Hey Jeremy, let’s start with a quick intro about yourself! Who are you and what do you at Blizzard?
My name is Jeremy Chasey, and I am a Senior IT Program Manager that was working alongside of our game development teams here at Blizzard. I’ve been at the company for almost 15 years, working in IT for almost 10.
What can you tell us about Blizzard?
What can’t I tell you about Blizzard? Founded in 1991, we are a video game developer that has created titles such as World of Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo and Overwatch. Considered to be one of the best game developers in the world with multiple titles currently in development, including Overwatch 2, Diablo IV and Diablo Immortal.
How does a new Blizzard project/product born? Is it just someone has a new idea for new game and they get a team around them work on it, I guess it is more than that…
It could be as simple as that, yes. A simple idea born from a game jam, which is another term for short team-based efforts to get a deliverable product out in a limited time or a venture that someone wants to explore that hasn’t been done the “Blizzard” way yet. Once aligned on if the Incubation team wants to pursue working on it, they may add more team members to begin fleshing it out more. Not all games or concepts ship in the end.
How long does it take to develop a game like your flagship games?
Haha, it feels like a long time in most cases but there isn’t an exact answer here, unfortunately. It really depends on what the scope of what experience we want to release and when it feels ready. There is a term that gets used around here that I’m sure our players already know and that’s “Blizzard soon”.
How does the team interact, do developers, art professionals, producers, are they all working around the same desk? Is there hierarchy?
Kind of a like a round-table definitely. Every developing team has their own version of working groups, but make no mistake, it is a very much a team effort. A continuous conversation of feedback and ideas that are put into every feature and experience. We have a Core Value that encompasses this called “Every Voice Matters”, and when it comes to development, we very much want to hear from others to express their feedback on what could be done to make things a better experience.
What can you tell us about technology and tools that you guys use to develop your products?
We are always looking to find solutions through new technology and offering the best experiences when possible. Gone are the days of allocating data centers to IPs, now we are developing and pushing what we can do in the cloud when it comes to reach and reliability. Location of where you are shouldn’t hinder what access you have to games, let alone our games. It’s not perfect, but we are always learning and trying to improve service for our players.
What brought you to TestFairy?
The idea to look into TestFairy really came from our Web Developers, to be honest. We were given some basic feedback from a developer who had a test account and recommended it, so we decided to reach out to see what all it was capable of doing. We had a long list of things we needed solutions for and TestFairy checked all those boxes for us.
How do you use TestFairy today? How do we help you? Did we solve a critical problem?
At the time, we were looking for something to address our need to allow mobile app distribution to be easier amongst people here at the company because the interim solution we did have at the time was small and not meant to handle the growth of teams who suddenly needed it. We found that being able to control applications in silos and not impact other teams was the biggest problem solver. The selling point for other people was that we didn’t have to be at work to be able to download the apps we were working on to test. Additionally, it being multi-platform helped as well because there wasn’t an excuse when it came to what OS you were using.
Is there anything you do today that is more efficient, or couldn’t have been done or was really difficult before we came?
Now, because of TestFairy, most of the planning for phase testing can be scheduled a lot faster since we don’t need to come up with a solution on how we’re going to handle distribution internally anymore. In most cases, teams here will iterate a new build and push it for testing through TestFairy on a Thursday or Friday so the team has something to test before coming back into work on Monday. It really has made things a lot easier.
So I guess you would recommend TestFairy to other companies right? 🙂
Hahaha, of course. Definitely would recommend, you guys have been a great partner