With the news that Blizzard was cutting PvP in Diablo 3 from launch, my respect for the company went down yet another notch. What happened to this formerly great studio? What happened to the ‘it will release when it is ready philosophy’?
I will admit forthright, that I never liked Diablo 1 and 2, nor did I particularly enjoy any of the Warcraft series (prior to WoW) or the Starcraft series. I admired them for their polish and attention to detail but the gameplay never appealed to me. Blizzard was always a solid developer. But, after the series of bad decisions after the release of the Burning Crusades, the horrible Wrath of the Lich King expansion, the even worse Cataclysm expansion and now this news, I can no longer fool myself into thinking Blizzard is a solid developer.
The same can be said of Bioware. I loved Baldur’s Gate, Baldur’s Gate 2 and Icewind Dale. I thought Knights of the Old Republic was fun, if a tad overrated compared to Baldur’s Gate. Now Bioware is releasing junk like Dragon’s Age 2 and Star Wars: The Old Republic and ripping off their customers with DLC on day of release in Mass Effect 3.
I feel the same way about Mythic. They never had the long track record of great games that Blizzard and Bioware enjoyed but they made Dark Age of Camelot. DAoC is, in my opinion, still the greatest MMO of all time. Then they release Warhammer Online and it is an atrocity. Now they are merged with Bioware and I doubt we will ever see greatness from them again.
The obvious answer to what happened to these studios are the merging with bigger publishers. Blizzard with Activision and Bioware and Mythic to Electronic Arts. It is amazing how quickly a studio can be ruined by a merge like this. From a great studio, who cares about their customers and has great attention to detail, to a studio that rips off their customer’s with day one DLC and pulling launch content to make a release date.
It is sad really. These great studios are gone and will probably never return. In their place is another soulless studio that is out to gouge money from their customer’s and cut content in search of the all-mighty dollar.