Blizzard Is The Pixar Of The Video Game World

Pixar is the...Pixar of the animation world. But who's the Pixar of the video game business? Well, according to Pixar, two companies share that honour.

"We've met quite a few of the Blizzard people actually - some of the cinematics team," Pixar's Andrew Payton tells "Blizzard and Pixar almost seem like mirror images of one another: The same sort of philosophy; the same sort of work ethic; the same attention to detail."

"They're basically the biggest company in the games industry, and we're the biggest company in the 3D film industry - it's interesting talking to them, because we always come across the same sort of problems and it just comes down to the philosophy of what you're trying to do."

"Their philosophy has always been trying to make the greatest game they can make, and for Pixar it's about trying to make the greatest film we can make. It's never an easy process - every film has its own slew of nightmares and production problems, and it is almost like giving birth with tonnes of complications in the process."

Now, he's not talking in terms of money spent or awards won or units shifted (though for both those companies those tallies are impressive). He's talking about a passion, a drive to make sure every product released is as perfect as it can be. And while he heaps praise upon Blizzard for their "it's ready when it's ready", they're not the only games company in line for a shout-out.

"Nothing is guaranteed, or goes as planned, but if you keep yourself grounded in what you're trying to do - which is make a piece of artwork that people would love to watch, it touches them. And that's the same thing that Blizzard and Bioware do - they're making games that, when you turn the computer off, you're still thinking about the game. There's an important place for that."

Considering the companies he's talking about - with the fanaticism over Blizzard culture and both company's obsession with creating "real" worlds - Pixar's Andrew Payton seems to know his video games. Which only makes his statements all the more endearing to the developers involved!

Blizzard is the "mirror image" of Pixar []


    And they're both stagnating, creating the same trite family movie over and over again or doing nothing but sequels.

      I hate it when companies milk games till the very last drop, constantly releasing sequels. But to be fair, Blizzards games have an immense story and their sequels continue that. They put in heaps of effort, and I'm all for them making sequels. They haven't been milking any titles, yet. (perhaps wow and its expansions)

        Nah, I don't think either companies are milking anything, probably because the end product for the 2 are always very good if not above average (Cars... and Cars 2?!).

        WoW needs expansions, no company can just release free updates for long and the major landscaping changes will make old areas feel fresh again I guess?

      You're a douche. Some stupid Shrek fanatic or something?

      Toy Story was a revolution in animated movies. It's sequel were totally unnecessary, pointless if you could say. But the thing is,they worked. They were a success and they kept, somehow, the same attitude and freshness that the original first offered.

      Not the mention back then with TS1 and 2, Pixar were hardly known. Yet they had big projects in development. If you knew the time and effort they put into their movies, then you would understand WHY TY2 came out before a lot of their other original movies (besides Bug's Life).

      Toy Story is the only film in their catalog with a sequel (well two). Cars 2 has been announced as in development, but hasn't been released yet. And the only other film in their catalog with an announced sequel is Monsters Inc. which was only announced THIS year and not for release for quite a while yet.

      So out of 11 released films since 1995, 3 have been sequels and all from the same franchise, Toy Story. All of their other films don't require stories. They would seem, useless. Just like Toy Story originally felt, but once you saw 2 and now 3, it all makes sense. Cars would work as a sequel, its that sort of environment they created where it makes sense. Majority of their other films only need to tell one story. Whilst Monsters Inc. would fit into the useless category for a sequel, the film is so great I'm looking forward to seeing the characters yet again!

      In reference to your remark about creating the same film over and over, I guess you really haven't seen their masterpieces (all 11 films qualify for that, maybe Cars the least) but the real ones like Wall-E, Up!, Finding Nemo, Ratatouille, The Incredibles or Monsters Inc.

      None can compare to one another, I think the only comparison is the appeal they have not only kids, but adults aswell. Each is unique and different and completely original.

        Jay said it better than me.

