Writer and editor leaving Blizzard

George Krstc and KT (@/Phaerixia) left Blizzard this week.

George was head of writing for Cdev of Blizzard as a whole (like Golden) while KT was a writer and editor for WoW specifically.

Notably from observation, George recently hit the five year mark, and also purged his entire Twitter of tweets prior to August 1st of this year.

KT on the other hand is leaving after being very much supportive of the survivors involved in the lawsuit and in general an advocate for many sociocultural issues for many years.

Neither is lawsuit related I imagine, but wonder how much of it was straw that broke the camel’s back.

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I think it’s not only the lawsuit, I mean Shadowlands story is received pretty badly to the point I have seen several articles on some bigger sites talking about how much of a disaster it is, wouldn’t be surprised if they want to distance from it, having it on your resume as a writer probably isn’t good optics.

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They could have simply left because they were headhunted by other gaming companies.

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Yes but that also means other places were thus more desirable than Blizzard which is also Concerning but not Surprising.

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Not really. It’s a competitive industry, it’s normal.

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yes but that’s the thing, it used to not be, ergo the standard “Blizzard tax” (people taking lower play for the glory of working at blizzard)

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Isn’t to difficult to understand why people would leave this company. Wow is basically a sinking ship at this point and doesn’t really seem like it have anyone who really have the control of it.

Every new thing they added lately, being good or bad, just make it look like fast easy decision without any meeting and without really thinking about the future of the game.

I always hated when people where saying that the game was dying or was going to be kill by a other game and i was even defending them when FF take the most played mmorpg spot but since the lawsuit, we can’t really denied that it might be over this time.

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And just look at the mentality given recent changes we see:

  • “Diversity is bad”, whether anti phenotype variation for player characters or anti hiring more POC
  • “But muh exclusivity, screw the new players”, whether about mage tower or the fact seasonal rewards are recolors
  • Constant defense of the Lore team’s decisions whether about reroactively-contextualizing Chronicles or about things like Teldrassil
  • Dev contempt for any notion that systems or narrative decisions promote toxic community dynamics
  • Dev contempt for any critic of the game, refusing to admit error for years
  • Player contempt for devs trying to purge the game of Abuser References
  • Player (and content creator) contempt for devs trying to unionize
  • Content creator contempt for players pointing out bad lore decisions
  • etc etc etc

WoW’s community is in free for all, open battle against each other and anyone trying to find middle ground or open this game to new players is immediately attacked.

Example: regarding Mage Tower, I pointed out that opening Mage Tower as an ever-green challenge where any new player could get the old appearance would allow new players, particularly young Millennials and Zoomers, to maybe be incentivized to stick around and work towards a cool thing, bringing them into WoW’s overall culture of Work = Rewards.

The response, “We don’t need Zoomers in this game to survive”

okay man

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This has been the case since at least BC. The only difference is “the times”. Blizzard appears to be in a listening mood.

The same old fights have been there - people seem to feel like they can rig the Game, as the Devs attempt to reform it.

You want to pretend the battle lines are drawn as such? I disagree.

That is some nasty story telling.

I can see the wisdom in providing rewards that respect effort in a given moment of time.

What ever you are calling “zoomers” can survive in this game, without Mage Tower Appearances. You act as if you need a Mage Tower Appearance to leave the starting zone.

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This could be related to the feeling “Is there any point in trying if I still don’t become like the other”?

Maybe more of us should start writing video game lore then if the standard is that low going off of BfA and Shadowlands.

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To be honest, I’ve had the impression for quite some time now that the hands of CDev and the writers are tied and they’re forced to tell whatever narrative marketing thinks will sell, rather than the stories they want to write. Authors may be able to sneak in passion projects in the form of moments for specific characters now and then, but if Marketing tells them we need WoW’s version of Thanos collecting WoW’s version of the Infinity Stones, then no matter how much those writers know it’s not going to go over well with the players, they have to write it anyways.

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I would believe that if the writers weren’t regularly subtweeting criticism.

That being said, given the amount of Former Republican War Crime Defenders on the executive team, I wouldn’t be surprised if trickle down hot takes abounded and it was indeed what you’re suggesting.

Arguably I suspect it is both things.

I’ve previously stated BFA didn’t feel like one story that the team came together on but two separate stories of two teams taking shots at each other.

“You get this so I get that”

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Ion should be fired since he used to work at Wilmer and Hale. Why is no one talking about how suspicious it is that a firm Ion used to work at is now the big Union Buster at Blizzard. He worked as a law clerk for white collar criminal defense.

The fact that Ion is still there is probably why a lot of people are leaving.

Ion still hasn’t publicly supported the victims of Blizzard or the workers union. If there is a future for Blizzard and WoW it’s a future without Ion Hazzikostas. Sadly though Blizzard probably won’t fire him because they rely on the revenue Ion brings in with esports.

But as the player base we can speak out.

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I don’t care if he hasn’t publicly said anything, actions speak louder and Ion has been the ONLY face at Blizzard since GC left who has consistently and actively engaged with the actual playerbase to find things out, I honestly believe that 9.1.5 is entirely because with the old management away from him, people are starting to listen to him.

Watch the old BCon panel videos, the others constantly speak over him, talk on his points when he could, his expression most of the time is “Kicked dog” except when he gets solo stage time and then he’s the only person there who looks passionate and like he’s on the other side of the stage, unlike the other corpses they used to drag across it.

I think he’s doing the same thing he always has, kept his head down and focusing on trying to make the game better for us all.

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Well you can think that all you want.

Ion is personally responsible for the state of the game being highly skewed towards esports and M+ since he was promoted in WoD and it hasn’t be making the game better but making it worse. And he doesn’t care about the average player. that became evident in the Blizzconline 2021 interview when he called 85% of the playerbase insignificant players and not his target audience.

He’s so out of touch with the playerbase and it took him this long to finally pull the ripcord on Covenant systems (now that the Mythic SoD race is over… thanks Ion /s) I’m not gonna thank him or believe that he’s finally listening to what the players want.

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According to WoW Gossip Grapevine, Ion gave a rallying speech for everyone especially the survivors in the days that followed and has been there regularly for people.

That being said it is very much a conflict of interest to an extent and I am Concerned given more Better ABK people want to form a union and I do not know where the Leadership (two co leads and ion) stand on unions.

He is however a founder of Elitist Jerks.

And the standing philosophy of the past 20 years, of Gameplay (and the Elite Gameplay People therein) before all else is no longer sustainable for WoW.

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that’s the thing Ion thinks that 85% of the playerbase will be satisfied with new customization options and re-coloured old armor skins. that’s how much effort is put into caring to what the “casual” players want. There’s no consideration on the fact that most players can’t commit to endgame content because we now have jobs and families and that shouldn’t dictate our exclusion from endgame content, nor should we have to settle for the bare minimum of content.

M+ and raiding to stay current in gear and ilvl is a full time job, I already have a full time job and a family. It’s no longer viable to most players to invest a time commitment like we could when we were teenagers. That’s the reality of an aging playerbase.

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If Ion spoke out directly against the corporation he worked for he would likely be out of a job fairly quickly.

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True, the the word on the grapevine is he actually helped facilitate the partnership between his old company and Activision-Blizzard.

I don’t know what to believe is true.

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