Blizzard president ‘stands behind’ Warcraft 3: Reforged after ‘hard week’
Studio “committed” to improving the game
Blizzard president J. Allen Brack has directly addressed the widespread criticism of Warcraft 3: Reforged following the game’s late January release.
The title has attracted criticism for launching without many visual upgrades shown in a 2018 pre-release version of the game, when it was billed as “a complete reimagining” of the classic RTS, earning it the lowest ever user score for a game on Metacritic.
During Activision Blizzard’s fourth quarter earnings call on Thursday, the company was asked what it’s doing to address negative press surrounding the title.
Blizzard president J. Allen Brack responded: “Concerning Warcraft 3: Reforged, honestly, it’s been a bit of a hard week. Our community has come to expect really amazing things from us and we’ve heard from them that we did not achieve that bar.
“But we stand behind our games and have consistently shown that not only do we support them, but we continue to build on them even after launch and we’re committed to doing that here as well, so we’re going to continue to update the game and we’ll continue to update the community with our plans going forward.”
Update: Blizzard has rolled out the first major Warcraft 3: Reforged patch since the game’s release.
Original story continues: Shortly after Reforged’s release Blizzard issued a lengthy statement pledging to add missing features such as leaderboard and clan support.
However, it said it will not add the rebuilt cut-scenes shown in pre-release versions of the game, despite the fact the canned scenes were still being used in marketing videos on its official website.
Warcraft 3: Reforged features overhauled character models and environments, as well as integration with the Battle.net platform.
However, the final game has none of the revamped cut-scenes shown during its announcement, and some visual improvements such as shader and lighting elements are seemingly missing.
The re-release also lacks many social features from the 2002 original, including support for clans and ladders.
And because the original Warcraft 3 has been updated to share Reforged’s client, these features can no longer be accessed in the original game either.
In another poorly received change, it’s emerged that Reforged’s user agreement essentially claims ownership of all user-created custom games.
In November 2019, Blizzard did appear to have back-tracked on some Reforged features, when some outlets and influencers indicated that the scope of the remaster had changed. However, many fans have claimed this was poorly communicated.
Earlier on Thursday, Blizzard removed refund limits for Warcraft 3: Reforged, allowing users to get their money back “upon request for the time being”.
During the publisher’s earnings call on Thursday, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said the company is currently working on mobile games for all its “most important” franchises.
And chief operating officer Coddy Johnson said 2020’s unannounced, premium Call of Duty game is already “generating excitement” in playtests.