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Blizzard's Warcraft III

Boot Camp feature for Wednesday, July 24, 2002

If it was a movie... it would be breaking box office records. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. It has been one of the big hits of the summer, Blizzard Entertainment's Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. With the strategy game for PCs and Macs selling for between fifty and sixty dollars, Blizzard VP Bill Roper says...

"We launched, day one, 4.5 million copies worldwide. The game launched in 12 different languages and really the game was shipped just about equally in the U.S. and Asia Pacific markets and all across Europe. And it's something that we have a strong focus on at Blizzard, we really want to be an international company."

And not just with Warcraft. Blizzard's StarCraft and Diablo series have been global blockbusters as well. And it has bucked the trend to charge customers for online game play through a service it calls Battle.net... .

"Battle.net was launched in 1996 along with Diablo. And at that time there were a lot of people pushing for a pay for play model, just to even get online and play. And for better or for worse, Blizzard's comprised of a bunch of game players, so we sat around at the time and said, what would we like to do if we bought a game and the answer was... I just want to click a button and go online and play anybody else who bought the game. And so we've always viewed that as a value add to the package as opposed to a revenue stream."

Blizzard is a part of Vivendi Universal Publishing. Roper, by the way, is a celebrity of sorts in the gaming world because of his voice over work in the titles...

"When you play the game and you run around there's little green guys running around going... zug, zug and for the horde... and that's me."

Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.