The State Of Blizzard's Union: Pearce, Sigaty Talk Warcraft, Starcraft, And Beyond
September 17, 2007 Page 4 of 5
I've been wondering this kind of globally, and since Starcraft is pretty much the biggest example you can point to: do you guys get any kind of money or influence… any money from or influence on those shows that happened? Like I heard about the 24-hour Starcraft tournament…
CS: For us, I think it's really not directly, but for us it's just being out there and it's part of the influence. But no, not directly but indirectly - certainly. It raises the awareness of the game.
CS: Twice in Korea now I've been in the malls, and the last time we were there just for the announcement, on a Wednesday, wandering through the mall, I happened upon this store that looks kind of like maybe a show or something is going on. We went in and we're standing in the back looking around in the back of the store and wondering ‘what's going on?’, and we look up on the screen, and it's a Starcraft match, and it's a pro match in the middle of the day on a Wednesday. And there’s all these girls there for the fan club of the guys that are playing, and we're just kind of like: ‘This is surreal, this is crazy awesome.’
FP: Yeah, the first time we were in Korea for the worldwide invitational, we were staying next to a big mall called the COEX, and we had some time to kill in the evening - so we're just walking to the mall to kill time and we come up on this Xbox store. And there's this huge crowd and we’re like ‘What the heck is going on here?’, and they have this small arena in the back. And there were two pro gamers getting ready to face off for a pro match that was being televised live. And we just stumbled upon it.
CS: We had no idea for a while we were just like ‘what's going on? What's this crowd about?’ and finally they flash to the game and we were like “Hey! Starcraft! Good for us!”
Did you say hello or anything?
CS: No, actually, but this last time we were there, they turn the cameras around and I was there with my wife and suddenly you see her face on the TV and we’re like “Whoa,what's going on?” And they say “Here, entertain us in between rounds.” It’s Korea and I mean, it was pretty crazy they turn the cameras back on us. I don't know if they recognized us, I think it was more like, they said “oh God, white barbarians have invaded!”
Have you gotten recognized over there by any of the pro gamers or anything?
CS: No not really, you know...
It's probably for the best.
CS: Yeah, probably is for the best, but really, it's not so much about the game itself. It's about the skill of the players of the game for the most part. Like if you are the poker inventor, you might still get recognized, but it's more the pro poker guys who can get recognized.
FP: The fans recognize the athletes, the pros, you know. We’re like the NFL Commissioner or something.
How long do you think original Starcraft is going to keep going when Starcraft 2 comes out?
CS: You know, for us, we’re definitely not trying to remove the Starcraft original players out of the mix. We believe that people will want to move over and play, but we’re certainly not trying to eliminate anybody. It's a totally different game. It's a lot of the same magic, gameplay-wise: fun gameplay. So I think they can co-exist. I won't know; this is just for me guessing of course, how many people are going to move over.
You mentioned pathfinding earlier, were you having difficulties with that?
CS: Pathing is always a challenge, we actually have pathing at a really good state compared to what happened with Warcraft 3, and the timeframe, and one thing just kind of fell in place and fit in good with Warcraft 3. We’re already in a much better place with Starcraft than we were with Warcraft 3, but you know, there's always little things. And like you said, it's a thankless job. So as soon as…it’s like Chicken Little: “Oh god, the guys are wandering around!,” you know…
FP: We have a really talented guy working on pathing for Starcraft 2.
How far do you think pathing has advanced in the last few years? Not as much as other things?
CS: Yeah, I would say not as much as other things. At a basic level it’s still using stored routines and things like that. So not a ton, no.
Page 4 of 5