Blizzard Entertainment and the ESL launched a 23-second video teaser reminding eSports fans that the StarCraft II 2014 World Championship Series (WCS) Europe begins on February 18 at 6pm CET with the first Ro32 broadcast.
IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– TeSPA and Blizzard Entertainment have announced a partnership that will bring unprecedented support to college gaming groups throughout North America. For the first time, college gaming groups will be able to unlock funding and other tangible benefits as their communities grow through the Membership Milestone program.
As part of the partnership, Blizzard will back student groups in the TeSPA network by guaranteeing event funding, unique in-game rewards, and unrivaled promotion opportunities to active TeSPA chapters. This backing will help chapters strengthen their communities by providing vital resources needed to host local gaming competitions and viewing events.
“TeSPA has been a positive force in the eSports community built from the ground up by a small group of dedicated fans,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment. “By partnering with TeSPA we hope to give back to the players in a very new way to add fuel to an already thriving collegiate scene.”
The Membership Milestone program outlines structured benefits to student groups and provides critical materials needed to scale, including free access production equipment for events, a leadership and technical instruction manual, and customized banners for campus advertisement. The new program aims to establish the foundation of a vibrant eSports ecosystem that is supported from both the grassroots and professional level.
“Our goal is to empower passionate students to bring their eSports dreams to life,” said TeSPA co-founder Adam Rosen. “By doing this, we hope to cultivate thriving eSports communities while fostering the next generation of entrepreneurial business leaders in the gaming industry.” TeSPA aims to establish campus chapters across all of North America, and is specifically targeting 75 of the most influential campuses to seed student gaming programs in 2014.
Open recruitment for students looking to take advantage of TeSPA’s membership benefits has now begun. Students looking to join TeSPA with an existing group or to create a new group on their campus should apply at tespa.org/apply/.
The eSports Association (TeSPA) is a network of the top student talent in eSports and gaming. The TeSPA network is composed of Local Chapters which develop eSports communities on their campuses by hosting events such as competitive gaming tournaments and social viewing events. TeSPA aspires to cultivate communities capable of producing professional-caliber eSports experiences at every university and high school in North America. TeSPA’s founders, Adam Rosen, Tyler Rosen, and Chris Kelly, are members of Blizzard Entertainment’s eSports team.
About Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.
Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft® and the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® franchises, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. (www.blizzard.com), a division of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI), is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry’s most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard Entertainment’s track record includes sixteen #1-selling games and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company’s online-gaming service, Battle.net®, is one of the largest in the world, with millions of active players.
Nakatoir posted the StarCraft II team wishes players to help test a small balance patch to be deployed sometime this week. Players will test the Protoss versus Terran, with changes to Time Warp, EMP and Ghosts now have energy upgrade built-in. There is also a small fix for Daedalus Point.
We’d like to make a small balance patch this week in order to help address PvT concerns, as well as implement a small fix for Daedalus point. Of the changes we’ve tested so far, we feel ready to make the Time Warp and EMP changes right now, but we’ll continue testing other changes as well in case we need to make further adjustments.
We’ll try our best to make these changes within a week:
Time Warp cost increased from 75 to 100
Ghosts start with the energy upgrade built in
Make the natural expansion ramp smaller on Daedalus Point.
Here are a few things we’d like to continue testing on a new balance test map:
We’d like to try out a sight range nerf to the Mothership Core, as commonly requested by the community. We also believe this could be a really solid direction if the Time Warp and EMP changes aren’t enough.
We’d still like to include a Hydralisk buff (but not as big as the current one we’re testing) of some sort for two reasons: To bring more Hydras into play in ZvZ as well as help Roach/Hydra to be more viable vs. Terran.
Late game PvZ in Europe is something we’d still like to look into testing/addressing. Looking at games in Korea, we’d still like to keep testing the Tempest change and not touch Swarm Hosts themselves if we can.
Please keep the discussions happening and constructive feedback is always welcome. Thank you. – source
Blizzard Entertainment recently launched a TV-Commercial-quality video titled “Blizzard Arcade — Snowflake”. In this video, Kevin “Cloaken” Johnson announces the StarCraft II Arcade is now FREE to play.
Simply ask your friends to download the free StarCraft II Starter Edition and play any Arcade game created by the community. The most important thing is the same tools used by the StarCraft II developers is now available to everyone. Let your imagination create any game you can imagine using the mapmaking tool.
The new Blizzard domain name BlizzardArcade.com will be launched soon, which hints at new changes to come to the Battle.net Arcade webpage. Arcade Highlights will be published every other Friday showcasing some of the best Arcade games. — source.
