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Blizzard Classic Games division dismantled

Discussion in 'Patch & Reforged Discussion' started by Hyperdrift, Jan 23, 2021.

  1. Hyperdrift

    Hyperdrift

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    According to an article in Bloomberg written by prominent gaming journalist Jason Schreier:

    Until last year, the Diablo II remake was set to be developed by Blizzard’s Team 1, part of the company’s Irvine, California, campus that had become known for reworking classic games. Its most recent release, in January 2020, was a remake called Warcraft III: Reforged. The title was poorly received due to glitches and missing features, earning 59 out of 100 points on the review aggregator Metacritic — the lowest score a Blizzard game has ever gotten.

    Members of Team 1 met to discuss what had gone wrong. Internal Blizzard documents reviewed by Bloomberg pinpointed the game’s failures on poor planning, miscommunication and a rushed release due to financial pressure from management, among other factors. For example, Blizzard announced the game in November 2018 and began taking pre-orders for 2019 without informing most of the development team beforehand, according to several people who worked on Warcraft III: Reforged.

    Team 1 wanted to avoid repeating the mistakes of Warcraft III: Reforged on its next project, the remake of Diablo II. Shortly after the postmortem, however, Blizzard pulled that project from the team and put the division behind Diablo IV in charge. A group at Vicarious Visions is also working on the remake, which was known as Diablo II: Resurrected.

    On Oct. 15, 2020, Blizzard informed members of Team 1 that it was reorganizing the entire division, according to the people who worked on Warcraft III: Reforged. In the following weeks, members of the team were given opportunities to interview for jobs elsewhere within Blizzard. Those who did not find positions in the company were gradually cut. Others left for independent studios recently started by high-profile company veterans, such as Frost Giant Inc. and DreamHaven Inc., started by Blizzard co-founder and former Chief Executive Officer Mike Morhaime, whose departure widely signaled the beginning of Activision's takeover.

    Team 1 was also responsible for the games Heroes of the Storm and StarCraft II. Blizzard slowed down development support of Heroes of the Storm in 2018. On the same day that Blizzard said it was reorganizing the division, it announced publicly that StarCraft II was ending all ongoing development.

    Blizzard has promised to continue fixing and updating Warcraft III: Reforged, although it will likely do it with a different outsourced team. A spokesperson wouldn’t confirm who is handling continued development of Warcraft III: Reforged but said “we are still committed to updates in support of the community.”

    Clarification in a tweet from Schreier regarding the term "Team 1" and how it relates to the Classic Games division:

     
  2. Kyrbi0

    Kyrbi0

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    I'm very glad to see this here: *just* saw the article & ran here to post it. Jason Schreier is a pretty reliable source from what I've seen.

    Criminidly. Does this mean what I think it means? Does Kam (intentionally not pinging him because I'm sure he gets plenty) still work on Reforged? What about Peter?

    It's been relatively easy for me, despite everything, to have faith in Reforged's eventual success due to my faith in the Classic Games Team. I hope I'm reading this wrong.
     
  3. Hyperdrift

    Hyperdrift

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    According to Schreier's reporting, the Classic Games Team/Team 1 no longer exists. The employees belonging to it have either been transferred to other projects or laid off.
     
  4. DracoL1ch

    DracoL1ch

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    who would have thought!
    what an unexpected turn!
    woah I can't believe my eyes
     
  5. Dat-C3

    Dat-C3

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  6. Daffa

    Daffa

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    Oh well, shoot, I guess?
     
  7. Evilhog

    Evilhog

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    So there's no internal team to support WC3 Reforged, SC Remastered and Diablo II Classic.

    And no dedicated team for what little support SC2 and HotS still had.

    Nobody's going to make new RTS games either.

    Splendid.
     
  8. YourArthas

    YourArthas

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    I think it is great news, VV made one of the best remasters ever and now they'll probably be in charge of classic games which means they can fix that Reforged shit
     
  9. Astrella

    Astrella

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    Do we have reason to believe they'd be working on Reforged as well though?
     
  10. Razorclaw_X

    Razorclaw_X

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    They must have really reorganized the internal teams if Classic got named Team 1. Team 1 used to be their aces back in the day.

    Also not surprised they gave Diablo II to the Diablo IV team since those guys are huge Diablo II fans.


