To complement their Diablo III video interview and preview, G4 has put together this brief history piece to help celebrate Blizzard Entertainment's impending 20-year anniversary. The greatest and most successful PC developer in the business:
BlizzCon began in 2005 with an attendance of around 8,000 and has since exploded into a massive annual celebration. The 2010 edition had 20,000 attendees, virtual tickets for online attendance, and was offered as a pay-per-view DIRECTV event. We could argue that BlizzCon occupies the same sort of space in gamer culture as PAX, and gamers pay handsomely for the privilege of attendance.
Blizzard doesn't have to worry about the used game market, or dally with Online Passes. Their solution to the problem is simple: make quality games that people want to hold onto. Diablo II's fan base is so entrenched that new patches are being rolled out ten years after the game's release. New, sealed copies of Rock n Roll Racing for the SNES can run you up to $100. They are similarly protected against piracy no one can replicate Battle.net well enough privately to make it worth bothering with anything other than genuine copies of the titles that utilize the service.
There's a saying in the film business: (You're only as good as your last movie.) If there's a lesson that Blizzard Entertainment has to teach us, it's that the wisdom holds true in the video game business as well. So rather than listen to tongue-and-cheek comments about when Diablo III is going to finally see the light of day, tell the complainers to be thankful that Blizzard cares enough to make them wait. The studio isn't taking their time simply because they can afford to, but because they've never done it any other way.