The Starting Zone

“Cheers, love! The cavalry’s here!”
Tracer in Overwatch

The Starting Zone

I just had the pleasure of listening to a new (to me!) podcast called the Starting Zone. The episode was called:

Blizzard Q1 2016 Earnings Report which sounds a lot more dull that it really is: it was fascinating.

The discussion that blew my mind was the change in how Blizzard thinks of itself; a transition in the last year from “gaming” to “entertainment”. And this is huge. When combining their products like WoW, Overwatch, HoTS and so on into a “viewership” notion (instead of numbers of subscribers) then we begin to see that this company is on the scale of the big boys like the NFL.

I didn’t know that Activision had bought out King, which is Candy Crush. This means that they can do the mobile app thing and then, pretty quickly, my understanding begins to fade out.

And, from what I heard on the podcast, the talk of esports is that it will be big: very big. The discussion guys were marveling at articles in Forbes magazine about a character in Overwatch. Simply considering that while Blizzard (and Activision) is a big world-wide company that this might explode is incredible. I also heard that Overwatch is one of the top games viewed in Twitch, rising up to some of the big games like Call of Duty and that kind of stuff.

When the mind-set from gaming has moved to entertainment, then it is easier to see the how and why we see more books, store items like plushies and to even imagine an Overwatch movie. Cross game promotions make total sense. The broad vision of these guys is, well, visionary!

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