Vote: Blizzard’s Cross-Game Promotions

Where fits D's tail on the Maltypony?

Where fits D’s tail on the Maltypony?

Blizzard has engaged in digital cross-game promotion for years, with players able to earn prizes in their games by attending Blizzcon, or unlocking special prizes with the purchase of Collector’s Edition versions of their games. Those were almost always just cosmetic buffs, but the trend is definitely accelerating, and with the cross-game prizes increasing in quality, including things like new cards in Hearthstone and new characters in Heroes of the Storm, some controversy is ensuing.

I assume people with lots of time for video games, who play multiple Blizzard titles, love these promotions, as they are getting bonus features for doing what they were doing anyway. Other players are much less enthused, or find their versions of the games ineligible for the tie in. For example:

I saw the news that reaching level 70 will grant a unique mount in Heroes of the Storm. I was wondering if the eligibility of this is checked for console accounts. I only own D3 on PS4 and linking accounts has never shown any ownership on my profile nor did I get the reward for linking. Wondering if this will be the same.
Grimiku: I’m glad you asked about this, and I’ll be sure to mention it the next time we have a meeting with the dev team. However, this cross promotion is only for PC/Mac users, and the Ultimate Evil Edition is not eligible.

Our post earlier this week about a bunch of new HotS perks generated interesting debate, with some players quite annoyed that Blizzard was “forcing” them to play other games to enable Diablo 3 content, while other players thought it was all cool. So let’s survey community opinion with the blunt little tool of a survey.

Vote: Blizzard’s Cross-Game Promotions:

What's your opinion of Blizzard's cross-game promotions?

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I couldn’t figure a way to offer enough vote options for fine-grained opinion gauging — players might love this since they play all the games, love it while only playing D3, like it while playing only one of the games, hate it since they don’t have time to play all, not like cross promotion in general, not care since the prizes are (almost) all cosmetic, etc. So after you vote, hit the comments to share your opinion and why, since I think the reasons for this are as interesting as the general approval rating.


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  1. I used to love this sort of thing back when Blizz games were actually immersive. Now it all just seems artificial & forced. I still think it's nice, just not a big deal.

  2. It's a "Don't much like it" vote from me.  I certainly understand how cross promotion between their own franchises can be beneficial; new blood might generate more revenue, and money is Blizzavision's M.O.  That said, I find that this form of advertisement is rather shallow.  Any PC gamer that plays just one Blizzard title with fervor probably already knows a great deal about every other Blizzard franchise.  Personally, I play the Diablo games because I like what that series has to offer.  SC, WoW, HotS, Hearthstone…  meh, I'm not a fan of playing RTSes, MMOs, MOBAs, or CCGs, so I don't pay as much attention.  If I did like any of those genres, I'd probably be playing one of those games already.  This cross promotion is aimed toward their already established player base, so it seems rather misguided to me.  Either we care about the included titles or we don't.  In this regard, any attempt to get people to play games that they don't usually play by way of offering exclusive shiny stuff for the games they DO play feels kind of gross.  "You don't like MOBAs?  Well, would you play ours for ten hours if we give you this super cool portrait for your D3 characters?"  …Bah, yes I will because I'm a sucker!  I know I won't have much fun and I won't spend any money in HotS, so I will waste my time and Blizz will get nothing out out it either.  Lose-lose.  I'm just one person and mileage will vary, but there's no point in getting me to dip my toe into other Blizzard games because I already know what I'll find in those pools.  That's why I'm not already swimming in them.  Now if you'll excuse me, I'll be grumbling apathetically for the next few hours as I grind levels in HotS for my portrait frame…

    • The key thing here is that if for example you're an avid D3 player you never have to play another one of their games to get all D3 themed stuff. This promotion may give you an incentive to try out all their games, but if you don't like them it's like you're missing out on anything in your favored game. At least I don't see why would someone be bothered by not having access to a HotS themed portrait frame and pennant if they don't like HotS.

      • Meant to say "it's not like you're missing out".

      • You are so delusional it hurts. After, what, 4 years? Still in denial about D3. The game is about looting and it attrcts people who are suckers for collecting things, like you know, gear..or anything else. Yet you do not see youa re missing on something, right. Man get some head exam already.

        • We are talking about a cosmetic reward, themed after another game and one that doesn't affect your gameplay one bit. If you don't like that other game then why do you care about rewards like this, which are clearly for people who enjoy both games? Answer that instead of focusing your energy on personal attacks.