        Look hate to disappoint you but I'm not an insane anti fanboy I'm just sick of all the gushing over pixars movies.
        They haven't made made master pieces, they've made a lot of hackneyed family movies. You say Wall-e was a masterpiece? Then you haven't watched many animated movies. It started off with a great idea of minimal dialogue story telling like some of the greats of old like the dinosaur piece from Fantasia. Then about half way through it stops this in favor of fat people jokes and cheap shots at consumerism. Oh yeah how scathing we can be look at the fat people that don't want to get up.

        Up was an exercise in manipulative film making, the opening 10 minute segment used the same kind of emotion wrenching film making that you see used in thai insurance commercials. Yeah it makes you cry but there is no real value in it, it just hits the "These moments are sad" notes that work on basically everyone.

        They have two genuinely great movies in there catalouge in Ratatoulie and The Incredibles, but I feel these had far more to do with the fact that in essence they were Brad Bird movies animated by Pixar instead of actual Pixar movies.

        I'm sure I could analyze the rest of there movies but I saw them when I was younger and didn't really care for them much then, and I don't want to sit through them again only for ways I can find to dislike them.

        You say that they haven't made any sequels aside from Toy Story. Sure that doesn't mean they arn't just endlessly rehashing the same movie over and over again.
        Character Thrust into a setting out of his element and overcomes adversity through friendship is like 2/3rds of there movies.

        What we end up with is a company that sits on the pinnacle of animation and is in the position to create something truly brilliant, but they're too scared to go out of there comfort zone of schmaltzy family movies to try something great.

        I mean you can berate Dreamworks all you want for the Shrek franchise (Wich admitedly they deserve) but lately aside from Shrek they've been putting out movies which in most cases hold up against the Pixar movies and in some cases (how to tame your dragon springs to mind) far surpasses them.

        We had Imagi from Hong Kong finally branching out and doing something different from family movies making more action orientated movies aimed at teenagers like TMNT and Astro Boy, but they wern't pixary enough so the company went under despite putting out one great movie and one really solid movie.

        We've got Robert Zemeckis who while his whole animated actor thing can some times end up really creepy is really the only person who's put out a fully CG movie aimed at adults.

        And then we have pixar, churning out family movie after family movie about delightful misadventures of characters being misplaced, slowly killing the animation industry for any aspiring animators like myself who want to see modern western animation finally climb out of the animation age ghetto that Disney confined it to.

        So in conclusion.

        f Pixar.

          Oh woe is me, I'm an animator whose stuff is kinda crap, no one will take my hardcore originality seriously, I can't get the job I want, I'll blame Pixar, its their fault I'm not famous.

          Give it up man. I want to write films, intellectual thrillers. I don't wake up every day and blame Christopher Nolan for saturating the market or something.

          When it comes to the entertainment industry, its generally always your own fault that you can't become famous. Your stuff is either not original enough, or there's no market for it. I face the same challenge every time I submit a script somewhere.

          As far as I'm concerned, Pixar are a hit-and-miss bunch, but they're typically great. The original Toy Story was the first film I ever saw in a theatre, I still think its great. Ratatouille, also great. Cars, however, I think is terrible, but other than that I'm down with whatever they wanna do.

          While you may not appreciate Pixar's films as an adult, there are millions who do. Almost any adult can watch one of their 'family movies' and take away at least one lesson or feel moved by the antics on-screen.

          Dreamworks has produced 3 animated films of note: Dragon, Kung-Fu Panda and Shrek. And for each of these there are 3x Shrek 4s, Madagascars or Shark Tales.

          You're an animator so it's not surprising that you're incapable of being unbiased. Pixar isn't doing anything to your livelihood, the avenue of non-Disney animation still exists. Whether you like their films or not is merely personal taste and from numbers alone, you're in a definite minority. I found the TMNT and Zemeckis movies to be enjoyable but never had the emotional punch most of Pixar's films have.

          You're just annoyed that Pixar has massive resources and is producing films that are enjoyable for ALL audiences, and neglecting an 'edgy' adult demographic. That's their creative choice to make, and you have no business bringing your bile of a spurned creative to the equation.