Blizzard posted 3 new videos concerning this new Blizzard Arcade campaign:
Blizzard Arcade — Snowflake
Blizzard Arcade — Now Completely Free!
Blizzard Arcade – StarCraft II Art Tools
You can download the Art Tools at the following webpage.
Community Manager Kaivax alerted Blizzard Entertainment planned a maintenance schedule to launch StarCraft II patch 2.1. Some regions will get the patch on different days, which might prevent players from accessing other region servers.
This patch introduces classic StarCraft music as an option to those who wish to switch their music. Kinda a nice feature for those with nostalgia for the old favorite tunes and riffs. New arcade games for free to play online.
Our plan is to release the patch in each region as quickly as we can over three days:
Tuesday, Jan 21 – Americas, Europe
Wednesday, Jan 22 – Korea and Taiwan, China
Thursday, Jan 23 – Southeast Asia and Oceania
Please note that the release day for Patch 2.1 in Southeast Asia and Oceania is taking place on Thursday rather than Monday (we’ve often released patches in this region on Mondays). This is a one-time adjustment for Patch 2.1. With future releases, we’ll return to patching this region on Mondays as before.
As always, the above dates are subject to change should an issue arise between now and then.
We’ve built the game so that it should install the new patch for you when you launch the game, based on the region you last connected to. When you try to connect to a region that is running a newer version of the game than what you are in, you will be asked whether you want to patch so that you can play on that region.
If you agree, the game will restart and install the new version. However, you will then be unable to play on any region that has not yet updated to the latest patch. If you update and then try to play on a region that is not yet updated, you’ll receive an error.
Our Customer Support department is here to help you on patch day. If you need help, please check out:
Blizzard Entertainment highlighted the StarCraft II Arcade game Chu Chu Madness with a round up video describing its features and an interview with the map creator.
The cool thing about StarCraft II Arcade is that you can invite a friend to play it. He doesn’t need to own StarCraft II. Simply ask your friend to download the StarCraft II Starter Edition for FREE. Have fun! GG
Remember that list of Blizzard-Employee-Exclusive items I posted a few months ago which hit eBay? Today, I was contacted by the same ex-Blizzard StarCraft II QA Thompson, who alerted me of the new eBay listing.
Now come the top items of his collection, folks. This new auction contains original StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty artwork signed by Blizzard artists: Glenn Rane, Brian Huang and Mr. Jack — and includes proof of authenticity.
The ex-developer informed me he approached a reputable eBay lister to put these pieces of artwork in auction. Wowblizzness has a 100% Positive Feedback with a 886 score.
Mr. Thompson Statement
During SC2 crunch, QA was expanded into the CS building. they moved the artwork from Blizzard HQ to decorate the Customer Service walls on the second floor where we worked. At the end of SC2, QA was moved back to main campus for Cataclysm and we had our private launch party. Part of the party was a raffle and auction. This consisted of some exclusive collectibles and the concept art that was raffled for appreciation of our 6 months of 12 hours a day 6 day a week work schedule. I won the Queen of Blades and Hydralisk art during the raffle. The Thor artwork was made specifically for SC2 QA it is not one-of-a-kind. There are about 70 of these Thor artwork that each person received. The other works are one-of-a-kind made to decorate Blizzard HQ.
The three pieces of original artwork consists of:
Brian Huang Signed Concept Art: HYDRALISK
At US $4,999.99 — this One-of-a-Kind
is on a durable heavy duty canvas board medium attached to a black backing. Lighter weight overall. Visit Brian Huang’s website — which contains this and many other StarCraft II concept art pieces. This auction ends on Feb 12, 2014 (21:30:58 PST).
Thompson: Original Brian Huang StarCraft 2 Concept Art Hydralisk. ONE-OF-A-KIND Digital Print hung on wall in the room where StarCraft II was created. Included is picture of my employee plate and also the certificates that were given during the SC2 launch party I’m sure you can verify all this information if you know anyone who worked on SC2 before launch.
Mr. Jack Signed Print: THOR & VULTURE
is auctioned for $1.999.99. It is not a One-of-A-Kind as there are about 70 copies — but considering the millions of fans out there, this is still a rare find. The auction ends Feb 12, 2014 (21:16:32 PST). More of Mr. Jack’s concept art can be found at his CGHub page.
Thompson: Mr. Jack (Luke Mancini) Limited print of a Thor and Vulture made for the StarCraft II QA team. ONLY 1-of-only-70 made!!! ORIGINAL SIGNATURE ON PRINT.