    ED: article kind of implies that HotS support is dumped, but AFAIK that's not true and the article is worded funny. I think the author really started mucking up his facts between the old Team 1 (which was the one that handled SC2 and HotS) and the 'Classics Team 1'; I never heard of the Classics Team touching either of those until I read this.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2021
  11. Venombite

    Venombite

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    HotS got a new hero (Hogger) a month ago. And another balance patch a few days ago, and unlike pretty much any hero released up till now, Hogger was actually decently balanced on release. Doesn't seem like a completely dumped support.
     
  12. mori

    mori

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    Corporate: Let's put unreasonable pressure on the devs, demand unrealistic release dates, and set insane expectations for the public!

    Also Corporate: Oh wow the devs didn't have enough time to do a good job??? Let's get rid of them!

    The sheer incompetency of it all, it's insane. Why does this story repeat every damn year multiple times? It's almost as if the people running multimillion gamedev companies aren't actually competent at their jobs... Oh wait!

    EDIT: I refused to acknowledge that this was going to happen, even though I knew it would. Fucking fuck fuck. What's fucking wrong with people?
     
  13. MasterBlaster

    MasterBlaster

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    No, we don't - the article states that Reforged will be outsourced and since Vicarious Visions is now a part of Blizzard, it will probably be some other team. The same fate likely befell the rest of the classic games. It's hard to say what this means, we'll have to wait and see.
     
  14. Footman16

    Footman16

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    On the contrary these guys aren't incompetent. Look at the profits ActivisionBlizzard are turning despite whatever flops recently have came out from Blizzard. They're making money and that's all they care about, the actual games themselves mean nothing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2021
  15. Deolrin

    Deolrin

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    There are two companies founded by leaving Blizzard developers - Frost Giant and Dreamhaven. The former, at the very least, is publicly dedicated to RTS gaming.
     
  16. Kam

    Kam

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    Interesting times.

    Since the leak I've been asked for further details by many people. I left Blizzard in December on good terms. I understand people want closure on the “why” of Reforged. I won't speak on it though because in a professional sense, and personal, trust is paramount. If you share confidential information of this nature that trust is forever broken.

    These sorts of information leaks are rarely a productive endeavor. Yes Reforged has many shortcomings, but I do not believe it will simply be abandoned as I have seen many saying these last few days. I was a map maker for ~14 years before I worked at Blizzard, and I'll continue to be for as long as I'm around probably.

    I see people decrying the future of Warcraft III, but that future is up to you as a community. Over the last three years I had the opportunity to talk to hundreds of you all over the world, worked with you on features, troubleshooting bugs, organized a tournament, and so much more. I know your talent. Warcraft III can still be the creative outlet you want it to be.

    Someone I look to once told me: "It is better to focus through the lens of what can be versus what could have or should have been." As difficult as that is for this community, and for myself, it is the best advice I can offer.
     
  17. Footman16

    Footman16

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    Whilst I understand where you're coming from Kam, I have to respectfully disagree, the community should not be responsible for fixing the problems with Reforged and especially problems that did not exist before Reforged.

    "What can be?" What can be is a patch from Blizzard fixing these issues; that's what this community wants not to have blame and responsibility put onto us again like the PR teams have done before. Blaming us for our "High expectations," rather than admitting fault (to be clear I'm not implicating you in that instance Kam).

    I get what you're saying Kam that we as a community can do a lot with Reforged and I agree. But we shouldn't have to: we should've had what we were promised by Blizzard and we didn't get that.

    That said, I don't believe Blizzard are abandoning Reforged, instead VV will take it over and probably give us a couple more patchs til its in a relatively ok state and then abandon it. Tbh Blizz are just lucky they didn't get reported to the likes of ASA or whatever the US equivalent is.
     
  18. Venombite

    Venombite

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    Sadly, I think you're being rather optimistic here.
     
  19. deepstrasz

    deepstrasz

    Map Reviewer

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    Very nice especially when 1.32+ got us with no more custom campaign features.
    It's up to the community you say. Well, the community was doing fine before Reforged came in to be frank.
     
  20. mori

    mori

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    You know, no offense to you personally or any of the devs who have actually worked on the game, but the way this whole situation looks like is that Blizzard took a massive shit on WC3, and is now saying "lol clean this up yourself good luck".