Activision Blizzard’s Acquisition by Microsoft Could Be Good News for Warcraft Fans
Developer David Fried talked about what Microsoft’s acquisition of CEO Bobby Kotick’s Activision means for the future of the long-awaited Warcraft 4 game during a recent livestream with gaming fans. So why should you care what he has to say? Fried began his career at Blizzard as a quality assurance analyst for Diablo 2 and Warcraft 2. He went on to act as the lead campaign designer on Warcraft 3. Before leaving Blizzard, he worked on World of Warcraft, which means he is wise about the world of Warcraft.
The game designer believes once the deal with Microsoft is finalized, the iconic Blizzard franchise might get more attention from the studio. “I think Warcraft 4 now becomes a distinct possibility because there are people still at Blizzard who are foundational to [the game] — chief among them is [senior art director] Samwise Didier. I am 90% sure [he] would love to do a Warcraft 4,” explained Fried. “And now, they may get the chance to lead that.”
Microsoft Could Give Activision Blizzard Games New Life
During the Q&A session, Fried admitted he’d be willing to return to Blizzard to work on Warcraft 4 if Didier asked and speculated about how amazing it would be if Chris Metzen, one of the original Warcraft developers, would do the same. Fried also feels once Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is finalized, other classic video games franchises, including StarCraft and Diablo, will get fresh updates. He said the Microsoft deal is the “best possible thing” that could happen to Activision Blizzard and is hopeful it will breathe new life into stalled and abandoned projects.
World of Warcraft’s Successful History
Activision Blizzard’s World of Warcraft has been enthralling gamers for 27 years. It has evolved and attracted millions of gamers to the massively multiplayer online universe. Since the saga began with Warcraft: Orcs & Humans in 1994, the game has helped influence the MMO gaming industry.
The fantasy saga is packed with humanoids, demons, orcs, giants, and elves who call the land of Azeroth home. Networking and gathering groups to work together during raids is a massive hit with gamers. “Early on in the development of Warcraft III, we knew the game would be about heroes leading their armies into battle,” explains Greg Street, a game designer for Blizzard Activision’s Warcraft games. It has also spawned books, comics, and even a major motion picture — 2016’s World of Warcraft.
The Importance of Listening to What Gamers Have to Say About Warcraft
The Activision Blizzard company is committed to improving Warcraft and all of the games to ensure electronic entertainment is inclusive for all players. “We just set up a process internally for folks across the team, as well as sourcing some feedback from the community as a whole, to flag pieces of the game for review, whether it’s old quests or specific lines,” says Ion Hazzikostas, the World of Warcraft: Shadowlands director. “In the grand scheme of things, these are small changes. Many would probably go unnoticed if not for that spotlight being shone on them. But they are things that were important to the team, and we’ve heard from many in our community that they’re important to them.”
Activision CEO Bobby Kotick says, “You are not going to always get your players telling you what they want you to make, but they definitely will tell you what they do not want, once they experience something they don’t [like]. And I think one of the things that we’ve tried to do the best we can is to make sure to listen to our players. And the beauty of a medium like gaming is that because people invest so much in the game, they are very willing to express their enthusiasm, their frustration.”