Blizzard and Microsoft in Xbox 720 Talks

By Alice O'Connor, Mar 26, 2009 8:04am PDT Blizzard executive Rob Pardo has revealed that the World of Warcraft developer is in active talks with Microsoft regarding the successor to the Xbox 360, reports

Pardo said this during the Luminaries Lunch at the Game Developers Conference. Other industry figures lunching--including Sims creator Will Wright, Deus Ex creator Warren Spector and Acclaim's David Perry--said they'd yet to be approached about the unannounced console, lovingly dubbed the Xbox 720 by many.

This is perhaps surprising considering Blizzard's last game to see a console release was the Nintendo 64 port of StarCraft way back in 2000 but that's the point--Blizzard's titles absolutely dominate the PC platform yet never reach consoles. Pardo explains:

"There are are so many games like we make at Blizzard that we don't take to consoles because they don't support the input device and you end up with crappy ports. That's why RTS games never do well on consoles."

"If I was them, I'd be sitting around trying to figure out what's a cool input device that supports all types of new kinds of games."

With surefire hits Diablo 3 and StarCraft 2 under development at Blizzard, not to mention an unannounced next-gen MMO, Microsoft must be eager not to miss out this time.

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26 Threads | 136 Comments

  • I'd actually consider buying a console system if they not only designed one to work with a keyboard and mouse controls right from the start, but also encouraged developers to create games that supported that control scheme. Gamepads are really only good for fighting games, platformers, and beat-em-up games. I can't stand using them for anything else.

    A keyboard and mouse as well as a gamepad straight out of the box would be very appealing. Yes, the keyboard/mouse would have to be included with the console instead of having some gimmicky third party deal, or else game developers would just ignore the fact that the system is keyboard/mouse capable at all.

    Oh, and good job to Blizzard for recognizing that their games don't belong on consoles, and for (generally) having a "no compromises" attitude when faced with the issue of whether or not to create dumbed down console ports.

  • What Rob is really saying is Blizzard doesn't have TIME to make console games because they have so many PC hits that every time they finish one game on PC they have to make another star craft, diablo, wow, warcraft etc for PC otherwise they are leaving money on the table.

    For them to start making a console game too would require more resources than they have, they would need another team of people and more genius designers than they have to manage the project.

    So what they want to do is continue making the PC games they know that will dominate the PC platform, and then just release those on console and have them make money there too. Currently you can't release say WoW or starcraft on Xbox and have it work correctly without some better input device. And they only want to do it if the user experience is going to be A+