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January 26, 2005



I think there's still time for Starcraft: Ghost to prove or disprove your rule; WoW might be too much of a special case.

I don't know if line extension is such a bad thing for media properties; appearing in multiple forms may well strengthen them. The Pokemon card game and TV show reinforce instead of dilute the Pokemon brand, as each new facet increases the payoff for memorizing the names and properties of a couple hundred fictional creatures.

Congrats on Spider-Man 2! Y'all deserve it.

Nathan McKenzie

I was at a lecture given by Henry Jenkins about a year ago where he was talking at length about the Matrix and the Lord of the Rings. He spoke at length about how he thought that IP generating companies were transitioning from the particular character or story or experience being the brand to the world and mythos and art style becoming the focus of brands, because it's so much easier to extend the brand without damaging it when you're not confined to any particular story or character or experience type...

It was interesting. I'm not not sure what I think of that, ultimately, but it was food for thought. That would support your "Warcraft means cool art" hypthothesis, to a degree.


Em, stop me if I'm being daft here, but couldn't the reason the game sold well be because it's a blooming good game?


I agree -- line extension works in the world of media properties, but you still have to be true to your brand. The WarCraft brand is tied to the real-time strategy genre, but I think that WoW still fits into what WarCraft means: "making war in a fantasy setting". Plus, WoW doesn't present the player with a totally different style of challenges or gameplay. WC3 was mostly about hero management, and WoW is exclusively about managing your hero (AKA character).

I would argue that a WarCraft first-person shooter would not fit into the brand or the player-base. So I'm obviously skeptical about Starcraft: Ghost. That Starcraft brand is currently weaker than the Warcraft brand, it's a PC brand, and the original game's challenges were not about direct unit control, aiming, sniping, sneaking, etc.

But all of this is moot if the game isn't good. :-)

Robert 'Groby' Blum

Gotta agree with Maby - it's the quality of the game that sells. It's an extremely well-excercised MMORPG implementation. And that's what brought in a lot of people I know. Many of them never played any of the WarCraft games. (Insane, but true!)

I think it would behoove us all if we spent less time lamenting "line extensions" and "brand dilution" and instead focused on making fun games. Branding without quality is meaningless for our market - at least as long as the price tag stays fixed.

Apart from that - Congrats for your nomination!


And I too agree with everyone! Cast off the shackles of Scott Miller marketrobabble, Jamie. ;) Any man who can utter the phrase "Boy Was I Wrong" has clearly shown himself to be too mentally agile to fall back on such grandstanding flim-flam.

m to the vizzah

Interestingly, the first game design for WC3 was more of a Myth-like squad based game about your hero and his merry band. It got more classically Warcraft/RTS-y as time went on.


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Jamie's Bragging Rights

  • Spider-Man 2
    The best superhero games of all time Game Informer
    Top five games of all time Yahtzee Croshaw
    Top five superhero games of all time MSNBC
    Top 100 PS2 games of all time Official Playstation 2 Magazine
    1001 Games You Must Play Before You Die Nomination for Excellence in Gameplay Engineering Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences
  • Schizoid
    Penny Arcade PAX 10 Award
    Nominated for XBLA Best Original Game
    Nominated for XBLA Best Co-Op Game