Ex-Blizzard boss Mike Morhaime has been speaking about the studio to Eurogamer, and their infamous rate of cancelled titles – an astonishing 50% of titles that the company works on.
This means that some games that have been worked on for months are canned, while the other 50% presumably go onto sell millions like World Of Warcraft, Diablo and Overwatch.
“There’s a saying that ‘perfect is the enemy of great’ because if you strive for perfection you’ll never ship. But I do think that there’s so much competition out there,” Morhaime explained.
Having retired from the company to spend more time with his family, he was able to candidly discuss the cancelled project known as Titan – the bones of which went on to become little-known multiplayer shooter Overwatch.
“It was very ambitious. It was a brand new universe, and it was going to be the next-generation MMO that did all sorts of different things, it had different modes. We were sort of building two games in parallel, and it really struggled to come together.”
Speaking about the company’s action-RPG franchise Diablo, Morhaime discussed the troubled launch of Diablo 3 and its poorly conceived auction house. After trading items became so prevalent in the second game, Blizzard looked to regulate this, unsuccessfully.
“People are going to do this anyway – why don’t we provide them a safe and secure way to trade items?” Morhaime said. “But the problem was that we didn’t design the loot model with that in mind. We designed it without an auction house initially, and when you have an auction house in a game that’s dropping tonnes and tons of loot, it’s way cheaper and easier to get second-hand items from the auction house.”
Of course, Diablo was big news again in late last year when Blizzard announced the mobile title Diablo Immortal – much to the chagrin of the series’ rabid fanbase.
“Blizzard tried to manage expectations that they weren’t going to announce Diablo 4 at Blizzcon, but I’m not sure that got through,” Morhaime stated. He’s right, too – attendees at Blizzcon were expecting a big announcement but were mortified to hear that the game was being released exclusively on mobile.
That reveal has fans feeling a little more concerned about the franchise’s future, and many have taken to Blizzard’s forums to discuss. A post from a user known as Gimpzor touches upon an apparent leak that Diablo 4 will be in first-person perspective, built within Overwatch’s engine.
“However, then I got to thinking. Would it really be that hard to believe that actiblizzard could be that out of touch? I mean come on, they actually thought a Diablo mobile game was something we wanted. From that point on, I won’t put anything past actiblizzard.” he added, suggesting that Activision Blizzard may have lost a lot of trust from the fanbase.
The thread is full of users calling for more content in the franchise and general resentment of Diablo Immortal in general.
Our favourite comment, however, comes from a user called Kiadaw who suggests “there is a higher chance I will be engaged to Tylor [sic] Swift than D4 being an FPS”. Don’t put yourself down, mate.
Activision Blizzard has a long way to go to get fans back onside with the Diablo franchise, but in the meantime, you could do a lot worse than revisiting Diablo 3 on the Nintendo Switch.
We’re heading back to slay some demons right now.
- Activision Blizzard
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