Warcraft 3: Reforged launch was 'a hard week,' Blizzard president says

(Image credit: Blizzard)

The launch of Warcraft 3: Reforged in January was, and continues to be, a surprisingly ugly affair. It's one of the most beloved RTS games of all time, yet the release of its long-awaited remastered edition has inspired widespread outrage over everything from cut content to an EULA that lays exclusive claim to any and all mods and other content you may create for the game.

The situation is bad enough that Blizzard is now forgoing its usual refund policy limits, and offering "refunds upon request" to any Warcraft 3: Reforged owner who wants one. And during Activision's Q4 investors call today, Blizzard president J. Allen Brack acknowledged that it's been a rough ride—but also said that Blizzard isn't finished with it yet.

"Concerning Warcraft 3: Reforged, honestly, it's been a bit of a hard week. Our community has come to expect really amazing things from us, and we've heard from them that we did not achieve that bar," Brack said.

"But we stand behind our games, and have consistently shown that not only do we support them, but we continue to build on them even after launch. And we're committed to doing that here as well. We're going to continue to update the game, and we're going to continue to update the community with our plans going forward."

It's unclear how far Blizzard is willing to go to address complaints, however. An update posted earlier this week said that bug fixes and various online features are on the way, and promised that Blizzard will "continue fine-tuning things" in the future. But "fine-tuning" isn't likely to cut it: The dissatisfaction lies at a much more fundamental level, with things like enhanced cutscenes and an improved interface that were promised but not delivered, a removal of features from the classic version of Warcraft 3 following the release of Reforged, and that EULA, which as we said in our outrage explainer is "a blatant reminder that Blizzard is a company first and foremost, with legalese that puts profits before players."

Coupled with the loss of the goodwill of its fanbase over the past couple of years, and particularly in the wake of the Blitzchung controversy, it makes for a very steep mountain for Blizzard to climb.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.