An interesting read that sheds some light on their design philosophy. A highlight or two:
GC: This perception of this suspension of reality that people seek out in certain online multiplayer gaming experiences like World of Warcraft, I think, is a very interesting thing from a sociological standpoint. Why they're interested preserving their anonymity there but yet throwing themselves out there for everyone to see in the social networking space, that has been a very interesting thing for us to wrap our heads around at Blizzard.
This explains that whole foray into the real ID bit (which is also discussed in more detail in the article). But I, for one, don't find it the LEAST bit hard to understand. People join facebook / twitter / myspace for the express purpose of having a social experience - of enhancing their social lives. Gamers do not play games for the same motivation at all - at the end of the day, many gamers do not play games to have a social experience. They play games to have fun (or take up time).
GC: Sure. Well, look at our own StarCraft marketplace. We talked about it at last year's Blizzcon. That's still on the roadmap. We do plan to put out a whole marketplace for our content. We've got a huge vibrant map community - maps and mods for StarCraft II. We have our Galaxy Map Editor... Just for StarCraft II, there are over 50,000 maps just in the U.S., maps and mods. There are puzzle game mods, first-person shooters, tower defense games, you name it. Maps, mods. We have this huge vibrant community.
50,000 maps! Of which 0.1% are played with any regularity. I feel as if this fellow actually believes what he's saying and he's not all wrong. But I, at least, don't feel that the community is vibrant. I would describe it as largely disgruntled and disillusioned. Am I wrong?