Blizzard Entertainment executives have taken turns making statements about possible future developments of the company. SVP and co-founder Frank Pearce stated that Blizzard already has titles and franchises that are suitable for mobile gaming, such as Overwatch and StarCraft. However, he added that the concept might need reinventing for that platform as campaigns developed for PC are, of course, too long for mobile.
Meanwhile, SVP Chris Metzen eliminated the possibility of VR products by explaining that they are interested and following the developments, but have no immediate plans to use this trend to their advantage as the VR experience might not serve best their community building needs. Finally, president and co-founder Mike Morhaime summed up the situation quite well:
“I feel like there’s still a big opportunity in mobile beyond just casual games, I’m not sure we’ve figured out what that is yet.”
Blizzard has already “gone mobile” with Hearthstone, which is doing very well according to data. The official information revealed by the Blizzard Q4 financial report detailed that Hearthstone surpassed 40 million registered players even before the launch of the new expansion, and it keeps hitting all-time franchise highs with every quarter analyzed. Although it is difficult to imagine Overwatch and Starcraft ported to mobile platforms precisely because of their complexity, we refer to the executives’ statements that they are still “figuring it out”.
Another consideration is that Blizzard wants to deliver fast and enjoyable content to their players without requiring more and more manpower every time. Mobile games would enable smaller teams to bring high quality products to their audience faster and more often, according to the executives, as opposed to the desktop franchises where players have to wait for a long time before getting new content, which in turn is “finished” much faster compared to the time of delivery of the next new content.
Mobile gaming is on the rise and clearly a trend that a lot of companies would like to join. If acquiring King Digital was not enough of a hint, now we have quite straightforward statements of the company’s leaders making it clear that Blizzard is considering a future in mobile. It would be great to have more titles and genres transformed into Blizzard mobile games, enabling us to play something related to our favorite franchises on-the-go. What, though, and in what form, remains to be seen.
We are also quite surprised that Heroes of the Storm was not mentioned as a possible idea for the mobile platform, since the MOBA genre has already been used pretty heavily for the mobile market. Though the controls can be clunky, we are sure Blizzard can deliver a great mobile experience. We will be definitely keeping an eye on this one and report it back to you! Meanwhile, this sad DK is still waiting for her mobile garrison management tool and various Armory app fixes…
Source: VentureBeatRelated: Blizzard Entertainment, Industry, Mobile, News, Virtual Reality