Just a little MMO-related news that many may not have been aware of. What follows is a joint press release by Blizzard and a new company, Cryptozoic Entertainment:
CRYPTOZOIC ENTERTAINMENT ACQUIRES WORLD OF WARCRAFT® TRADING CARD GAME LICENSE
Wrathgate booster set for tabletop game based on Blizzard Entertainment’s award-winning World of Warcraft series slated for May release, followed by Class Decks in June
Irvine, California – (March 24, 2010) – Cryptozoic Entertainment is pleased to announce that they have signed a long-term licensing agreement with Blizzard Entertainment. The multi-year arrangement grants Cryptozoic the right to produce the trading card game (TCG) based on Blizzard Entertainment’s hugely popular World of Warcraft® massively multiplayer online role-playing game series.
“This is an exciting time for us and for players of the trading card game,” said John Nee, Cryptozoic Entertainment’s CEO. “Our first priority will be to maintain the current programs that the community has come to expect and then build from there. The game itself is fantastic, and will not change. The community can rest assured that we are committed to providing them with the high quality product and organized play that they deserve, worldwide.”
“It’s important to us and to our players that every entertainment experience set in a Blizzard Entertainment game universe matches the standards we’ve established with our games,” said Paul Sams, Chief Operating Officer of Blizzard Entertainment. “We’re proud of the quality and accessible gameplay that the World of Warcraft TCG has offered to date, and we’re confident that Cryptozoic is the best team to help us continue that tradition.”
Cryptozoic will continue to expand the World of Warcraft TCG for years to come. Players will soon have a slew of exciting new cards to test their skills and defeat their opponents with at the upcoming Continental Championships in June and the World Championship in August. The first product release from Cryptozoic will be the Wrathgate boosters in May followed by the Class Decks in June.
“Having been fully involved with the development of the World of Warcraft TCG from day one, I’ve always been passionate about taking it into the future,” said Cory Jones, Cryptozoic’s President and Chief Creative Officer, and formerly Blizzard Entertainment’s lead business and development liaison for the TCG. “I’m pleased to say that the players have a lot to look forward to as we continue developing and evolving the game to match the action and spirit of World of Warcraft.”
To start, players can get the latest news on the World of Warcraft TCG at www.cryptozoic.com. Then in just a few weeks a brand new website for the TCG itself will launch. Cryptozoic promises ongoing updates on everything from organized play to product releases as well as a regular dose of strategy articles and spoilers as they get closer to their initial product launch.
As you may have noticed, one of the co-founders of Cryptozoic, Cory Jones, is a former Blizzard employee. What’s more, the company Cryptozoic was founded recently, and at this point exclusively, for development of the WoW TCG. It seems like Blizzard has decided to take a much more active role in the trading card game with this re-launch, much as it always has with its World of Warcraft merchandise. That Cryptozoic is, for now, Blizzard by another name is a theory given credence by the trouble the Warcraft developers had with Upper Deck Entertainment, the original creators of the TCG. It may be that Blizzard has decided that keeping business “in the family” is the best way forward.
As a player of both World of Warcraft and the accompanying trading card game, I can only hope that the close ties between Blizzard and Cryptozoic will be of benefit to the product.