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AGDC '09: Frank Pearce Video Interview

Posted by Michael Bitton on Sep 24, 2009  | Comments

AGDC '09: Frank Pearce Video Interview -

Our Garrett Fuller sat down with Blizzard VP and Co-founder Frank Pearce, at this year's Austin Game Developer's Conference for an exclusive video interview.

In the interview we learn of some of the aspects that go into producing the quality games Blizzard is known for.

Frank Pearce attributes much of the company's success to the long retention rate of their employees as well as the culture the company has cultivated over the years as a result. Mr. Pearce reveals that many in the company have been there for long periods of time, and Blizzard has it's own kind of "Veteran Reward" system so to speak, where if you're there for five years you get a sword, there for ten years, you get a shield, and for 15 years you get a ring. He goes on to say that no one has been there for the 20 year mark so they are going to have to come up with something for that.

Later on in the interview, Garrett switches gears over to World of Warcraft and more specifically, Cataclysm. When asked about what went into the decision to essentially "facelift" the game instead of doing all new zones (a question Garrett also posed to J. Allen Brack in our first interview), Mr. Pearce wouldn't point to any key thing as driving the decision, but went on to say that accessibility played a large role into the choice.

Mr. Pearce says that the game was pretty accessible in his opinion back when the game launched, but with WoW's runaway success more and more people are trying the game out who may have no PC gaming experience at all. As a result of this, they wanted to revamp the newbie experience to be more accessible, which made them also take a look at their older content. Mr. Pearce feels the improvement in quality of the later content available in the Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King expansions also made it more accessible, and so applying the lessons learned from those expansions to the old world will serve to make the quality of the content better and more accessible at the same time.

Watch the full interview here.

Michael Bitton / Michael Bitton / Michael began his career at the WarCry Network in 2005 as the site manager for several different WarCry fansite portals. In 2008, Michael worked for the startup magazine Massive Gamer as a columnist and online news editor. In June of 2009, Michael joined as the site's Community Manager. Follow him on Twitter @eMikeB
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