties, through its first projects (The Lost Vikings and Warcraft) to the absolute insanity that is World of Warcraft. He quipped about Oracle, and how they thought their databases could handle the crazy increase in the amount of people who played World of Warcraft much better, and revealed a variety of interesting stories from Blizzards past – like the time when Itzik Ben Bassat had convinced him there was a market for MMORPGs in Europe, or the way in which angry Chinese crowds attacked Blizzard in broken English shocked that the Panda, China’s national animal, is dressed in Japanese clothing.

    At the end of the evening, when the guests got the chance to exchange a few words with Mike Morhaime, many of the guests gave him their business cards, introduced a concept to a game they have developed, or asked him to sign a game they own. I chose to whine a bit about one of the stories we enjoy complaining about recently – the constant internet connection requirement of Diablo III. Mike tried to explain to us that “there are a lot of problems in an offline game – you can never play with this character together with friends, or sell (trade?)* items it collects”. When several people told him they knew that, he asked in wonder “And you really want to play like that?”, And when they nodded in return, he smiled apologetically and said, “Well, I’ll see what we can do about it.”

    They didn’t do anything “about it,” but obviously Mike was just saying something to put off his interlocutors. I do find it amusing that he went for the, “noobs made SP chars by accident” excuse, though. I thought they’d given up on that one and moved to a more straight out anti-piracy explanation as their current online-only talking point?

    Click through for the full article, and thanks again to Ido for the tip and translation.


    Original article here.

    A short evening with Blizzards president. In Holon.

    Mike Morheim, the person who founded the Blizzard company under the name Silicon & Synapse in the early nineties, has gone with his wife on vacation in Israel. This is not exactly the kind of event you’ll find headlines for in the weekend tabloids, but Garage Geeks saw this as an opportunity, and invited Mike to appear in their warehouse in Holon, and talk to anyone who wants to hear him.

    For those who do not know the Garage Geeks, the event might look a bit odd – Mike Morhaime addressed a distinguished group of several hundred people (maybe 200 – I have no real way of knowing) in a yard in the Holon industrial zone, with the plants which inhabit the area interrupting him sometimes. But that is what the Garage Geeks are like – The event is free (though guests are asked to bring along refreshments), informal, and at the end gave guests the chance to exchange a few personal words with the guest of honor.

    Although it was pretty rushed, Mike Morhaimes appearance was excellent. He briefly reviewed the history of Blizzard Entertainment, from its roots in the early nineties, through its first projects (The Lost Vikings and Warcraft) to the absolute insanity that is World of Warcraft. He quipped about Oracle, and how they thought their databases could handle the crazy increase in the amount of people who played World of Warcraft much better, and revealed a variety of interesting stories from Blizzards past – like the time when Itzik Ben Bassat had convinced him there was a market for MMORPGs in Europe, or the way in which angry Chinese crowds attacked Blizzard in broken English shocked that the Panda, China’s national animal, is dressed in Japanese clothing.

    At the end of the evening, when the guests got the chance to exchange a few words with Mike Morhaime, many of the guests gave him their business cards, introduced a concept to a game they have developed, or asked him to sign a game they own. I chose to whine a bit about one of the stories we enjoy complaining about recently – the constant internet connection requirement of Diablo III. Mike tried to explain to us that “there are a lot of problems in an offline game – you can never play with this character together with friends, or sell (trade?)* items it collects”. When several people told him they knew that, he asked in wonder “And you really want to play like that?”, And when they nodded in return, he smiled apologetically and said, “Well, I’ll see what we can do about it.”

    Apparently he was not going to see what we can do. I do not believe that the policy Blizzard is pushing hard for several months now will change because of some rude Israelis questions. But if some change in Blizzards policy does happen in the future, you’ll know it’s because I have a pretty face.

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