....and what is your question?
Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction
....and what is your question?
I think this thread should be merged with the complaints thread.
@ivane: uh no.. ASML is the world leader in chip-machine design; they have a lot of "shareholders". But that doesn't stop them for constantly designing newer chips, and spending billions on research, where around 50% of the research is simply void.
Also: blizzard has always been a large company - always had shareholders, how than that only in the last few years they stopped with innovation? The only reason can be that the new top management teams don't create a working climate where innovation is easily spread.
In the end the directors and managers are responsible for this: if shareholders become to much of an influence you just need a strong director to keep them at bay. So that actually the employees can just work.
Yeah, firms in the semiconductor industry have basically no financial analogues to firms in the entertainment industry.
There is no probabilistic R&D component for game development - nearly everything gets pushed to product, and as a result, everything gets pushed to a product that evolves to maximize revenue, because incremental revenue improvements are the only way to achieve constant growth. ASML, and other semiconductor, pharmaceutical, general tech, and other firms that function in a probabilistic windfall environment have to invest in R&D because it's the only way to get an edge on competitors - the industry is full of Schumpeterian creative destruction that occurs via scientific breakthrough rather consumer choice, because their products are not aimed at end users making that choice (and hence their customers are more informed than end users, which means that the need for genuine, over perceived, quality is higher).
Blizzard has not always been a large company. Blizzard before and after the release of WoW is like the U.S. before and after the Louisiana Purchase. Note that Blizzard wasn't even purchased by Vivendi (so it wasn't even part of a very large company) until 1998, meaning that its first releases came out prior to being part of any sort of massive conglomerate. Between 1998 and 2008 (the merger of Vivendi with Activision), Blizzard was one of a stable of developers under Vivendi Games, which included Sierra. Note that Sierra had something like 10 times the employees of Blizzard at this period, so assuming Vivendi's games division even really mattered for its finances back then, Blizzard was probably less than a majority of Vivendi Games' value at that point anyway. Anyway, the point of this is that, as you surely know, Blizzard's revenues, profits, and employees exploded given the release of WoW, at which point Blizzard became a huge entity in the gaming world, and began to broaden its base. Diablo 1/2 and Starcraft were immensely popular with their players but were still relatively niche games among gamers in general, partly because of their poor console availability and partly because, in Starcraft's case, the RTS genre has always been a redheaded stepchild of gaming genres due to high barriers to entry. So no, Blizzard has not always had shareholders, as its performance was generally irrelevant (or not as highly scrutinized) to the holding company owning it until after WoW released, and the subsequent and resulting merger of Activision and Vivendi, when Blizzard became a prime piece of the newly-formed holding company.
The criticism that we are not innovating, innovation is usually the word, I don't know of a Blizzard game that did not get that criticism. StarCraft II got it, Diablo II got it, when it came out people railed against it as being non-innovative and ugly. I remember that was a really... World of Warcraft... almost everyone of our games people say they're not innovative, and I feel the reason why is because they're looking for innovation to be in a big uppercut-punch-super feature. They're looking for some thing, one thing, that says to them, this is the next greatest thing ever. And, you know, we just think that that's the way to make games, like We think innovation comes in perfect execution. Like, we have a saying around the office; would you... if you had a choice between playing a perfectly innovative game, or a perfectly executed game, which would you do? And the answer for us is always perfectly executed, because an innovative game that is poorly executed is not a good game. But a game that is executed very, very well is always a great game. jay "Titan" wilson
I believe his question is: "Where's the beef"?
The answer is to me far more reaching than just blaming Jay Wison. I love the game, I actually missed my first day since launch yesterday because I couldn't play thanks to ****ty hotel wifi. There are many great aspects of the game, but it's missing the second hamburger patty that a double should have. I think things will be added in through time, and with an expansion, we will have a triple burger with cheese and bacon, and everything else. I really hope in time I will not just be eating my own words!
Well I for one did not think of diablo 2 as a reallyinnovative game. However it was still in that time much ahead of the rest - unlike diablo 3. That still means correct USE of innovation. Take a look at warcraft 3 for example: blizzard did a large gamble there with adding some "rpg-like" elements to the RTS table with heroes.. That is kind of innovation you should expect from a large game design thing. Adding new effects.
Also take a look a the "portal" game: they really made amazing use of a new innovation at that time regarding 3d rendering. Or take a look at the legendary DOOM title. Really innovation is not alien to large companies and I still don't buy it why a game shouldn't have it? Games that were innovative are STILL remembered these days: and they make or break a company.
Gaming is actually one of the more innovative regions: game design was one of the first things that actually made good use of non-shared memory in graphic cards. And really the moment shareholders stop innovation any director worth his mouth should just call those back & tell them once again that the shareholders don't run the company: the employees run it.