Q&A (Part 2)
Participant 8: Hi. I’m Johans from Denmark. In the games tab, you can see every game that’s released on Battle.net including the ones you don’t own. So I’m wondering if you have any plans if you can remove those that you don’t own so it doesn’t sit there.
Andy: I’ll take this one. Right now we look at the user experience, and we want to make sure it’s uncluttered. It’s still somewhat uncluttered right now, so we haven’t seen a reason to try and let you trim it down. And also, because there’s always new things coming up in most games we want those to sort of be a click away.
If we got to a point where there is a lot more games, we would certainly introduce the idea of allowing you to hide the ones that you don’t play; but right now we haven’t quite seen the need for it given that they all kind of sit there pretty easily and fit in the size of the window. Good question, though. Thanks.
Itay: Everybody knows, but you can sort your icons and put them on the top.
Participant 9: Hey. Mike from Austin, Texas. My question– what’s up Renata? My question is more of a personal one. I guess maybe for Renata or Andy, maybe for everybody else in the panel. How did you get your start with Battle.net and what sort of evolutions have you seen in the trials and tribulations of developing it into this kind of robust application?
Renata: Sure. Yes, I actually started with Blizzard in customer support. So I was a game master. That’s how I started out in WOW, and I was mostly helping our Latin American players, but also all our U.S. players as well. And got really interested in project management. At the time, we called it producing management, I think.
And I got an opportunity to do a temporary assignment on the Battle.net department producing for them on the Battle.net account management sites. So where you guys have all your personal information and bank accounts, and all that; and I just loved it. I didn’t want to give it up. So I went out there, and I got some certifications, and tried to educate myself a little bit more on the field; went back to being a game master until an opportunity arose; and I jumped on it, and I begged to be a part of the up and coming mobile team.
It was barely built at the time. It was super small. Maybe five people, and I really wanted a part of that. So I got lucky I guess, and competent maybe. Impressed some people, and on a trial basis also a part of the mobile team, and then we pitched this messaging app and everybody thought it was awesome, and we had to have it, and it’s been a long time coming.
Andy: The rest is history.
Participant 9: Awesome. Congratulations.
Andy: Itay, profiles. What’s coming up with that?
Itay: So Profiles. Something that we just launched. Definitely, we plan to keep working on it, adding more features. Number one: Avatars. We have got a ton of feedback from: “I’m missing this guy, I’m missing that guy.”
We’ve got to be adding a lot of profile avatars for players to select, and then we would love to find a way also to find more ways to bubble up some of the information from your game profiles to your Blizzard Profile to tell a bit more about your game style and gameplay.
Andy: Right. Cool. Well, let’s continue. How about a lot of questions up here about appear offline. When we launched Appear Offline, a lot of stuff on the internet and in social media about it. One of the questions I have seen a bunch is: well, how does this work in the games? Could you maybe talk a little bit about that?
Itay: Yeah. So I think the easiest way to think about it, instead of trying to go game by game is if you look at it from your Battle.net friends list… anywhere that you can pull up that friends list — whether it be in a game or in Battle.net Desktop App — it will behave correctly. So if you’re playing offline, you will look offline to your friends.
If you’re running on in-game doing something in the game, you’ll be visible to people in the game.
Andy: And how about being able to set your status from in the game?
Itay: So since we just launched, it is something we’re working with the game teams, and hoping to have the schedules set; but as a matter of fact, Overwatch already if you go into the social menu by hitting “O” in the game — you will have a selector where you can set your status, and you can select “Appear Offline” and you will be appearing offline from there. And we expect that, over time, more games will be patching to add more UI and more customization for that.
Andy: That’s cool. Overwatch leads the way. They actually do today. That’s pretty cool.
Participant 10: Hi. I want to ask for someone who is 2 years out of college with mechanical and software engineering background is interested in working with the Battle.net team. Some kind of special software engineering sort of medium. I’m just wondering, I don’t see a lot of newer grad entry level positions in the Battle.net sphere in general on the jobs site. I am just wondering, what do you typically just hire internally from other departments so you have got to start somewhere else, and then move my way up there; or are you creating on the horizon newer positions? What kind of positions should I be looking for more at that level?
Andy: Lucky we were just going to hand out a job right now to someone who asked. Seriously, first I would definitely go out to the recruiting station. I should know… Danny’s in the audience somewhere, tell me; but there’s a recruiting station down there. I would go down there to ask him about that. We do hire new grads, and we’re always trying to prime the pump so to speak of getting new hires in from colleges.
And so a lot of times it isn’t represented as well on the job boards but we definitely do that; and we also have a real thriving intern program. Interns kind of take over the Blizzard campus during the summer, and it’s great fun, and they come on to the teams. They work on real projects. So both interns, and new grads is something we get involved in a lot.
I’d go down, there’s a bunch of recruiters down there at the booth, and I’d go down to chat them up.
Renata: I will add something else since you are more wanting to do engineering. There will be two panels just for engineers like us. A lot of us in here are project-or-program managers. but there will be a panel today, and a panel tomorrow just with engineers; and I would definitely go up there and pose a question; and see how they got started, and maybe where they focused, and programming languages they focused on, so that you can have some guidance on kind of like where to put all your effort; and that you’ll get the most return.
