Blizzard: Retail central to our business

The publisher renowned for making most of its money online has pledged its future to bricks and mortar retail.

Blizzard is best known for its multi-billion dollar MMO, World of Warcraft, which generates most of its money through subscriptions.

But the firm says it couldn’t release its blockbuster titles without the help of retail.

The games giant launched StarCraft II last month, backing it with midnight launch openings on the High Street.

And the strategy paid off, with the RTS taking the No.1 spot in the Top 40 this week.

Some of our players like digital solutions but many also like the retail solution,” Blizzard’s VP of international Michael Ryder told MCV.

So we embrace both. We built our entire business around the retail channel and we expect retail to be a vital part of our future.

The event in London for StarCraft II was with one of our retail partners [GAME], and we did it in cities around the world. We want retail to be a big part of things for us. The collector’s edition of StarCraft II is only available at retail. We think it’s a great collaboration that we want to continue.”

Q4 sees the release of Blizzard’s next big game – the eagerly-awaited World of Warcraft expansion, Cataclysm.
However, despite its current focus on PC, Blizzard hasn’t ruled out working on consoles.

We are up-to-speed on the console platforms, said Ryder. And if we see an opportunity where the game design would work well on the console, then maybe we will go that way.”

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