Also, diglett, it's been a while since you liked Blizzard hasn't it? I can't remember you ever being high on them, at least in the last few years.
I used to have a lot of respect for Blizzard as a company. Their refusal to release products, or even info about their products, until they were ready, their dedication to actually testing and bug fixing before release, etc.
They never had my favorite games on the market, but they had a lot of respect for me.
That change was gradual at first (seen more in content updates in WoW than the initial products). But Cataclysm was the first point where it was really clear that the old Blizzard had been firmly replaced by Activision-Blizzard.
It comes down to the core mentality. Before Activision, Blizzard's dedication was to quality and the consumer. Post Activision, it was far more aggressively big business style management.
And I get that both of those were 100% motivated by profit motive. I don't imagine Blizzard as this grassroots game studio keeping their products until they're perfect because that's what gamers deserve. But I do think that it is what truly grew their brand. People used to know that a Blizzard label meant the game was going to be really high quality.
I believe Blizzard would be a more successful company today, which would be awesome for both them and their consumers, if they kept to their old, firm model of "it's ready when it's ready" rather than the big business "You WILL launch Cata in November regardless of how much of a hot ******* mess it is" model.
I could absolutely be wrong there. Maybe the big business approach will be more profitable for them in the end (it's not like we can really know).
Either way, profit motive or otherwise, the project management system that revolved around quality over quantity was much better for me as a consumer, and much better for the gaming market as large.
And in an industry that was heavily plagued by early announcements for releases and buggy products as a result, it was a really refreshing change.
But now, the Blizzard logo does pretty much nothing to reassure me of the quality of a product. And that's sad, because it used to say a lot.