The "games as service" concept isn't new, but 2017 is the year that it has really taken hold. Instead of jumping straight from sequel to sequel, developers across the industry seem to have shifted more to creating updates for their games and extending the time you spend with each title to its absolute maximum. And few companies take advantage of that system better than Blizzard. Famously, Blizzard doesn't move on to sequels quickly. Diablo III launched five years ago. Starcraft II started ten years ago. And World of Warcraft began back in 2004. But while the online modes for Blizzard's big franchises get constant updates, and there's a new expansion for the other games almost every year, why have we yet to see games like Diablo 4 or World of Warcraft 2? At Blizzcon 2017, I was able to talk to representatives from almost every Blizzard game about sequels. For some games, a follow-up obviously doesn't make sense. An Overwatch 2 or a Hearthstone 2 would run contrary to experiences those … [Read more...] about Why Haven’t We Seen Sequels To Blizzard’s Biggest Games?
There's been much anticipation for the first season of Blizzard Entertainment's Overwatch League. As its first effort at organizing a global competition, the developers behind the popular hero shooter are looking to take things to the next level by thrusting the game into the broader realm of esports. With 12 teams scattered across the world, each with their own unique management and sponsorships, Overwatch League blends together many ideas and practices that are commonplace in traditional sports, but within the esport arena.Ahead of the kick-off for the first season of Overwatch League, lead producer Jeff Kaplan (who also serves as Overwatch's game director) and league commissioner Nate Nanzer spoke about their somewhat disruptive approach to traditional esports. During our talk, they discussed the importance that community and transparency have in their league and what their hopes are for this season and beyond. While Blizzard Entertainment has deep ties within esports thanks to … [Read more...] about Blizzard Wants Overwatch League To Revolutionize Esports
By James Billcliffe, Tuesday, 9 January 2018 10:12 GMT Blizzard has launched an official Overwatch League app which keeps track of the latest scores and standings, as well as live streaming and storing VODs of esports events.App Store and Google Play store respectively. The Overwatch League starts tomorrow January 10, 2018, and is shaping up to be one of the most ambitious esports championships out there. Every player gets a $50,000 salary as a minimum, with $3.5 million in bonuses up for grabs. Teams from cities around the US, as well as London, Seoul and Shanghai will compete over the next six months to qualify for postseason playoffs , before an overall champion is crowned in July. A celebratory “All-Star Weekend” will then take place in August, with fan-favourite players taking part in “unexpected challenges”. When the preseason event aired in December, we thought that the Overwatch League had the potential to challenge any of the top broadcasts, … [Read more...] about Blizzard launches companion app for $3.5 million Overwatch League that starts tomorrow
An impressive fan-made Overwatch map has sufficiently dazzled Blizzard's Jeff Kaplan enough to elicit a "we'll be in touch soon". The Cairo-themed Payload map features an intricately designed hub of buildings and pathways, blending classic Egyptian-inspired architecture and futuristic flourishes, surrounded by a hi-tech cityscape constructed from thematically appropriate obelisk shapes. Not only is it beautiful, and rich in detail, it perfectly captures Overwatch's distinctive art-style. The fan-built Cairo map, which you can see in the gorgeous, expertly produced flyover video above, is made even more impressive when you consider that it was created entirely by one person - fine arts student and 3D artist Joshua Llorente. It was built using Unreal Engine 4 and Maya over the course of two months, and is one of several maps designed by Llorente, with others - also viewable on his portfolio page - themed around Shangri-La and a Nepal village, all aping that familiar Overwatch style. … [Read more...] about Impressive fan-made Overwatch map gets the Blizzard nod of approval
OGN, an illustrious tournament organizer and broadcasting corporation from South Korea, has decided to part ways with Overwatch for an indefinite period. This means that Overwatch Apex, the largest and most prestigious tournament circuit in the world, will also be discontinuing because OGN is washing its hands off the game completely. “First of all, we apologize to the fans who have supported Overwatch Apex for not being able to continue our journey,” OGN told Inven Global in a statement. “It was a competition that OGN had actively invested in so that Overwatch could be settled in the esports scene. We did our best to make Overwatch Apex successful, and we also put in a lot of effort so that Overwatch may become a good esports event.” Blizzard is said to have refused to work with OGN for Overwatch Contenders in South Korea, instead offering the license to a rival broadcast partner in the region. The veteran … [Read more...] about OGN Parts Ways With Overwatch After Blizzard Brings In Rival Broadcast Partner