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Kliuless? #11: Diablo Fans Feel Blizz-Conned

Each week I compile a gaming industry insights newsletter that I share with other Rioters, including Riot’s senior leadership. This edition is the public version that I publish broadly every week as well. Opinions are mine.

Kliuless? Gaming Industry ICYMI #11

Hi, my name is Kenny Liu, and I work in Revenue Strategy at Riot Games. Each week I compile a gaming industry insights newsletter that I share with other Rioters, including Riot’s senior leadership. This edition is the public version that I publish broadly every week as well. Opinions are mine.

See more or subscribe at: https://tinyletter.com/kliuless

Diablo Fans Feel Blizz-Conned

  • Summary of last weekend's BlizzCon announcements, which included mobile Diablo Immortal and WarCraft 3: Reforged
    • Related: Blizzard Says It Wasn't Expecting Fans To Be This Angry About Diablo Immortal
    • Related: "How to handle entitled gamers when announcing a mobile game"
      • [KL: Note, I vehemently disagree with the author's tone, especially his word choice of "entitled" to describe players, but the article's content value was worth sharing]
    • Related: Blizzard is working on bringing multiple franchises to mobile
  • I have a tremendous amount of respect for Blizzard's developers, so there is not much I want to add beyond what others have already said
  • However, for me the most unfortunate facet of Blizzard's weekend was encapsulated by these pictures
  • As an avid mobile gamer myself, I generally prioritize playing on my phone not when I have the freedom to play on other platforms, but when I have no other choice: I'm on-the-go, I have an awkward downtime, I'm multi-tasking, etc.
  • At BlizzCon the list of opportunities to have fun mobile experiences are everywhere (just think about all the long lines)... but near the bottom on that list would probably be on someone else's stationary smartphone in a demo booth
  • Perhaps the demo could not support any other execution, but a more interesting tactic might have been to allow BlizzCon attendees to download and play Diablo Immortal on their own phones wherever they go throughout the weekend
  • In this way, Blizzard may have been able to better showcase their keynote game on terms that best highlight the advantages of the mobile platform instead of its disadvantages

Design

Mobile

  • Singular: Mobile marketers waste money by spending at wrong times
  • Epic Games is working on controller support for Fortnite mobile
  • Bloomberg: Japan’s gacha game makers are losing out to Chinese & Korean companies
    • Related: DeNA bringing Tencent's Arena of Valor to Japan
    • Related: Gree partners with Chinese video sharing platform BiliBili to develop new mobile games targeted at Japan & China
    • Related: NCSoft's 2019 plans include new Lineage, Alon and Blade & Soul mobile titles

China

  • Tencent to expand underage ID check to all games
    • Related: Gamers say they can cheat Tencent’s ID check system in games
  • Rainbow Six Siege is changing its "aesthetics" for China, causing uproar among current player base
  • WeChat reaches 1M mini programs, half the size of Apple’s App Store

Overtime

  • Fortnite launches in South Korea, and reaches 8.3mm concurrent players globally (vs. 3.4mm CCU in Feb.)
  • Ex-EA design chief Patrick Söderlund unveils Embark Studios, a partnership with Nexon
  • The 35 greatest horror games of all time
  • A look back at the top-selling games of the '90s
  • The Story Of Super Mario Bros. 3: 30th Anniversary Retrospective
  • Drivetime raises $4mm for voice-based trivia game for drivers
  • Disney’s big Millennium Falcon ride faces a classic game design problem: balancing difficulty
  • Exploring Japan’s Virtual YouTuber phenomenon
  • Self-driving taxi service launches in China
  • November 11 is China’s Singles’ Day, a national online shopping feast. Started by Alibaba in 2009, its sales volume now is bigger than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined

See more or subscribe at: https://tinyletter.com/kliuless

Twitter: @kliuless
LinkedIn: @kliuless

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