Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Disney-fied….Blizzardized

You know that term when something has been Disney-fied? It’s a combination of dumbing down the complexity of something as well as making it family friendly. My best example is The Little Mermaid with the cute little Ariel and her happy ending with the prince and her plucky singing companions. The real story by Hans Christian Andersson is often disputed but the gist of the story is extremely tragic and sad.

 

However, in its Disney-fied form, the Little Mermaid became a house hold name and almost every family with kids has it tucked away on the movie shelf.

 

I was thinking about it and I feel like Blizzard has the same concept down for the game industry. They know the right combination of simplifying and structuring a game so that it can become household.

 

The very first time I was told about WoW, the exact wording was “I think you’ll actually like this MMO. It’s a friendlier and easier version of Final Fantasy. You’ll level like a 100 times faster.” And then when you compare the raiding experience of those who played EQ vs WoW, you’ll also see how they were able to simplify down the complexity of group play to make things so much easier.

(Very Old EQ Raiding footage)

 

And since it’s initial release, we’ve seen even further Blizzardizing of our game. Like I’ve said before, I no longer QQ this anymore. I think it’s great for turning WoW into one of the first fully functional social network/MMOs. I can’t wait to see it’s full evolution.

 

My theory about Blizzardizing are all focused on the new IP they have yet to announce. The new MMO boasts to be nothing like WoW and they say they are NOT afraid of it eating away a load of the WoW subscribers either. Of course, if you’re blizzard and sh1t more money when you bend over than most countries make in a decade, there is little reason to fear anything. (http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2009/08/blizzard-co-interview/)

 

I have high hopes that the new IP will be a Blizzardized version of EVE online and the Star Wars MMO. If anyone can harness the epic complexity of fleets, galaxies, and empires, it’s gotta be Blizzard. That’s my prediction anyhow. And if Blizz can nab the Sci-Fi MMO genre, it will have globally take over the fantasy world.

 

Right now, EVE owns the sci-fi MMO genre and it’s epic nature and quality of real world over flow in terms of economics and politics makes it an extremely fascinating game. Just read here about how in-game economics reflects real world banking fraud (http://kotaku.com/5348223/bank-deficit-freezes-eve-accounts). The lifestyle and culture of this game play into full emersion of global empires and the real intricate and dynamic play for power among corporations. Just reading a few years ago about the underhanded, backstabbing infiltrations and heists that can happen and are designed so they CAN happen gave me chills (http://eve.klaki.net/heist/).

 

(Eve Online: Apocrypha Trailer)

 

However, it is also the complexity of this game play can be very overwhelming for virgin gamers. And no matter how much I love the sci-fi genre (one of the reasons I loved Outlands as much as I did) I just can’t wrap my head into existing as a ship. I also find getting lost as a tiny dot in a massive empire to be unappealing.

 

I have no doubt that if Blizzard’s IP draws from EvE or any other massive Sci-Fi game, they’ll be able to bring its usual appeal of autonomy of individual play and game simplification while still capturing the fascinating draw of the sci-fi world.

4 comments:

nofax1 said...

Try as I did to play Eve, it was far too complex for me to enjoy. If I had friend who knew the ropes helping me along it may have been a different experience but I had no idea what I was doing.

Alachia said...

Aye nofax1, I felt the same way. It's very real world in the fact that it's better to get into it with a friend who knows the ropes. It's a shame that it's so complicated because it would be a great diversion for WoW breaks otherwise.

Hence, I'm hoping for the new IP to draw heavily from the lure of the EVE and Blizzardize the hell out of it so I can play it. hehehe.

Strumpet said...

I've never tried Eve ...

I'm sure we'll have tons of speculation for the next couple of years ... I cannot help but think, though, that it will split the player base. You cannot possibly commit this much time to two games and still hold down a decently paying job.

harbyherbman said...
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