Blizzard’s Greg Canessa, who previously worked on Xbox Live and is now working on Battle.net 2.0, has described Microsoft’s service as not even coming close to the scope of features Battle.net has in the works.
We got our first real glimpse at Blizzard’s new Battle.net a couple weeks ago at BlizzCon, and whether or not you were impressed by the showing, it’s obvious enough that Blizzard is putting a lot of stock into what they see as the future of online gaming services. Greg Canessa, formerly of Microsoft’s Xbox Live team and PopCap and presently working on Battle.net, doesn’t just envision Battle.net competing with Xbox Live, but blowing it out of the water.
“We just scratched the surface with Xbox Live of what you could do with achievements,” Canessa told Gamasutra. “Wow, you can earn achievements. Great. But what if you customize those achievements really deeply and build really compelling meta-game scenarios around unlockable rewards, or decals and avatars, and ladders and leagues for StarCraft II?”
Canessa says that the key difference between building Battle.net versus Xbox Live is that for Microsoft, XBL had to be built as a platform for a system and its games, whereas Battle.net is being built to specifically integrate itself around a small number of titles.
“At Blizzard, we’re not bound by that constraint,” Canessa said. “We have a small number of titles we can deeply integrate in and create these kick-ass custom around-the-game features and meta-game services for a small number of games. That is our key distinguisher, and that is something I’m super excited about.”
Sounds like somebody is super-psyched about his new job.