Queen of Blades
is 22″ tall by 17″ wide by 1/4″ thick. It is UV coated so it will not fade. This concept art became the front cover of the novel titled StarCraft: Queen of Blades by author Aaron Rosenberg. This auction ends on Feb 12, 2014 (21:05:26 PST).
Thompson: I have an ORIGINAL “MUSEUM QUALITY PIECE” PRINT up for sale. This work of art truly belongs in a museum. It was THE inspiration for this HUGE franchise. Hung over the heads of Blizzard employees as inspiration for the massive world they were creating!!!
Blizzard Entertainment is looking for a Lead Producer for a yet to be announced video game. The job opening description mentions this game is in development by a small team like that of Hearthstone.
On Twitter, Mike Booth posted he is looking for a Lead Producer for his team. I am not certain yet if this is not the same position, but it might be. Mike Booth joined Blizzard Entertainment on May 2013 as game director of this small team.
It is really hard to figure out what type of game a game developer with his calibre is working on based on his past work. He could be working on a different genre.
With Dustin Browder, when I first heard he worked at Blizzard, I looked at his past work and speculated he was working on StarCraft II. Some time later, StarCraft II was announced.
Michael Booth hails from Turtle Rock Studios as CEO — and if that studio doesn’t ring a bell to you, let me hit the gong hard for you. Turtle Rock Studios worked with Valve in the Counter-Strike series and Left 4 Dead. Michael Booth shares credit as one of the four Counter-Strike programmers, and he was the Project Lead for Left 4 Dead.
I ain’t saying this particular unannounced Blizzard game will have zombies, nor that this is a First-Person Shooter… but I really wish it was if this guy is on the steering wheel. Now if that didn’t get you excited, then I shouldn’t mention what genre StarCraft: Ghost is. Pew pew pew!
The same small team is looking for a 3D Weapons Artist and the description for the job requests that the candidate should have experience working with a diverse range of equipment, vehicles, and mechanical characters.
What’s Blizzard cooking? When will we hear about it? Those are fair questions for which we might not have an answer in quite some time.
In the meantime, spread the word. If you got the talent or know a family or friend with the talent or a friend of a friend … let them know this job opening is available.
Lead Producer| Blizzard
Blizzard’s newest game team is looking for someone to join its ranks as lead producer. With Hearthstone, Blizzard has revived its tradition of creating small and nimble game teams and we are following in those footsteps. As part of our team, you will join in the leadership of a small but mighty band of developers and exert your talents to help craft our processes, organization, goals and execution.
We can’t tell you exactly what the game is yet, but trust us, it’s awesome.
Ideally, you have passion for and experience in wrangling both small scrappy teams and large multi-discipline juggernauts. You enjoy getting your hands dirty in day-to-day game production as well as thinking strategically in solving high level challenges. Maybe you even enjoy personally jumping into databases or modeling packages from time to time. You speak the languages of art, engineering, game design and business – some fluently, the others enough to be dangerous effective. In short, you understand the science and appreciate the art of making amazing games, and have made it all come together in the shipping of world-class products.
Project manages all aspects of the game.
Provide leadership, guidance and execution to ensure both quality and timeliness of objectives and milestones.
Champion the game to all external departments to build transparency, knowledge and passion for the project.
Communicate with executive leadership on status, risks, and needs of the project.
Do whatever it takes for the game to be great, the team to be healthy, and the execution to be flawless.
A minimum of 3 years’ experience as a senior / lead producer
Experience shipping at least one top quality online title in a senior or lead producer role
Experience with the ongoing operation of a game after launch
Development experience as an engineer, artist, or designer a plus
Able to communicate effectively with engineering, art, design, and business personnel
Unrelenting self-motivation and initiative
A deep, abiding, and possibly somewhat untoward passion for games
Required Application Materials
Cover Letter which should include:
Why you are interested in working at Blizzard
What games you are currently playing
**Only submittals with Cover Letters will be considered.
Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. and its affiliated companies is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. – source
New York Times best selling author Richard A. Knaak launched a Kickstarter to develop a novel titled… Legends of the Dragonrealm: The Turning War.
According to Richard, this is a three-volume saga which answers many questions concerning the Legends of the Dragonrealm and the Dragon Masters that never got answered.
That truly sounds powerfully interesting.
Blizzard Entertainment, Pocket Books/Gallery Books have published in past years several novels based on Warcraft, Diablo and Starcraft which tie-in with a Blizzard video game or expansion that’s in development.
That’s a great practice because it allows players to learn what happened in between one game and the next as a bridge to inform and draw the players into an immersive story.
