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Leash on developers slackening thanks to Blizzard?

Chris Chester

Few developers in the world have the leverage with their publishers that Blizzard has enjoyed over the years. Where most companies involved in major mergers or corporate hullabaloo end up being cut up and sold for scrap, Blizzard actually had a major say in which parties their parent company dealt with. The resulting mega-corp is even partially adopting their name. Not bad for a developer started many moons ago by a trio of UCLA grads.

Some are now speculating that the spectacular success of outfits like Blizzard and Bungie may be prompting publishers to reconsider their relationships with other rockstar development houses like Infinity Ward, the folks behind the best of the Call of Duty series. It seems the suits are finally coming around to the idea that trusting in their proven talent can yield benefits far exceeding the cost of a delay here and there. EA, for instance, appears to be demonstrating patience with Mythic's treatment of Warhammer Online, but only time will tell whether these aren't just isolated cases.

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