The "lessons" behind Blizzard's innovation

Have you ever wondered what it is about Blizzard that has set them so far apart from their competition? It's a question that other bigwigs in the game industry, even those uninvolved with MMOs, have struggled to answer. Activision couldn't wrap their heads around the concept, so they just went and bought Blizzard instead. CEO Bobby Kotick has said something to the effect of, "Well, whatever it is, it'd cost about a billion dollars to emulate," as if it's some top-secret mystery. As it turns out, if you want to know their secrets, all you have to do is ask. A local Orange County newspaper has tracked down some experts and asked Blizzard Producer J. Allen Brack to come up with reasons why they're so successful.

They've only go three of the eleven "lessons" published so far, but they've so far been frustratingly obvious. "Rely on critics." Yes, OK, that's important. "Use your own product." I can see the utility in that. "Make continual improvements." We call those patches! If these are the sort of things that other MMO companies are missing, then the entire Massively staff may have to up and quit to become high-paid MMO consultants.

Here's another lesson for you, free of charge, "Don't release a game until it's finished!" Innovative, we know. Oh, or how about this one? "Treat your IPs like they're actually worth something." We hope somebody brought a pen, we could do this all day!