Mar 20, 2008

Titans and Demiurges 02 - Orc Rider

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words is a sculpture worth?

Statue Montage

Based on one of the earliest, most famous pieces of World of Warcraft art, "The Fury of Blackrock Spire" by Wang Wei, this statue is a rare and unique example of Blizzard inspiring itself - new blood taking on old concepts. It's a scale replica of the 20-foot bronze monster that they are creating for their new Blizzard campus in Irvine, California. Stunningly detailed, artificially-tinted to simulate the aging of bronze, and viscerally evocative, it's a stunning example of 2D art making an impressive transition into the 3D world. Far from a copy of the original work, it's a reinterpretation, one that I think mimics the game's evolution and enrichment over the past 4 years. Just as we've gone from the straightforward experience of 'Vanilla WoW' to the rich, multifaceted world of the Burning Crusade (complete with battlegrounds, arenas, instances of varying sizes and difficulty levelings, and reputation paths and rewards with more factions than you can shake a stick at) the Wolf Rider has graduated from his static, straightforward roots to a hauntingly intense, far-more-vital presence.

Where can you get yours? I'm afraid that's the rub. These statues can't be found in stores, and if you see one on Ebay, that means someone has probably gotten fired*. Blizzard gave one of these beauties to each to their employees as a Christmas gift for 2007. Manufactured in New Zealand, they only recently made it into the happy hands of employees that have been looking forward to them since they were announced back in December. It's part of a certain generosity that has impressed me about Blizzard Entertainment since my first experiences with them. Even back before they were making money like bees make honey, they made sure to save a bit of the budget for cool swag and fun opportunities for their people. Far from just an office to seat your butt in for the day, this company champions creativity and takes pains to create a work environment that fosters inspiration.

And hey... I didn't share this as some sort of promotion drive for Blizzard's hiring team. I honestly respect the effort they put into projects like this one, and I am never anything but impressed with the quality of what they can do.

* ... or is about to. @_@


Kellie said...

Aw, my office swag is so inferior! This is amazing. :)

Ratshag said...