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Play Nice: The Rise, Fall, and Future of Blizzard Entertainment (Jason Schreier; 10/8/24)

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Play Nice: The Rise, Fall, and Future of Blizzard Entertainment (Jason Schreier; 10/8/24)

Old 02-05-24, 11:00 AM
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Play Nice: The Rise, Fall, and Future of Blizzard Entertainment (Jason Schreier; 10/8/24)

Jason Schreier announced his next book, aiming the spotlight squarely on Blizzard, constructed from around 300 interviews:



For video game fans, the name Blizzard Entertainment was once synonymous with perfection. The renowned company celebrated the joy of gaming over all else, and every product it released was an instant classic: StarCraft, Diablo, Overwatch, Hearthstone, and World of Warcraft, which forever changed the video game landscape. What was once two UCLA students' simple mission — to make games they wanted to play — launched an empire with thousands of employees, millions of fans, and billions of dollars.

But when Blizzard cancelled a buzzy project in 2013, it gave Bobby Kotick, the infamous CEO of corporate parent Activision, the excuse he needed to start cracking down on Blizzard's proud autonomy. Led by executives from McKinsey and Procter & Gamble, Activision began invading Blizzard from the inside, driving away throngs of key employees in a push for predictability over creativity. Glitchy products, PR disasters, and mass layoffs followed, marring the company's once pristine image. In 2021, the state of California filed a staggering lawsuit against the company for sexual misconduct and discrimination, leading to a widespread reckoning and a $69 billion acquisition that sent shockwaves through the industry.

Based on firsthand interviews with more than 300 current and former employees, PLAY NICE chronicles the creativity, frustration, beauty, and betrayal across the epic 33-year saga of Blizzard Entertainment — and explores the delight and despair of what it really means to "bleed Blizzard blue." Full of colorful personalities and dramatic twists, PLAY NICE is The Social Network for the video game industry.
From an interview with Forbes:

If you could pinpoint it, what are the main contributing factors to the relative downfall of Blizzard after launching GOTY contender Overwatch in 2016? What has the relationship been between the Activision side of things and Blizzard the past few years especially?

This is hard to answer in a few sentences (which is why I wrote a book about it), but I'll give you the short version. Activision merged with Vivendi Games to form Activision Blizzard in 2008. Bobby Kotick became CEO of Activision Blizzard while Morhaime became CEO of Blizzard, reporting to Kotick. In 2013, a confluence of factors led Kotick and his lieutenants to begin exerting more influence on Blizzard that only grew more intense over time. It's a story about a company that prioritized predictability trying to work with a company that prioritized creativity, and the messiness that ensued as a result.

The book answers a lot of the questions that people have about Blizzard's history, from the early days through the modern era. How did Blizzard transform from the dream of two UCLA students into a genuine video game empire? What happened to the company when World of Warcraft took off? Why did Morhaime leave? Why did Kotick want to mess with a company that seemed to be doing so well? What are the real stories behind games like Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone, and Overwatch 2? How many of Blizzard's problems were caused by Activision and how many were self-inflicted? What was Blizzard's culture like in the 1990s, and how did that evolve as the company grew bigger and more professional? And so on and so on.
Old 02-05-24, 11:06 AM
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Re: Play Nice: The Rise, Fall, and Future of Blizzard Entertainment (Jason Schreier; 10/8/24)

Yeah Blizzard was bought out several times but never by a games-focused company so they were kind of left to their own devices. It was the merger then Kotick that really changed the studio and caused an exodus. Before that they were kind of releasing things when they wanted to, without much in the way of stockholder pressure. Sounds like a cool book for sure.
Old 02-06-24, 06:48 PM
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Re: Play Nice: The Rise, Fall, and Future of Blizzard Entertainment (Jason Schreier; 10/8/24)

Well...the fact the current new Blizzard President came from Activision and not within speaks a lot...as to Good or Bad many say it's too early to tell but she has came out and claimed to be a "Big Fan" of this and that Blizzard soooo....

But right now, the thing to watch is the event next week by MS laying out their so-called...Business Vision....because all sorts of rumors are flying around and most certainly affect Activision/Blizzard as well as Bethesda. What their....Business Vision...can be is anyone's guess but considering how things have been since October 2022 when there was 1000 Layoffs in the Gaming Division and recently 1900 Layoffs that did hit Activision/Blizzard...maybe, just maybe some upper management have woken up and seen the light and say what has been going on is not working. Frankly I think those up there haven't a clue or give a rats's behind about this and that game...they only see $$$$$ Numbers...this is no-where near the same bunch or same vision when XBox and XBox 360 came out.....
Old 02-06-24, 07:14 PM
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Re: Play Nice: The Rise, Fall, and Future of Blizzard Entertainment (Jason Schreier; 10/8/24)

Originally Posted by K&AJones
But right now, the thing to watch is the event next week by MS laying out their so-called...Business Vision....
This is not the thread for that.
Old 02-06-24, 07:25 PM
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Re: Play Nice: The Rise, Fall, and Future of Blizzard Entertainment (Jason Schreier; 10/8/24)

Originally Posted by Adam Tyner
This is not the thread for that.
This isn't the forum for that...

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