Blizzard believes mobile is the future, VR taking the back seat

by: Edgar CervantesFebruary 13, 2016
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Blizzard

Blizzard may not release titles very often, but they are known for launching game-changers… literally. Franchises like Starcraft and Warcraft dominated the strategy game market, only to then release World of Warcraft and take over the MMORPG industry. What’s next?

Well, we know the smartphone boom has brought upon us a whole new way of looking at technology, which does include gaming. This is not only an activity you indulge in for hours. You can do it on your way to work, while drinking coffee or maybe even hitching a ride on the bus for a couple stops.

Blizzard loving mobile

Where does Blizzard fit into all of this? Their popular game Hearthstone has become one of the top grossing titles in the industry, and it makes them about $20 million a month, according to research firm SuperData.

Blizzard knows the importance of mobile gaming and the need to adapt to this evolving market. In an interview with Venture Beat, president and co-founder Michael Morhaime, senior vice president and co-founder Frank Pearce and senior vice president Chris Metzen talked about the future of Blizzard, and it is looking very pocketable.

starcraft-2

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The only issue is that most other games are not exactly designed to be viewed in the smaller screen… nor are they casual. The company is bound to run into some issues, and needs to adapt its strategy to fit today’s gaming needs.

“If we were going to continue to evaluate experiences in real-time strategy, I think we’d have to figure out what that means to the current player space. [StarCraft II expansion] Legacy of the Void is great. [But] I don’t think that people want to sit down and play 45 minute missions any more. I think that space might need some reinventing.”

“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.”

What will we see coming from Blizzard, aside from their Hearthstone series? We will have to wait and see. But it seems we won’t be seeing anything in the VR department… at least not for a while.

A bit about VR

You may have noticed we are pretty excited about VR here at Android Authority. It’s one of those things you have to experience to really understand. It not only seems like the next step in gaming, it looks, sounds and feels like it. Just imagine looking at World of Warcraft through a VR headset!

World-of-Warcraft

The guys at Blizzard can envision this, and seem to like the idea, but so far they have no plans to invest on such venture. This is sad news, but at least they are keeping their minds open to the idea.

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“Everybody’s talking about VR and wearing funny helmets. Culturally, we’re interested, and we’re watching. How rad would it be to run around in World of Warcraft and see it 1-to-1? That does appear to be the next horizon. But we’re kind of watching. It’s possible that other companies will take more tentative steps and plant their flags. I don’t think we’re quite ready to conquer all that yet.”

HTC-Vive-1

Wrapping up

The information is still a bit general and the company still needs to do some planning, but at the very least we get an idea of where they aim to go.

What kind of games would you like to see coming from Blizzard? Are you down for 45-minute missions? Are you itching for some more complex titles, or do you prefer them going the casual route? Maybe a balance? Hit the comments and let us know!

  • Roberto Tomás

    I think, if they were willing to invest in creating mobile-first game engine, they could clean up. In terms of hardware, premium phones from last year can now easily handle graphics of the complexity you see in WoW (let alone HOTS). Phones with the snapdragon 820 in them could run HOTS without even optimizing the software .. the gpu is that strong.

    But in general, they need to regear their software for mobile gpus. And I hope they do that. I like the company… even though they are french. ;)

  • scottdouglasjohnson

    All of these have too many permissions. No way a weather app needs to read the files on my phone or external card. I was using weather underground but now I just use my browser and check out their website. It’s a shame because the app is so great.

    • Android Developer

      article is about Blizzard the company… Not blizzard that’s weather-related…

      • scottdouglasjohnson

        Well I was reading a review from android authority about weather apps. Weird.

        • Android Developer

          i don’t know how it works for you, but when i scroll here, i see the next article, which is weird.

  • Fam Holter

    I think a good place to start would be to re-work their WoW armory app, give it some more features. Let you manage your garrison, or in the case of Legion, go to your class hall, manage your artifact weapon. Make general/trade chat available on it, as well as whispering to your friends. It would certainly benefit from a bit of an expansion, and it would let players take WoW with them, and deal with the little things om the go. Maybe even the Group Finder. It can take ages to get a group together for RBG’s and the likes, so if you can start while you’re on your way home, or even just sitting on your couch, that would be awesome. As well as creating new mobile games, I think expanding the universes they’ve already created to the mobile platform would be appreciates by many. I know I would use it, a lot.

  • Dusan

    Blizzard used to be good. Now they are just an average company. Their games are not gamebreaking anymore.
    WoW was very popular, still is, but it’s in heavy decline and they are just milking the players. Hearthstone is just a card game with WoW characters. I wonder how many non WoW fanboys are playing it.
    Diablo 3 is an epic failure, even now, years after it was released.
    Starcraft 2… I didn’t even hear about the latest expansion release.
    Blizzard games are made for all ages, for all computers. They are dirty rich because of that. But you can’t say that their games are driving the industry forward. Not anymore.
    Yes, I own all their games.

  • poonjhi

    PORT DIABLO 2 TO ANDROID. Put it out for 20 dollars, and watch the money fly in .

    • Uncle_Milt

      I’d buy that for a dollar…

  • Diskus1

    Quite easy: Make a Starcraft or Warcraft version of Clash Of Clans. Supercell has nailed the casual with MMO.

  • Joker74

    starcraft or similar and a buy once scheme maybe only odd payments, id play

  • Roger

    Blizzard’s stance on this reminds me of Microsoft being late to the Internet game. They’ve become so big and successful, they can’t see the opportunity in front of their face. They really want to focus on mobile and compete w/ trash like Candy Crush? Or be an industry leader in VR?… smh