22 September, 2005

Blizzard's PR problem, and why it must stop

You know what, I love this company, I love their games -- but that doesn't mean I have to suck up to them. Credit is due where credit is due. This hasn't anything to do with Paladins, but I consider it to be of crucial importance anyway:

Slashdot is one of the most influential websites on the internet. They hold a lot power, they have a lot of influence. It's rigorously visited by pretty much all people from all corners of the the entire tech industry, from game developers to nuclear fusionists. I'm sure a lot of Blizzard workers visit the website as well.

Slashdot let members submit their questions to Blizzard over a month ago. I waited so long I totally forgot about it. But, today CmdrTaco posted the answers. Result? In his opinion neutered responses by the Blizzard PR-department.

And he's true. It's the same old, same old. No detailed responses. Just more PR-fluff you've heard many times before. For example, a question that was asked regarding the monitoring on the economy made the guy who asked it quite outraged.

This isn't the first time. Worldofwar.net was kind enough to have the same thing several months ago as well. It was as well promoted as a "developer interview". The response came in. And the even most convicted Blizzard fans were displeased.

Using the word "thrilled" to promote something of your product -- who ever uses that word except public relations people? Nobody, I tell you! (50% seriously, 50% in a jokingly matter)

Let me cut to the core argument of why I am bringing this up:

What Blizzard is doing here is really a disservice. They're trying to be good. They're trying to be nice to answer peoples questions. I mean, it sounds great: let fans answer questions, you respond and everybody is happy.

The problem here is that they're simply doing it completely wrong. They're not treating those who asked the questions with dignity.

Slashdot is a website that's filled with intelligent people who want intelligent answers. They want advanced, complicated responses who explain things in detail. That Blizzard expects them to be pleased with anything less is, really, an insult to them. Blizzard didn't even try.

Heck, add to the fact that many of the Slashdotters still keep in mind the fact that Blizzard shut down BnetD (go to link for more info).

Simply put: When these people ask questions about your game, you can't copy and paste stuff from your FAQ or Battleplan. These guys expected much more.

This is why I hope Blizzard stops doing this. I love them as a company. But, for their own good, I hope they stop doing this because it's biting them right back in the butt.

Edit: Thread on the community forum regarding this has been deleted.
Edit 2: Second thread up.
Edit 3: Second thread deleted as well. All thread regarding this has been purged from the forums.
Edit 4: Actually, the second thread and all others weren't deleted. The forums were just down for updates. Doh!


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