That seems to be the message Bashiok’s driving home lately. He said so, and today returned to that theme via twitter, and the forums. Here’s the tweet:
Nothing about @diablo 3 in E3? —Longrat
We’ll share lots of information in our upcoming BlizzCon. Don’t you worry!—Diablo
Much the same tune was played on the B.net forums, where a fan quotes Bashiok saying he has info to share, and asks, almost plaintively, what fans could do to get at it.
This makes me wonder just how much info you have you can give out on the Diablo3 forum and Starcraft Forum but nobody has asked the right questions. . . .
Why cant you just post it?
Bashiok: Maybe a lot? Probably not.
Because then I’d be creating announcements instead of holding open discussions of uncertain in-progress features. Quite different. And posting a bunch of questions in a row in a thread that’s aimed at attempting to just get new info isn’t going to work!
As Bashiok says, expecting him to debut new information isn’t realistic, since that’s not in his job description. He makes , and often reveals new tidbits (Recently: item durability, skill rune changes, line of sight, PvP development, lots ‘o monsters.), but he’s not going to break big news, since Blizzard doesn’t release big news through their CMs.
We also expect more of Bashiok since he’s the only source of any new D3 anything. We get tons of info at Blizzcon, but after the show it’s 11+ months of very little. We get an occasional interview, a website update now and then, screenshots showing the same old areas/monsters/skills, and the occasional gorgeous … but that’s about it. Believe it or not, in 2 years there has never been a (non-BlizzCon) Diablo 3 preview via any gaming website or print magazine that had new info, none of the D3 devs have ever made any forum posts, they only release gameplay movies at BlizzCon, etc.
Fans notice this desert of nontent since it stands in such stark contrast to virtually every other game being created by virtually every other developer. Most of those give out as many interviews and previews as there’s any media demand for, constantly post behind the scenes info, permit their devs to engage fans on the forums, provide fansites with regular exclusive content, etc.Blizzard doesn’t do it that way (The Blizz North guys were very accessible back in the pre-D2 days, but that was a long time ago.), and while we get a fair amount of pre-game info, the fact that 95% of it is dumped in two days each year makes the very long wait for their games seem even longer.
You’d have to ask Bliz PR why they’ve chosen to handle their media relations this way, but it’s pretty clear why they keep doing it. Because they can.
Virtually every Bliz games has been massively successful, and they have such a huge fan base that they don’t need to join the 21st century style of constant promotion. They can do their development in private and at a glacial speed, and still break sales and subscription records with each new release. Why would they change their tactics when they don’t need to? They have total control over their message and content, their developers aren’t interrupted by media requests, and so long as their CMs can continue to fend off the ravenous lions with little more than glib wit and table scraps, it’s all good. No doubt Bashiok and the others suffer their ulcers without complaint.
Many fans hate this system and grow very frustrated with all the waiting and lack of info, but from Blizzard’s perspective, it’s a perfect world. We can expect changes once several straight Blizzard games flop because of insufficient media attention and fan interest. In other words, don’t hold your breath.