Just curious

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Why do gaming companies such as Blizzard like to keep what they are working as mega secret as possible? The one two reasons I can think of are because their plans could change at any time, or they don't want the competition to know what they are up to. Which I can understand both points, but whats the worst that would happen if today Blizzard and said something like "Hey guys we are thinking about doing this or this for our next expansion and implementing these features, what do you all think?" It seems this way the community can be actually part of the development process. Now as far as their plans changing at anytime, wouldn't this problem be solved by making a disclaimer with every twitter post or what not saying that their plans could change at any time?
They do that.

Like Virtual Realms for instance. It isn't ready, but they are talking with us about it.
06/14/2013 09:12 AMPosted by Akioto
It seems this way the community can be actually part of the development process.


No. I don't think chefs like it when patrons walk into their kitchen, and start fiddling with their ingredients and utensils.
06/14/2013 09:12 AMPosted by Akioto
whats the worst that would happen if today Blizzard and said something like "Hey guys we are thinking about doing this or this for our next expansion and implementing these features, what do you all think?"


A rival company could effectively steal their "good" ideas and release them before Blizzard implements the idea. Players love when developers release original content. If your content isn't original because you talked about it a year ago and every other developer used some form of your idea then you've just loss a huge selling point.

That said, Blizzard has mentioned ideas before fruition as pointed out previously with Virtual Realms. But I wouldn't expect them to be discussing indepth future expansion ideas or TITAN plans.
They do that.

Like Virtual Realms for instance. It isn't ready, but they are talking with us about it.
Ya I guess, but I mean in terms of larger things such as "We are thinking about making the new class be" or "we are thinking of making the new race be" or "We are thinking of adding these brand new mechanics to gameplay"


They do that too.

Pandaren were proposed and known as the upcoming race for MoP long before we even knew it was called Mists of Pandaria. Titan had a little teasing like that, but not much info because it's still in dev.

Basically there's two strong reasons to not give out too much though:
1. If they change their minds, it looks bad. It isn't bad, but it -looks- bad.
2. Other people stealing the ideas.
06/14/2013 09:17 AMPosted by Akioto


No. I don't think chefs like it when patrons walk into their kitchen, and start fiddling with their ingredients and utensils.
Wouldn't that be the equivalent of that be patrons walking into Blizzard HQ and writing their own code into the game? I am talking about community feedback.
90% of it would amount to "This sucks dead game kill urselves"

Wouldn't that be the equivalent of that be patrons walking into Blizzard HQ and writing their own code into the game? I am talking about community feedback.
90% of it would amount to "This sucks dead game kill urselves"


I think more mercifully put... is to simply say "90% of WoW players are not experienced software or game developers, and simply don't know what they are talking about except for their own highly subjective experience."

Have they disclosed anything recently about the next upcoming expansion?


Not that I am aware of.


They do that too.

Pandaren were proposed and known as the upcoming race for MoP long before we even knew it was called Mists of Pandaria. Titan had a little teasing like that, but not much info because it's still in dev.

Basically there's two strong reasons to not give out too much though:
1. If they change their minds, it looks bad. It isn't bad, but it -looks- bad.
2. Other people stealing the ideas.
Have they disclosed anything recently about the next upcoming expansion?
Rob Pardo(one of the lead devs from Vanilla and TBC) is returning, Alleria and Turalyon will be coming back, they want to add more 5-mans.
Ya I guess, but I mean in terms of larger things such as "We are thinking about making the new class be" or "we are thinking of making the new race be" or "We are thinking of adding these brand new mechanics to gameplay"


I'm not really interested in playing a game developed by popular vote.

It wouldn't be cohesive. The audience changes their mind on a whim. Things we're excited about suddenly become the worst things in the world.

Also, if you read the forums for a while you run into the poster claiming "Blizzard promsed" or "Blizzard lied" quite a bit. When they give us peeks at what they're looking to give us, they better deliver or the audience can't handle it.
Marketing... that is why they do it. Many (probably nearly every) game designer is a gamer. Gamers like to talk about games so they need a very good reason to keep their mouth shut. Marketing would be that reason.
The biggest reason is no matter what changes, for whatever reasons, the forums will explode with "BLIZZ LIES" posts for weeks. I have seen changes anounced and when it comes out, it has more better stuff that people like and still the forums explode with THEY LIED TO US posts.

The longer they wait to anounce stuff, the more likely what they anounce will come to pass and less raging on the forums
06/14/2013 10:02 AMPosted by Crepe
It wouldn't be cohesive. The audience changes their mind on a whim. Things we're excited about suddenly become the worst things in the world.
A good example of this would be Planetside 2. The devs talk to the community a lot, the lead designer hangs out on the Reddit page, and the devs usually implement requested stuff within weeks of the idea gaining momentum. The result is a hideously disjointed mess of a game that doesn't know what it's trying to be.
The last time Blizzard created an expansion off of full customer feedback we got the Cataclysm.
The last time Blizzard created an expansion off of full customer feedback we got the Cataclysm.


Which was quite a fitting name...

Ask one person for his/her opinion and you will get a reasonable answer. Ask a bunch of people and you will get nothing.
There's honestly a lot of reasons why we tend to keep things in extremely early development under wraps. A big one is that players tend to take "we're experimenting with something" as "it will be in the game in a couple months," no matter how many disclaimers or caveats we attach to it.

There's also plenty of situations where we just don't have enough nailed down yet to give players a clear idea of where things are heading. When we can't be clear, players tend to build up expectations about what they think the feature will be... and when it turns out to be something different, they're disappointed (even if the real feature is actually pretty cool). In most cases, we'd rather wait until we have something solid to share and avoid all of that confusion and heartache.

All that being said, we have a much more open development process today than we did when the game first launched. The PTR process starts earlier in the dev cycle, and is far more accessible. We have much more efficient means of gathering player feedback from the forums, fansites, social media, etc. Heck, we even have designers like Greg Street and Brian Holinka actively discussing changes with players on Twitter. We try to be as open as we can about what we can. :)
Two MVP's and one GM himself/herself, Guess that Blizzard really was looking for a chance to answer this question.

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