Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Blizzard and Riot Merger To Happen Soon™

The relationship between Blizzard Entertainment and Riot Games could be perceived to be tenuous at best. Given that Riot Game's League of Legends was effectively based off of a custom map on Warcraft 3, it wouldn't be too surprising if those at Blizzard were upset. The situation could be further exacerbated by the increasing number of ex-Blizzard employees, such as former balance designer Ghostcrawler, making their way into the ranks of Riot Games. Instead, Blizzard Entertainment chose to enter the highly competitive MOBA games industry with Heroes of the Storm, which was more of a call to friendly competition and while amazingly professional, an odd direction to take given the history.

While the statements claiming that Heroes of the Storm was intended to be different from other similar games seem to hold true, it has been recently shown that this may be a cover for something that could be a truly great masterstroke that will rocket both Blizzard and Riot to the top of the gaming industry from a business standpoint. Blizzard, after the countless fiascoes when attempting to monetize content under their merger with Activision, has decided to join with Riot Games, creator of one of the largest free to play games, which is also praised for its business model regarding microtransactions. Along with this mind-blowing news, Blizzard and Riot have announced some upcoming changes related to their games. The reasoning is explained in the following quotes from Michael Morhaime and Brandon Beck respectively, the CEOs of the companies involved in the merger:
"We noticed a lot of overlap between fans of our games [in many ways]." 
"[With that said], why not make the games more appealing to our players by adding some overlap between them?"
This has already been shown through the recent addition of Bard into League of Legends, whose ultimate ability is very similar to that of one of Zeratul's in Heroes of the Storm.

The changes are as follows:
  • The Season 5 World Championships will now happen at Blizzcon. The team that wins the majority of game tournaments (League of Legends, Hearthstone, WoW Arena, Starcraft 2, Heroes of the Storm, etc) held there wins the Summoner's Cup (subject to being renamed). 
  • In League of Legends, destroying the nexus will no longer win the game. 
    • Instead, to win, players must kill Baron, Dragon, and other neutral monsters to earn enough points to win.
  • League of Legends has been integrated into World of Warcraft, with Valoran being featured as the expansion following Warlords of Draenor.
    • In this expansion, PvP will receive a significant rework as characters become summoners at the Institute of War, making every PvP match one that takes place on Summoner's Rift controlling the familiar League of Legends champions.
    • PvE content and questing have been completely scrapped to focus on this feature
    • To further expound upon this new expansion, the next Hearthstone adventure will take place on the Shadow Isles.
    • The current release date of the new expansion and adventure are not known at this time.
  • Artifacts system returns to Heroes of the Storm and will work exactly like runes.
    • This change should separate the good Gold farmers from the great Gold farmers.
  • When the Tribunal system returns, it will work across all of Blizzard/Riot's games.
    • However, the framework isn't quite finished due to lacking technology, so players can only report for SpamCheating, and Inappropriate Name.
More changes will be announced in time, with the next wave of announcements slated to happen on the 20th of this month.

No comments:

Post a Comment