An editorial today from This is Brand X makes jumps on some pro-console remarks Blizzard reps made at Blizzcon, and uses them to justify some thoughtful speculation about why and how Blizzard games might appear on consoles in the not-so-distant future.
Blizzard has nothing against controllers, joysticks or living rooms, said Paul Sams, Blizzard’s chief operating officer, at last month’s annual BlizzCon event in Anaheim. Financial details are what’s holding up the company’s long-overdue return to the console market.
…Blizzard is shopping around Diablo III to consoles. “We are in ongoing talks with Microsoft and Sony,” Sams said. “I think they desire to see us on their platforms.”
A near-finished game called StarCraft: Ghost was the closest Blizzard has come to releasing a console game in years. Due to the loss of a key person on the outsourced development team, “it wasn’t turning out the way we wanted,” Sams said. So, Blizzard scrapped the project. That crucial developer, Ray Gresko, now leads work on Diablo III.
“I think that a lot of other companies would not have hesitated in publishing it,” Sams said about the game based on its sci-fi franchise. “We weren’t willing to put out a game that was not at the level of Blizzard polish quality that customers have come to expect.”
Blizzard reps have spoken with interest about possible console titles or ports of existing titles for years. For instance, this interview with Blizzard COO Paul Sams, from the time of D3’s announcement back in June 2008. The sticking point appears to be financial, rather than philosophical or technological.Console makers skim a hefty slice off the top of game sales, while there’s no such rights fee for PC games. This means Blizzard nets more per unit sold of a PC game than an X-box or Wii game, and that’s not even including the % markup retail stores tack on. (That’s also why Blizzard is so eager to push download sales through their Blizzard Store; those are pure profit for the company.
So here’s a question for those of you who play consoles. Would you like to see Diablo 3, or other Blizzard titles, available on those platforms? If you could have D3 on your PC or your X-box/PS3/Wii, which would you prefer?