Blizzard’s President Slams Gamers’ Lack of Patience
In a recent interview, Blizzard’s president, Mike Ybarra, spoke at length about the firm’s future under new management – Microsoft, to be precise. It was an insightful glimpse behind the executive curtain, with Ybarra stressing that even he was in the dark about how it would work going forward.
He also took the time to address the state of gaming at large, picking on the ever-evolving gaming community and blasting them for their lack of patience, particularly where live service games are concerned.
‘Literally Almost Every Single Day’
In the interview with The Verge, Mike Ybarra spoke about the nature of live service games and how they’re facilitating a paradigm shift in the industry. It’s a way of delivering games that’s seeing players call out for more content all the time, and it’s getting tougher for developers to answer that demand.
Players have no patience. They want new stuff every day, every hour. We’re trying to react that way while holding the Blizzard quality bar high.
With ‘live service’ games, the focus is on delivering content incrementally. Over time, updates will be rolled out to inject fresh content into a game, whether that be skins, maps, modes, or events. It’s how Fortnite and Call of Duty Warzone work, for example. It’s also how Diablo IV works, which is one of Blizzard’s biggest, brightest new titles.
Ybarra spoke about trying to create a balance between satiating the players and creating valuable content.
We know players want new content literally almost every single day. At the same time, it takes large teams to be able to deliver that. So you have to monetize it in the right ways. At the same time, I always tell the teams, ‘When someone spends one dollar or a penny with Blizzard, I want them to feel good after they do that. How do we get to a world where we know that’s always going to be the basis of what we’re doing?’
In this increasingly digital age, people want things as fast as possible, as often as possible. We’re getting bored with content drops days after they’re released, and then we move on to the next live service game and soak up whatever that has to offer. It’s a particular issue in the battle royale scene, with players jumping from Apex to Fortnite to PUBG to Warzone, all with the desire to experience new things all the time.