Team worldofwarcraft.de: Hi Bill, a few days ago Blizzard announced Starcraft: Ghost in Tokyo. We can read in the official FAQ that the game will be a console game only and will not be developed for PC. You have such a big community all over the world that seems to be very disappointed now. Everybody expected a StarCraft Game for PC also. What are the reasons for the company”s decision to develop the game for console only?
Bill Roper: We are extremely excited to be returning to console development, because this is really where Blizzard has its roots. We first garnered critical attention for our SNES titles such as The Lost Vikings, Rock N’ Roll Racing, and Blackthorne when we were making games under the Silicon Synapse moniker. We have worked long and hard to come up with a plan to develop games for the next-generation console systems without impacting our PC development, and we feel we have achieved this through a joint-development agreement with Nihilistic. The most important message I think this sends to the fans of our PC games is that we found a way to make more games — not replace PC games with console games. Adding StarCraft: Ghost to our company”s development plans does not prohibit us from making as many games for the PC as we had planned and certainly would never replace our interests or desires to make another StarCraft game for the PC.
Team WoW: Will Starcraft: Ghost be developed for the next generation of consoles? Will it support online console playing like X-Box Live?
Blizzard: We are currently developing StarCraft: Ghost for the PS2, Game Cube, and X-Box, as we want to introduce as many console gamers as possible to the StarCraft universe. While we will support multiplay, we have not made a decision in regards to what types of games we will support or as to whether it will be over the Internet. We want to not only give the team enough time to find what type of multiplayer experience is the most satisfying and fun, we also want to give the console market time to decide whether or not online gaming is something they find satisfying and fun — and on what systems. We have enjoyed building an online community on the PC through Battle.net and we want to approach our plans in this area for the console with a great deal of thought and research so that we can give our players the best experience possible.
Team WoW: What are the key points that you are focusing on to put the player in the world of Starcraft, where he could feel at “home”? How will you try to establish a real starcraft atmosphere within the game?
Blizzard: The atmosphere of the StarCraft universe is what led us to create a tactical-action game for the console with the license. We are putting every identifiable element that we can into Ghost — including units and their unique abilities, specific locations, battle tactics, game-play mechanics, a strong sense of humor, and even the same voice actors to add new depth to their familiar faces. We want players of the strategy games to immediately feel at home in this game while immersing people who have never played StarCraft in its rich and detailed universe.
Team WoW: How are Blizzard teams divided at the moment? Who is working on Ghost and who on World of Warcraft? And…does Blizzard North still exist? :-).
Blizzard: StarCraft: Ghost is a joint development effort between Blizzard and Nihilistic and is being run out of Irvine. The World of Warcraft and Warcraft III teams are also located in the southern California offices with members separate from each other, as well as Ghost. Blizzard North does still exist and are hard at work on learning the 3D ropes just like the southern Blizzard teams did a couple of years back. Never fear — we have more games in store.…
Team WoW: So many fans love your worlds like Diablo, Warcraft and StarCraft. Are all the Blizzard guys so extremely involved in these worlds, too? Are you planning to develop more games within these worlds in future or will you try to make something totally new?
Blizzard: Many of us still play StarCraft, Warcraft III, and Diablo II on a daily basis, and everyone brainstorms ideas spawned from these games and for these worlds all the time. As with StarCraft: Ghost, we have worked hard to create a world that we can place many types of games within, and we certainly have these places and characters and storylines in mind when we talk about what we will do next. We also have a lot of other ideas on what types of games to make as well as other worlds in which to make them, making it often difficult to do everything we want. Every game finds its own voice during development, and this includes the setting and story. Hopefully our players will remain patient and supportive as we strive to not only support the worlds they have come to love, but also toy with new ideas to grow those worlds or make new places.