When I spoke with lead "StarCraft II" producer Chris Sigaty at BlizzCon earlier this month, he talked about all the things they're doing to make sure pro gamers like the game.

But he also told me that he's also trying to make "StarCraft II" playable for his mom.

"It's definitely a very challenging tight rope walk," he said of trying to make the game for both e-sports players and a broader audience. "We've trying to make sure that it's perfectly balanced for e-sport, but look -- I'm going to try to get my mom to play this game. I mean, I know she can't [micromanage] at the level that these pro gamers can, so we're actually experimenting back in the opposite direction... so that even the layman can come in and get a grasp of these cool things in the game."

Sigaty explained that "StarCraft II" is in its alpha stage and is being tested by two former pro gamers on staff as well as pros at the conventions. However, his mom hasn't gotten to try the game yet. But he said, without going into specifics, that they're trying different things for more casual players.

"[Real-time strategy games] at this level -- there's a lot more there to think about and it gets really frantic really fast, and so it's definitely off-putting to somebody that's totally new to video games," he said. "But we want to make it much easier for people to explore whether it would interest them."

He added, "And yes, I want to try to get my mom and my wife to take a look and see if they like it. My wife has come to a lot of these events, and she loves watching [people play] but she says, 'I could never do it.' Well, I want to try and change her mind. I think that would be awesome if we could."

So what do you think? Do you want your mom to be able to play "StarCraft II"? And would she play Zerg, Protoss or Terran?

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Use less gas these days? Of course. Play less "WoW"? No way.

As you can see in the segment that aired on MTV2 last night, Rob Pardo, executive vice president of game design at Blizzard Entertainment, told our Tracey John at Blizzard headquarters last week that he doesn't think "World of Warcraft" -- which has more than two million paying subscribers in the U.S. -- is going to be hurt by the faltering U.S. economy.

(Videos not viewable by users logging in from Canada or the U.K. -- But see below for Pardo's full quote.) Read More...

[UPDATE 12:15pm: The story has been updated with comments from EA Mythic's Mark Jacobs.] When I spoke with EA Mythic head Mark Jacobs earlier this year about developing MMORPG "Warhammer Online," it was inevitable that we talked about the competition -- namely a little game called "World of Warcraft."

"They've been paying attention, and I know they're in our beta even though they don't like to tell us they're in our beta," Jacobs said of Blizzard staffers during the game's beta period in August.

So during BlizzCon this past weekend, I confronted "World of Warcraft" game director Jeff Kaplan about this. Had Blizzard employees really tried to sneak into the beta for "Warhammer Online"? Read More...

Last week just before the start of Blizzard Entertainment's big fan convention, we got to stop by their offices for a video tour.

Watch as executive vice president of game design Rob Pardo walks us through all the amenities of Blizzard's swanky Irvine, California offices -- everything from the front gate down to the sand-laden volleyball courts.

(Videos not viewable by users logging in from Canada or the U.K.)

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Following the controversy surrounding "Diablo III"'s Witch Doctor, fans weren't sure what other classes to expect next.

During BlizzCon this past weekend, the company unveiled the new Wizard class, a magic caster whose powers are based on the forces of the universe and who would replace the Sorcerer/Sorceress from the previous games.

While at the event, I spoke with lead designer Jay Wilson who gave me some details on the new Wizard class, why the team chose to go in that direction, the other names they considered, and whether or not we'll see the Sorcerer in an expansion. Read More...

It's no secret that Blizzard is working on a "next-gen MMO," as evidenced by job listings on their website.

But during BlizzCon this past weekend, "World of Warcraft" game director Jeffrey Kaplan confirmed to MTV Multiplayer that he's "definitely involved" in the project.

"I think the great part about a new MMO from Blizzard is that it doesn't have to be 'WoW'," he said. "There are a lot of lessons we learned in making 'World of Warcraft,' and some of those you can take and do things better than you ever did before." Read More...

On the show floor at BlizzCon today, I caught up with a few "StarCraft" fans and asked them what they thought of yesterday's announcement that the game would be split up into a trilogy.

In my interview with lead producer Chris Sigaty, he explained that the games are based on each of the three races -- Terrans, Zerg and Protoss -- and will feature extensive storylines in the single-player campaign. Thus, the company decided to release it in three parts.

Here's what a few BlizzCon attendees, who all claimed to be big "StarCraft" fans, thought about Blizzard's decision: Read More...

Following yesterday's announcement at BlizzCon that "StarCraft II" will be split into a trilogy -- three different products released separately -- I spoke with lead producer Chris Sigaty about the decision and what we can expect.

Here are the basics:

  • Each product is a full-scale title that contains between 26-30 single-player missions per game.
  • The timing of the releases could be a year between each game -- or longer.
  • Though each game will make references to the others, it's not necessary to own all three to enjoy the single-player experience.
  • However, if you want particular units for the multiplayer portion, you'll need to buy the product that has those units.
  • Sigaty maintained the decision wasn't made to make more money or due to pressure from the Activision merger; the decision was made at the end of last year.

Read on for the full explanation and more details from Sigaty. Read More...

During the first day of BlizzCon 2008, I got to chat with Blizzard's executive vice president of game design Rob Pardo. When I arrived for the interview, I couldn't help but notice he was donning a colorful T-shirt in lieu of the typical company garb.

"We decided to have a little fun at this BlizzCon, and we did a run of specialty shirts just for the ['Diablo III'] team," he explained of his baby blue tee with a design that looked inspired by "My Little Pony" and "Rainbow Brite."

"We came up with the cool rainbow domination logo of 'Diablo III,'" he continued, "and we just thought it'd be kind of funny to poke some fun at the big controversy that's going on. ... I think it's so important that you can have as much fun making games as ultimately your fans have playing them. We're just having fun with the game."

Pardo added, "I think we even talked about starting to put some rainbows in 'StarCraft II,' just because of the catch phrase that 'Diablo III' is the 'rainbow game.'"

But seriously, will there be in rainbows in "StarCraft II"? Read More...

The first day of BlizzCon 2008 has come to a close. If you couldn't make it to the Anaheim Convention Center, take a look at our collection of photos from the day's events, including the over-the-top costume contest. (Surprise: The girl riding the turtle won the contest and the prize was her very own Frostmourne sword!)

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