      Sometimes you have to make something that sells really well so you can afford to be ambitious and new with other projects. Look at Wall-E, the first half of that movie has almost no dialogue, sure it was absolutely awesome in the end but they took a big risk. As for Blizzard, well I loved rock and roll racing, they're all obviously very talented so I'd love to see them branch out but you can't blame them for focusing on wow for so long. If you've ever played wow you know that you wanted them to keep developing it and it's evolved into such a different game than it first was and ofcourse they were making an unbelievable amount of money. You wouldn't get mad at Nintendo for making Mario platformers over and over, at least I don't.

    what about the peeps who made ICO and SoTC?

    blizzard? ha..hahahahahaha they died a long time ago. Nothing but useless wow trash now. We will see if they can manage anything with diablo 3.

      Starcraft 2?

      Diablo III? Plus a new IP after that.

      You, sir, could hardly be MORE wrong.

    I LOVE that picture.

      I'm IN LOVE with that picture!!


          Hell, its about tahm buzz lightyear came to the rescue.

    I diagree. If you were to analyse their produced content and not their work ethic, Valve is the Pixar of video games. Both companies make consistently great products, with unprecedented attention to detail.

      Absolutely - in terms of knowing their audience and consistently exceeding expectations, you've gotta go with Valve. I bet that their work ethic is right up there also. Maybe this guy just hasn't met anyone from Valve? Someone introduce Andrew Payton to Gabe Newell, and see what he says then?

      I'd describe Blizzard as the Dreamworks of the video game industry - they have had their share of past glory but ultimately you're just not as sure that the end product will be worth the price of admission.

        Totally agree with Flux.

      This would be true on the 'super anal' point, but Blizz and Pixar are at the top of their games, releasing extremely popular, mainstream games that appeal to everyone from young to old. No other developer these days (besides possibly Nintendo) has reached the level of ubiquity World of Warcraft has. Same as Pixar films.

      Kotaku readers aren't normal readers. While we all know who Gabe and Valve are, the vast majority of people won't know what you're talking about.

    If Oddworld Inhabitants actually still made games, I'd add them to the list. Those guys were phenomenal, and their cinematics were all kinds of awesome.

      The intro cinematic from Exodus was actually submitted for an Oscar nomination... And the animation in Stranger's was epic.

      They were epic.

    I LOVE how everyone has a better opinion for someone than there own opinion.

      Thats not true.. my opinion is the only correct one.

      +1 for Valve.

    There is no Blizzard.
    There is only Activision.

    Heh interesting,

    After seeing toy story 3, and finding all the little easter eggs they left throughout the movie.

    I said to my mate;

    "Pixar are like Valve of the Movie industry"

    Partially because Valve also like to leave little "easter eggs" for fans to find in thier games/game updates ect.

    Was also in terms of excellent quality and not being a bunch of money grabbers, meaning both arn't churning out crappy movies/games respectively.

    I will say Originality seems to be dead in Hollywood, most movies coming out now seem to be remakes or sequels.

    And while I did enjoy the A Team movie, I kept hoping to see Mr T do a cameo. One of the more Original movies I've seen recently was Harry Brown, Michael Cain is brilliant in any role.

    Now we have a movie called the Karate Kid, about a kid going to China and learning Kung Fu. Seriously why not have him go to Japan and learn Karate so the name of the damn movie makes sense.

    I must have missed the Kotaku story explaining why Pixar knew anything about the video game industry to come to the conclusion that Blizzard is somehow the biggest company in the industry or has a work ethic or desire for quality greater than any other company.

    I'm pretty sure Sqaure Enix is bigger than Blizzard and they have been around longer and bringing out bigger hits than Blizzard has for years. Blizzard has been dormant since the release of WoW and they have three franchises which haven't seen new games since 2000 (Diablo 2), 2004 (World of Warcraft) and 1998 (Starcraft).

    Blizzard plays on the PC platform, which is much less competitive than consoles and PC products have greater access over time (there are still losers religiously playing Starcraft).

    There are many game developers with longer histories, greater achievements and much better quality games than Blizzard. Comparing yourself to Blizzard isn't really an insult, but aside from giving another company a public relations blowjob, it doesn't really do anything for Pixar's reputation or credibility.

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