However, a long time passes by between the release of these novels.
Warcraft, for example, is very rich in lore, spanning more than 10,000 years of life-changing events, but most of it is given to the player through an in-game book in a very brief medium.
Who hasn’t read about the Three Hammers War?… where the Bronzebeards, the Wildhammers, and the Dark Irons went into a civil war that culminated in the eruption of the Blackrock Mountains with the accidental summoning of Ragnaros 300 hundred years before the opening of the Dark Portal.
How about the story that led the Darkspear to flee from Stranglethorn Vale?
Or the story about the first humans led by Tyr to safety.
Or how the first Highborne arrived to Tirisfal Glades prior to the founding of Quel’thalas.
The TOKYOPOP Warcraft Legends manga filled a great niche to tell some of these stories, but a novel is longer than a manga. Better yet, novels can extend into trilogies. Or even an entire series of more than three.
Why, oh why–hasn’t Blizzard Entertainment not caved in to the pleas of lore fans?
That’s a question that will haunt me yet for several years. I know the answer down in my heart. Chris Metzen’s plate has been full these past years with multiple games currently in development and other games not yet announced. He’s also co-producer of the Warcraft film. Not to mention the countless meetings he must participate in at each team department. Plus leading a normal life at home with his children and wife.
Micky Neilson, Sean Copeland, Matt Burns and others are busy with other projects too, and the logistics to prepare those stories before it comes to reality on paper is mind-blowing.
Still … I dream. As any other Warcraft / StarCraft / Diablo lore fan out there, I dream. I have always dreamt of the community getting involved somehow in the initial development of Blizzard novels or graphic novels. Even if everyone involved needs to sign an NDA.
The community has been influencing in the past on the forums, or via Twitter. Even at BlizzCon. Heroes of the Storm has been forged and shaped through BlizzCon and by BlizzCon feedback. TheRedShirtGuy (Ian) was very influential with his lore ABCs. Got immortalized as the Fact-checker NPC in Iron Forge. I do have an anecdote that only some fans in the Scrolls of Lore forums know about. Back in 2009, a fan by the username Timolas pointed out the unnamed captain (Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos) who spoke with the emissary of King Terenas in the scene where he recalls Arthas’ troops to return immediately to Lordaeron is named Captain Luc Valonforth. At the time, I think World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King was in beta testing. Pocket Star Books (Simon & Schuster, Inc. Division) had begun printing the novel titled World of Warcraft: Arthas: Rise of the Lich King. I contacted really an awesome editor, Jaime Costas. We had been in contact for a few years. Some of our past giveaways, and interviews on and before 2009 came to happen through her. I infomed her that the captain in the quest titled: The Truth Shall Set Us Free had been given a name in-game: Captain Luc Valonforth. I had read a review copy two weeks before the novel went on sale. As soon as I told Jaime Costas, she edited the scene where the captain talked with the Lordaeron emissary. The novel then was printed with that name. As I was writing this article, I was double-checking some links and found my tale was added (without my knowledge) to the WoWpedia. See how the lore community works? It’s awesome. The original forum thread is here.
Back to the main topic… say some of the most influential lore fans around the community are picked, and invited to a Skype session or chat room with Chris Metzen, Micky Neilson, Sean Copeland or other members of the Creative Team. Prior to the meeting each is sent by mail an NDA that must be signed, notarized, and sent back. Whatever fancy or legal procedure is needed for such a thing.
Those fans then brainstorm with the creative team. Talk about the different stories, and choose one story. Everyone provides an idea, or ideas on what races or characters existed in that time-frame, what possible stories could exist within that sandbox and timeframe.
Then, Micky Neilson (Publishing Lead) posts a Kickstarter to fund the project. Here is where this dream gets interesting. The project is community-driven from concept to execution. We have seen the success of Blizzard novels.
Pre-Order and Kickstarter are basically the same thing. People commits to buy a product they are interested in, and enlist themselves. There is a slight difference, though. When you enlist to a pre-order in Amazon or another retailer you will get that item delivered on release date. On Kickstarter or other type of crowdsourcing the item isn’t shipped if the item doesn’t reach the targeted price goal when the kickstarter expires.
However, the lore fans are there. It has been proved once and again in Amazon and the New York Times best selling lists.
It would be nice for Blizzard to have a Kickstarter-like page on the Blizzard Store or even in the World of Warcraft in-game store, but Kickstarter is more abroad in terms that non-Blizzard fans can also jump in and participate.
It’s all a bunch of dreams. However, they say dreams do come true. Hope the right people read this, and I know they do.