29Nov

BlizzCon 2017 Blizzard Social: What’s Next Panel Transcript

Q&A

Andy: Giving out free stuff. I like it. Two loot boxes, Nathan. Two loot boxes in a completely made up demo. I got two loot boxes. Seems a little cold, I don’t know. I don’t know what’s up with that.

Lot of stuff we just talked about. A refresher: the Battle.net Desktop App, an entirely new collaboration experience with Blizzard Groups, your first Blizzard Profile, cool things like Avatars, a brand-new Mobile App. Lot of lot of stuff. Got some fans of the mobile app over here. I like that.

 

There’s one thing we did not talk about. Finally! Come on.

 

You’ve been asking for this for a long time. You’ve been really patient. The entire Battle.net team really appreciates your patience, or impatience. Telling us all the time that this is something we should do. It’s here. It’s out. It’s now available for you to use.

I do think about this as really a super important social feature. Part of being social, part of connecting with your friends is also having the control of when you want to be social and when you don’t want to be social; and we think that’s really important. So I’m really happy to deliver this feature.

So that’s what we have to talk about today. I am going to invite all the speakers back up on the stage, and we’re going to do a little Q&A. There are some microphones somewhere. There’s one. And if you have questions, come up to the mics. We’ll be happy to answer. Thank you.

 

Fan yells: I love you, Mike.

Mike: I love you too. See me after.

 

(Everyone laughs)

Andy: Usually, you get a celebrity to moderate panels. I just kind of moderate my own panel. It is kinda strange, actually. There are some people with some questions coming up. Just to get us started a little bit, we just launched a mobile app a little while ago. Like a million downloads so far — just getting started. That’s a good start. Renata here from Austin, Texas. From our Austin office, coming to join us. Renata, just to get that out there… what’s next? What’s coming up?

Renata: Well, we’re hoping to make the app the best experience we can, for you and your friends to chat. So we want to be able to get your profiles up there — just like you can see it on your desktop app. And of course, bring Blizzard groups to your phone so you can make your groups right there as well; and so that they transfer between your phone and your computer.

I think those are the first two next steps; and of course, as feedback comes in, we’ll address what’s the best thing to do next for the app.

Andy: Cool! Good. All right, let me randomly start on the left. What’s your name?

Participant 1: Hi. My name is Benjamin. I’m from Houston, Texas; and I have a question about the new method when you get the pop up window, someone has invited you to be your friend. Can you message that person instead of automatically accepting them, to say like: “Where do we know each other from?

Itay: That’s a great question. So right now you still cannot whisper non-friends from the other side of the Battle.net desktop app. But it’s something that we’ve heard from the community, and we are working on options to be able to do it. So right now the profile is where we’ll learn a bit more. We’re hoping to be able to bring that in the future.

 

Participant 2: Hey. My name is Matt. I’m from Boston. Regarding the gifting, I’m wondering if we’ll ever be able to send mass gifts to multiple people simultaneously.

Andy: You’re a generous guy. That’s a great idea, Nathan.

Nathan: Yes, absolutely. Something that we are considering. Really got out the door with our first set of offerings this year, and it’s in our backlog of ideas to go and be able to share all over the worlds of Blizzard with your friends pretty easily all at once. Yes, absolutely. We are thinking about it.

 

Participant 3: My name is Danny from Irvine. My question is… for the avatars… it looks like you have a tremendous selection of them. Is there going to be in the future where you can actually select your own personal picture, or something that you can download, that you already have on file.

Itay: So avatars. We have a lot of great art from our games, and we have some plans with that as well. Currently, there is no plan to allow you to upload your own avatar. It is just going to be the selection that has been given to you by Blizzard.

 

Participant 4: Hey, guys. I’m Andy from Orlando, Florida. Thanks for making the app. I’m just wondering if you have any options to customize notification sounds other than the default one that we have?

Mike: Believe it or not, we talk about it all the time. We haven’t made a final decision yet; but it is something that we’ve heard over and over, and we are going to continue to look into. Thanks for the question.

 

Participant 5: Hi. I’m Chris from Mason, Wisconsin; and I was wondering if any of the avatars we could choose would be unlocked by achievements in their respective games.

Andy: That’s a cool idea.

Itay: It’s a cool idea, like Mike said. It is an idea that we’ve been batting around, and really excited to see if we can pull it off, but not right now. But we like it a lot.

 

Participant 6: Hello. My name is Daniel from Montreal, and I was wondering in games like Heroes of the Storm, you can shoutout to people online: “I had just made a super game!” Is that going to be enabled somehow in Battle.net? Right now really say: “Hey, I’m at BlizzCon and it rules!

Andy: Sort of like a post of some kind or something like that? Mike, would you love to take that one?

Mike: It sounds like broadcast, I think. That was a feature we threw out at one point, and we haven’t talked about it in a while with all the other social investments we have. We’re getting a bunch of other ways to kind of reach out to your friends, but it’s something that is on the list; and something we think about like how it would integrate with chat, and with groups. So yeah something that we could just dust back off.

Andy: Thanks a lot. Mike while you’re talking… maybe talk a little bit about what’s coming up next for Groups?

Mike: So I covered a little bit. We want to make chat to feel more fun. We also want to make it more useful. So we’ve got a lot of ideas there for how to help you collaborate, how to help you kind of coordinate within your groups. We want to make sure admins have the right options for administering the groups they have. We also have more icons, and possibly more options for just how to customize the space even more to make it unique for you and your friends.

Andy: And one of the things I’ve heard people ask about is game integration. Can you say a little bit about that?

Mike: Yeah. That’s probably one of the cooler ones. We’re talking a lot with the different game teams about integrating Blizzard Groups directly into their UIs. We can’t announce any games, or timeframes yet; but we think for us… again for making it one of the best community, for Blizzard a big part of it is having it integrated into the places you’re actually playing; and so make it easy for those PUG scenarios, and those PUG Premade scenarios. That’s part of the plan.

 

Participant 7: Hi from Pasadena. I want to ask about the Real ID. If you could turn that off in-game, because like people want to stream you can see the full names when they’re playing as opposed to seeing their handles. So is that an upcoming project or anything?

Itay: Streamer mode in games is something that we’ve heard. It’s not currently one of the things that’s out there, but definitely something that we should be looking into giving people an out if they go into the streaming mode for their real IDs not to show up in games. It is definitely a good idea that we should look into.

 

NEXT: Q&A (PART 2)

BlizzCon 2017 Blizzard Social Whats Next panel transcript
1. Intro2. Battle.net Desktop App3. Blizzard Groups4. Mobile App
5. Gifting6. Q&A7. Q&A (Part 2)

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BlizzCon 2019 Panel Transcripts

 

Tomas Hernandez is owner of Blizzplanet.com since 2003. I post news about World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard Careers, and the Warcraft film. Blizzplanet is a leading fansite covering news about upcoming Blizzard Entertainment licensed products. I also post previews and reviews. I have interviewed book writers and Blizzard game developers. I was previously an employee of the OGaming Network (2003), and IncGamers (2008-2010). I was a guest newsposter for GosuGamers (World of Warcraft) a few years ago and for Diablofans.com (formerly Diablo3.com) ***Fans who would love to watch Blizzard-related panels and appreciate our efforts can support Blizzplanet's patreon in a monthly-basis, or a one-time basis. Our staff are volunteer fans like you. Your donations will help us travel to all the Blizzard events we attend year-round to bring you the latest interview with the developers, photos, and panel videos (where allowed).