      • My direct response to this is both simple and from a simpleton: if you hadn't pointed out that the frame and pennant were HotS-themed, I wouldn't have ever thought about it.  The frame stood out to me as a bright and bold option that I had not seen until now, and I liked it.  [break] And while crudely stated, BohemianStalker (below) makes a decent point: I like to earn things in and for Diablo.  Blizzard has now made D3 content (cosmetics, yes, but it's still a collectible D3 object) available by playing something other than D3.  Isn't that kind of weird?  Say you're a fan of Game of Thrones.  HBO doesn't incentivize you to watch old episodes of the Sopranos so you can get a desktop wallpaper or a ringtone that's Game of Thrones themed. It feels kind of disrespectful to "force" a fan of D3 to play a game that isn't D3 to get exclusive D3 content.[break] I still believe my larger point is valid. These types of promotions are designed to advertise to their already established player base, and that seems pretty short-sighted.  If I was interested in playing HotS, I would be already.  Those who play D3 and HotS with regularity will get all these offers and Blizzard gains nothing.  Then there's me, the guy who will jump into HotS just long enough to get the shinies and be gone just as quick without investing a dime.  Blizzard gets nothing from that, either.  Some of the people who cross over may find unexpected enjoyment in HotS and stick around, sure.  However, I'm of the opinion that most of us have already made our decisions about whether or not to dive deep into certain Blizzard titles, and this incestuous advertisement won't sway many to make a permanent leap to some game in which they're not already invested.  [break] Just opinion, though!  I could be way off base statistically.  The cost to implement these digital rewards might be offset by the chance of single or long-term HotS investments by new players, so it might be really dumb for Blizzard NOT to make these kinds of promotions if they're statistically "guaranteed" to make them money.  Blizza wants dat skrilla.  Either way, their fans are incentivized to play games that they have already chosen not to get invested in, and it's all for the sole purpose of earning more money.  It's savvy business, but it's still gross for the consumer.

        • "[…] Say you're a fan of Game of Thrones. HBO doesn't incentivize you to watch […]"Trivia: Did you know that Dragonstone keep is included in the cityscape backdrop of HBO's Last Week Tonight with John Oliver?Neither for reasons of substantive overlapping nor aesthetics, I'd say.

          • I'm not sure what you're attempting to poke at. Do you not think there's a bit of difference between what we're discussing and a set designer's choice to include a backdrop that merely references one HBO show on another?  A Game of Thrones fan would see that and maybe think, "Oh cool," and nothing is offered or earned beyond a momentary recognition of a brand.  Meanwhile, I'm in hour eight of grinding HotS to get my reward.  …The GoT fan is probably smarter than me.

        • Like you said, small cosmetic rewards like this are ways for people who already play both games to show that off to others, but I don't see how that's short-sighted. If they'd do more than this, like if they would give us rewards that would actually impact our power in their games, even just an infinitesimal degree or if we'd have to play HotS to get all D3 themed stuff that would be a hundred times worse and you can bet that people would be up at arms about it. To me what they are doing right now is completely harmless and I do say that as someone who likes collecting stuff in games.As for the cost of implementing these, I'd bet all I have that it's negligible. We are essentially talking about two small textures for D3 and an additional account level check for HotS. I can't see how the textures could take more than an afternoon to put into the game, given how both show off existing logos of one of their games. The check for HotS is a simple coding job and the testing to make sure it works properly in all situations probably takes longer than implementing it, although if they have a system in-place for checks like this, which is likely, then the testing required is minimal as well. Again, we are only talking about a few days work at the absolute maximum and none of these should involve more than a handful of people. If just one percent of their total playerbase starts playing on of their other games the work already payed off, but I don't see why would anyone feel forced to do so, especially if they already tried all Blizzard games in the past and only like one of them.

  3. Like TheReadMenace I only play D3 nowadays but I dabbled in other Blizz games as well. To be honest I just suck at RTS or MOBA games but I like SC2 and HotS if only for nice graphics. I can understand frustration of HotS players when they learned about free Diablo hero but had purchased him earlier but that's life. I happened to buy something a day before it went on sale, tough luck. On the Diablo 3 side however the only bonus is cosmetics and I was under impresion that "serious" players didn't care too much about those. Frame and pennant aren't even that nice looking either. it IS a trap for pathological hoarders like myself but that's another story altogather 🙂

  4. The only things that truly bother me both affect HotS (Heroes of the Storm) and HotS (Hearth of the Stone) much, MUCH more than D3. D3 stuff is all cosmetic. Heroes stuff is something somebody may have already spent real money on, which is a little sketchy. Exclusive cards is a big, ugly can of worms. Early access to specific cards that can be crafted/randomly grabbed later by anyone isn't nearly as big of a deal, but still a little annoying. Blizz, unlike other companies, has been pretty good about making sure everyone has access to the same amount of game power, although their F2P stuff gates that behind pay/grind walls, which is pretty repugnant, but not irredeemably so.

