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The State Of Blizzard's Union: Pearce, Sigaty Talk Warcraft, Starcraft, And Beyond
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The State Of Blizzard's Union: Pearce, Sigaty Talk Warcraft, Starcraft, And Beyond

September 17, 2007 Article Start Previous Page 5 of 5

Moving on, Chris, were you involved in Starcraft: Ghost at all?

CS: No, I was not.

Because [Blizzard VP] Rob Pardo has been saying that Blizzard hasn't quite given up on it yet.

CS: The official line is that it's on indefinite hold.

I'm still wondering…is Blizzard going to make a single player, kind of third person experience? Because it seems that you could easily build something out of World of Warcraft single player, or something like that. You don’t have to say anything, I was just wondering.

[long silence]

CS: Crickets…


FP: The challenge we always have, not just within the World of Warcraft team like I mentioned earlier, but organization wide, is that there's no shortage of great ideas, right? It's just utilizing the ideas we have the resources to achieve.

The now-on hold third-person action game Starcraft: Ghost.

Turning to Blizzard itself, have you had to hire up a lot as 8.5 million people trickled in?

FP: Our global headcount is like, 2700. Most of that is customer service for World of Warcraft. I mean in terms of development staff… it’s probably around 350. For all of Blizzard. World of Warcraft development team is about 135 people…40 for you [indicates Chris' Starcraft 2 team], 50 for….Team 3…

Team 3? What’s Team 3 working on?

FP: Team 3 is working on something really awesome.


FP: I will totally tell you, it's really awesome.

Can you give me any hints about it?

FP: Nope, can’t give you any hints.

Well, as long as it's awesome.

CS: Really, really awesome.

FP: We do have a team that does the pre-rendered cinematics, and they’re developers also, and that's like 85 guys, and then we've got sound and Q&A… ends up probably around 300, 350 for development.

So then, customer service is like 2400 people?

FP: It's probably about 2000, but then, what do you call those guys, G and A? General and administrative people, whatever they call the support staff, you know - HR, PR, marketing and those folks. But yeah, probably in excess of 2000.

CS: That's the crazy thing is that, from less than 50 people… it's very different for Frank even [who was one of the three founders], but from less than 50 people, to 2700 people or whatever worldwide is insane.

And how much time as that?

CS: It's been 11 years or so, there were less than 50 people in 1996. In, yeah, just over 11 years.

FP: But the majority of the growth has been over the last four or five years, because I would say that at the launch of World of Warcraft, our headcount was probably only 400 or 500 at most.

How do you know who to hire when you're hiring that many people?

FP: We have some really great managers and customer support, and we have some really high standards in terms of quality standards, and we apply that across the whole organization. Not just about the product, it's about customer service experience and everything, too.

I have a hard time believing there are 2700 competent people…

FP:… in the world?

Yeah [laughter] so if you guys found them all, that's awesome.

CS: You know, sometimes it doesn't work out, and you just gotta make sure that you do the right thing with it.

Article Start Previous Page 5 of 5

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