Ah, "the elevation of patience." If all companies could have that luxury, everything would be so much simpler.
In speaking at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco yesterday, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick says that thanks to the Activision/Blizzard merger they now have the time to deliver the best games possible . He said that "partly because we have the financial resources to do it," they can take all the time they need to produce a product gamers really want. He calls this "an incredible luxury" and adds:
"You have to instill that value into the culture; Blizzard has that as a unique value of the culture and I think it's now been very well instilled across all of Activision Blizzard.
Patience is rewarded. It's a vocal audience that's willing to tell you through that beta process what they think of the product, what needs to be done differently and now that the product is as much a service as it is an actual product, that period of time is invaluable to polishing, building and shaping the games to be extraordinary."
Well, the beta process is certainly important and it's interesting that he says "the product is as much of a service as it is an actual product." The industry has reached a point where developers really need to continue to support big releases after launch; it no longer ends for the designers when the game is on store shelves. With the maintenance and additions required for the multiplayer aspect, along with the now-expected and even requisite downloadable content, times have changed.
But time is always a "luxury," regardless of the industry.