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An Admiration for Quality

In all honesty, the question of: “Who do you most admire in this field,” is an unfair one in the industry I am pursuing a career in. Games are a team effort, rather than an individual endeavor, and to choose one member of a full team is to ignore the hard work and contributions of others. That is why I choose to admire Blizzard Entertainment, as a whole, rather than selecting a specific member of their team. From the art-style to the design, the game engines they work with and the quality they put into their projects is unlike any other. It’s no question as to why Blizzard games always sell at unprecedented rates. Millions of copies within days is a situation any company would love to be in. The question remains, however, “why do you admire them?”

Blizzard always puts quality first in their games, it is the primary focus of each and every one of their titles. Fans of Blizzard games know of their habit to push back release dates and it’s with good reason they do. Some games have even been cancelled as people may recall the Starcraft: Ghost title that would have served as Blizzard’s ‘introduction’ into the console market. However, when questioned “Why does Blizzard succeed where others don’t?” we are told: “It isn’t a magic trick. We work at it, and if a product isn’t good enough, we cancel it.” (Vella, 2008). Anything that would sacrifice the quality of the game, Blizzard works towards remedying or fixing so that players have a better experience with their games. The lore that accompanies each title has been changed on occasion as well if it interfered with the quality, a true dedication to preserving the quality of their games.

The art-style of Blizzard’s titles is defined in a unique way that attracts players of all age groups. One of the reasons games of the Warcraft universe have done so well is because of the art-style being so friendly and approachable. Other games tend to strive for realism, trying to mimic the real world as close as they can so players feel immersed in a world they could relate to reality. However, there is a draw towards the ‘eye-candy’ of Warcraft, “World of Warcraft has an artistic style that’s colorful and bold,” (Tolkoff, 2010, p. 4).  The art is gentle and playful, sometimes darker, but mostly cartoon-ish in the sense of exaggerated shapes and forms. This style continues somewhat with Starcraft and Diablo, both of which take a stronger stance with realism compared to fantasy. I feel that the success of Starcraft and Diablo, as well as Warcraft, resides up another factor however.

Without many players noticing, Blizzard has managed to place a voice within each of their games. This voice gives each game a character, the stories and game mechanics within each contributing to that game’s overall personality. That personality that Blizzard puts into each title is what players fall in love with, the harmony of art, sound, and programming that Blizzard has managed to distill into a single game. Players expect great things from Blizzard time and time again with each release and they never cease to deliver on the promise that the quality will be truly epic. This is why I admire Blizzard Entertainment, because of their dedication into forging great games. This harmony, the flow they have in each game, I hope to have in my own games in the future so that my players, like Blizzard’s, will come to know and love each title I create.  

References

Vella, M. (2008). Inside the World of Blizzard. Retrieved from Business Source Complete,

Full Sail University Online Research.

Tolkoff, S. (2010). Art of Blizzard. Retrieved from Regional Business News,

Full Sail University Online Research.