Blizzard has a number of well-known games we’ve heard about (and even played in some cases) that never saw release – Starcraft: Ghost, Titan, and Warcraft Adventures, to name a few. In addition, Blizzard has killed numerous titles we’ve never even heard about. Executive producer Allen Adham told us a little about how the process works during an interview at BlizzCon 2018.
“We have roughly a 50-percent success rate,” he says. “I do a presentation internally for Blizzard and for the Activision companies at large, sometimes our brothers and sisters at King or Activision, Treyarch, Sledgehammer, Infinity Ward, they’re curious to hear how our incubation process works. I have a slide where it shows a curtain, you know, and how does Blizzard consistently make great games and it shows a picture of Blizzard covered by a curtain, and the next slide is this terrifying-looking clown. The truth is, behind the curtain, it’s a horror show. But most people outside of Blizzard don’t realize around half of our titles don’t see the light of day. So, people who think we’re a consistent company, we’re only consistent in that we only release the really amazing games.”
Those games that never see the light of day aren’t just left on the cutting-room floor. Adham says many elements are repurposed.
“The interesting thing about almost all of our failures, they almost all lead directly to the next success,” he says. “Titan led – one to one – to Overwatch. Nomad – which most people haven’t heard of – led to World of Warcraft. That’s a repeating pattern. We honor our failures, learn from them, and they almost always directly lead to the next blockbuster title. That’s kind of the dirty, behind-the-scenes truth of how we make games at Blizzard.”
Look for our entire interview with Allen Adham soon!