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Warcraft developers Blizzard target a shift towards mobile gaming

According to an interview with three of its top execs, Blizzard Entertainment see mobile gaming as a huge market and a viable next step for a company more traditionally aligned with “hardcore” PC gaming franchises like Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo. The company’s top dogs believe there is room on mobile for deep, strategic gameplay within the short bursts associated with on-the-go gaming.

On Blizzard’s hit-list of future goals is to produce games that are “easy for a broad audience to pick up” and which will “represent a more diverse audience in-game.” The company is already well-known for taking a “niche” game type and expanding its appeal – most notably with its World of Warcraft franchise, which peaked at 12 million paid subscribers.

All three executives interviewed described mobile as “an exciting development platform,” showing enthusiasm for “the idea of bringing Blizzard’s deep heritage in real-time strategy” to iOS and Android. It’s multi-player, multi-platform card game Hearthstone has already proved extremely popular on iPhone and iPad, staying in the top 40 grossing apps since its launch.

President and co-founder Michael Morhaime says, “I feel like there’s still a big opportunity in mobile beyond just casual games,” but admits the company isn’t completely sure what the opportunity actually is just yet. If Blizzard can build on the success of Hearthstone, developing a new franchise or a new take on an existing franchise, it could be a big deal for the mobile gaming scene and open the floodgates for more strategic games on the small screen.

You can read the whole interview over at Venture Beat, in which the Blizzard trio also discuss how to create content quicker and why they’re not yet interested in virtual reality.