Senior VP Frank Pearce and Starcraft II producer Chris Sigaty sat down with Gamasutra to chat about "The State of Blizzard's Union" recently, and while there's not a lot of new stuff ("Team 3" is mentioned, but no hints are given), it's always cool to have an inside look at what it's like running the biggest MMO in the world.
Pearce does talk about a possible WoW 2 (not gonna happen, he says, until Blizzard needs a whole new framework, and that's not going to happen for a long time), and WoW's competitors-- he namechecks Warhammer and Age of Conan, but as I've said before, we won't know how those games will actually do until they see release.
There are a few interesting numbers thrown around in the interview as well-- while Blizzard has said they've got 9 million before, Pearce specifically says 8.5 million subscribers,
so it does seem like they're dropping a bit (updated-- see note below). Still, especially with the release of Wrath of the Lich King in the next year or two, they remain optimistic that they'll hit 10 million before it's all said and done. It's also amazing to see Blizzard's growth-- Pearce co-founded the company, and they started out with around 50 employees. Before WoW, they had about 500, and nowadays, they've got 2700 people working for them. And the teams are really interesting, too-- WoW has 135 developers, Starcraft II has 40, and Team 3 has 50, plus Blizzard has 85 people (also devs, however) that work on their famous cinematics, and extra teams for sound and quality assurance.
Very interesting to get a look inside such an amazing videogame developer. Now if only we could find out what Team 3 was...
[ via WorldofWar ]
Update: Blizzard contacted us to say that this interview happened way back at E3, which was before this press release dropped. Subscriber numbers are not dropping-- when Pearce did the interview they had 8.5 million, and after that, they rose to 9 million. And Blizzard tells us that since then, they are above the 9 million mark.