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Blizzard 'Refocuses' Console Team Within Company
Blizzard 'Refocuses' Console Team Within Company
August 3, 2006 | By Simon Carless

August 3, 2006 | By Simon Carless
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More: Console/PC

An as-ever cryptic statement by World Of Warcraft creator Blizzard Entertainment has revealed "plans to strengthen its current development efforts by refocusing key members of its console team on other projects within the company", suggesting a major change for the firm's Blizzard Console dev team.

This follows a separate statement in March that the company would "focus the company's console-development efforts on the next generation of console platforms", in the process cancelling the current-gen Blizzard Console-created title StarCraft: Ghost.

That troubled game was due for release on Xbox and PlayStation 2, and was originally in development at Bay Area-based Nihilistic Software, before switching developer to the Southern California-based Swingin' Ape in July 2004. Swingin' Ape itself was then acquired by the Vivendi-owned Blizzard in May 2005, with Blizzard retaining Swingin' Ape's team of more than 40 developers.

Thus, although Blizzard have no intention of stating anything specifically, the "extensive evaluation of the company's aggressive development plans" appears to mean that those next-gen plans have changed, and that elements of the Blizzard Console division are in some way folded into the main Blizzard offices - the Blizzard job opportunities page, though it still has a Blizzard Console section, shows no new openings for that office.

In fact, the job page does show an opening for a level designer "with experience building levels using any popular 3D Real-Time Strategy game toolset (Warcraft 3, Rise of Legends, Command and Conquer, etc)", another indication that the company is again working on a presumably PC-lead SKU RTS title in the vein of the seminal Warcraft and Starcraft RTS series.

Mike Morhaime, president and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment commented of the announcement: "By redeploying key talent onto projects that are currently in development, we will greatly improve our ability to deliver multiple high-quality games in the years ahead. We feel that this is an important step to take toward achieving our long-term development goals while also ensuring that our future games meet the expectations of our players and our employees."

In addition to the team currently at work on World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, Blizzard "currently has separate teams at different stages of development on several unannounced games. Further details on these projects, as well as on possible future console plans, will be revealed at a later date."

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