Participant 10: Thank you so much. Which panels are those ones?
Participant 11: Hi. My name’s Anthony, and I was wondering there are a lot of ideas being thrown around about new features, and things that are coming out. I’m sure you receive of a lot of community feedback for things they’d like to see. How do you decide what you’re going to start working on next as far as these new features?
Andy: That’s a good question. I’ll take a stab at it, and then some of you can jump in. I would say that’s the hardest part of the job, frankly. We get an amazing amount of feedback from our player community. We have incredible innovation going on across all the games, and we have to look at the Battle.net platform as something that needs to evolve with the games, and also evolve beyond sort of get a sense where people are going.
So if you look at what we talked about today up on this panel, there is a lot of pent up need for a bunch of these social features, and we felt like it was really good for us to focus on Social, look at what people wanted, and make a particular effort around that; and as an example, gifting is one of those things where we didn’t look at gifting as wouldn’t it be cool just to do gifting, but we look at it as a part of Social.
One of the things that players want to do with each other, and we had a bunch of feedback that was they wanted to gift each other, and we didn’t really have a good experience for that.
So we tend to look at things from a theme point of view, and our big theme for this year was Social; and then we kind of start over and look at what people are asking for, and kind of rinse-and-repeat; but it really makes our job super exciting, because we argue among ourselves about what features we should go do and not to go do.
Participant 12: Hi, I was wondering if at some point those portraits that she talked about if some of them might be unlockable as saying you have a really cool achievement that you’re very proud of in Hearthstone, and you’re able to display it in your Battle.net profile, or as your image; and that way, does it matter what games everyone else plays they can still see it.
Andy: I think we should hire you to write the spec for that.
Itay: We definitely have that same sentiment and it’s something that we’re shopping around, and like Andy was mentioning, we have to kind of get the game teams onboard, and get this going; but we think it’s a great idea. It would be great if you work super hard to unlock something, you want to show that, and be proud of that; and for that to show off everywhere; but still… some work to be done there.
Participant 13: Hi. I’m David from Boston. I was curious if you guys were planning on adding nicknames to the Battle.net friends list, in addition to new ones. If you know somebody on one name in-game, as the Battle Tag you actually know them as– if you can change it so when they message you, whether you’re coming online or offline, you see them under the name you know them as (like the name they play in your guild), because if I look at my friends list a week later, and I don’t know who this person is. That’s not the name I know them as.
Mike: I think it is a great idea.
Renata: I agree with you that sometimes a note can be a little hidden, so you have to look for it to find who you’re chatting with. I definitely think it’s something we should think about.
Mike: As we build these things, they become more complex. Things like that are going to become more necessary: “This is how I know you.”
Andy: Any other questions? All right. Well, I don’t have any questions myself with the team. Last call, and we wrap it up.
Renata: Maybe one more.
Andy: One more? We’re going to pause. Talk among yourselves. Up here she comes.
Participant 14: Hi. My name is Rachel, and I’m from Canada. My question is basically… A few months ago, I was playing online. Friends… we were trying to add each other online, but we kept getting this error message saying each other’s friends lists was too full. I know it has changed since then, but I was wondering if it’s going to expand on how many friends you can have on Battle.net.
Andy: Yeah. That’s a good question I get that a bunch.
Itay: So currently the friend limit is 200. So at this point, we’re still in that world. You have the biggest fans sitting here, and wanting that number to go up, and we continue to make noise so it happens. If you are at capacity, you will have to unfriend somebody in order to add somebody new. We did put a feature out there. It is kind of hidden and secret, which is being able to see what your send friend requests are. So if you want, you will see a little cartwheel on the friends list. It says send friend requests, and if you have some friend requests that are not accepted, and you want to clean those up, you can also go ahead and get rid of those; but right now 200 is the limit. Thanks for asking.
Andy: Blizzard employees are very passionate about that feature. We have full friends list, so we’re definitely working on that. We’re highly motivated.
Participant 15: Hey, guys. I am Jeremiah from Irvine. I asked her fine I don’t know if you’ve met me yet. I just want to know about one global region. Any talks about that?
Andy: Oh yeah. One global region. We do talk about that a bunch. Super hard problem. But we are definitely looking into it. We would love to have people be able to do cross-region play, and have merged friends lists. We’d love to do it. It’s very, very hard. We can’t commit to anything, but we feel your pain. Okay. Anything else? No? Okay. Well, we really appreciate you spending the time with us.
Great questions. Please, go to the forums. Please, give us feedback. Try our features out, and we’re listening; and we’re going to continue to make the Battle.net Desktop App and Mobile App, and those experiences awesome for you. Thanks a lot.
|BlizzCon 2017 Blizzard Social Whats Next panel transcript|
|1. Intro||2. Battle.net Desktop App||3. Blizzard Groups||4. Mobile App|
|5. Gifting||6. Q&A||7. Q&A (Part 2)|