    • I think Flux may have misunderstood something. Nobody gets cards early in Hearthstone, but you do get a new card back for playing HotS and getting to level 12 there (at least I think you still do). It's purely a cosmetic thing though, just like with D3.As for buying Diablo earlier in HotS, he's one of the cheapest heroes, so I don't think it's a big loss and I say that as someone who did buy him before this promotion. Sure, I'd have preferred to get another hero with the same price or his price in gold, but it's not a big deal. He isn't exactly doing well these days anyway, there are much better Warriors in the game, so getting him is almost like a cosmetic thing anyway. 🙂

  5. I'm actually liking the crossover between games more than I would expect. I'm not naturally drawn to games like HotS…but having Diablo characters is what lured me in to try it out. I actually qualified for the alpha test phase of HotS – I only played it for about a week but it was pretty decent at that point (it was already very polished from a presentation perspective). The character I played most was the DH Valla, which I got for free since I had the RoS CE. I had not touched HotS until this recent cross promotion with D3…tried out Diablo for the first time, and now I find myself more interested in the game. Granted, I'll be diving into Season 4 full bore next week, but I would not have gone back to HotS without this cross promotion.Another little touch I like with HotS is the humorous dialogue, especially between character of the same universe. I don't have any real frame of reference for Warcraft/StarCraft, but the Diablo quotes are very much appreciated. For instance, I recently had a Monk AI teammate (while I was playing the DH); before the match started, the Monk said "There are two of us here…have the minions of Hell grown stronger?," to which the DH replied "I hope not!"Lastly, while it's purely cosmetic and it's likely I won't actually purchase it, the Amazon skin for Nova is GORGEOUS! Love it! =^-^=

  6. I wasn't a fan of MoBA's personally either, but I like how HoTS is setup. No stupid item crafting and consumable nonsense just differing objectives and some badass Blizziverse heroes to play with. I haven't spent much money on it and quite honestly the 1-12 grind isn't tough at all. I'm not trying to play competitively like I'm not for D3. You can't compete at the top anymore because of damn career gamers that ruined all of that. I just like blowing heroes up in the quick match for some stress relief after work.

  7. While I'd like to have all the "Feats of Strength" stuff, I'm trying to be sensible. Since I love both Diablo and StarCraft I have all the Diablo/StarCraft collector's edition stuff in D3, but I'm only using the Hydralisk banner sigil (but I also like the pre-release class specific sigils), the D3 CE angelic wings for my female wizard and sometimes the Zerg wings for my female DH. I'm not a WarCraft fan, so I've never bought WoW CEs and skipped the last Blizzcon virtual tickets. As for HotS, I never really played MOBA (never tried LoL, didn't finish DOTA2 tutorial) so I gave it a try and it is quite fun and there is some strategic depth that I would like to explore. While I won't play HotS as much as I play D3/S2 I will certainly launch it every now and then. I don't think the requirement to reach level 12 is to much for anyone and its nice that they gave me two heroes (Diablo and the DH) for free just because I play D3. Getting the Seasonal cosmetic stuff in D3 is harder then getting the HotS frame.I just hope there will be no Hearthstone-D3 promos, because I didn't like it – I see no reason to play it when there is MTG.

    • sorry, this was just because I was because I can't vote because yesterday it always logged me out again and now when I vote nothing happens AND when I click on this topic from the main page = "Welcome back HardRock | Messages: 4,318 | Log out" …NOT happy (line break test)

  8. Welcome back Felis | Messages: 127 WTF is going on here?

    • That happens occasionally when the script gets backed up and it's a display issue due to caching.  You are not logged on as someone else, it's just a display bug.

  9. I see a few comments on not playing RTS games that I see very often around the web (yeah, what isn’t seen on the web? Five elephants and one cup?). I just want to chime in and say that Starcraft has a great single player campaign with the expected Blizzard designs. Tough but not easy gameplay, interesting stories with ups, downs, and a few oh nice moments, and an kinda offline mode!

    If anything, give Warcraft 3 a try =P

  10. Both Hearthstone and Heroes are free to play, so its worth trying them out. Personally I find both terribly simplistic for their respective genre, but they are fun for a quick game and a laugh.

    • "I find both terribly simplistic for their respective genre". This is basically ActiBlizzards M.O. nowadays. You can see this present in all of their titles: HS, HotS, WoW, D3, and no doubt Overwatch will be the same. Their top priority is hitting as wide a demographic as possible via Lowest Common Denominator content.  Starcraft 2 is the last of their titles with any semblance of gaming depth, and that's only because of the massive force that is Asian e-sports and the history of Starcraft 1.

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