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No COD on Battle.net any time soon

We're "two separate entities" - Blizz.

One day Activision and Blizzard may share; one day Call of Duty may work inherently with Battle.net - but for now the companies remain, in the words of Battle.net overseer Greg Canessa, "two separate entities".

"Bobby Kotick and all the folks at Activision are very, very supportive of Battle.net and what we're doing. They've said that Battle.net is one of the top five strategic initiatives going on at Activision Blizzard," he told Gamasutra.

"Having said that, as you know, Blizzard and Activision are really two separate entities, and we really do our own thing.

"We have this vibrant World of Warcraft business; we have the StarCraft II business and eSports; we've got Diablo III and what's going on there - and that's going to be a huge phenomenon for us. We've got so many opportunities in front of us, I think the mistake that we could make as a company - and I don't think we are making it because we're aware of it - is to get spread too thin and go in too many directions."

In the future, Canessa - who helped launch Xbox Live - said there are "huge opportunities" with licensing opportunities, movies and "other things we have going on" on Battle.net. But Blizzard is militant that none of this should distract from "what we're really good at, which is making kick-ass entertainment services".

"Some day maybe we add other titles in there. Who knows?" he mused. "When we really feel like we've really delivered that kick-ass set of experiences for Blizzard games, and we feel like we've grown the team - and you've heard some of my challenges growing the team and finding the talent - when I've got that sustainability, when we really feel like we've got that dialled-in and nailed down, you know, who knows what the future holds."

StarCraft II launched a revised Battle.net to the world, and will soon include an in-game marketplace for the community to share and sell their own game mods.

Battle.net will also offer a direct-from-Blizzard purchase of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm ahead of launch, so that the game can be installed and patched before the servers are switched on.

Diablo III, with its recently-revealed PvP and co-op, will solidify what Battle.net offers as a service.

Valve launched Steam on the back of Half-Life 2 and now the digital distributor eclipses all others on PC. Blizzard's three games could conceivably kick-start Battle.net with similar momentum.

"We've got a lot of huge ambitious plans," Canessa added. "Exactly: the sky is the limit with this stuff. And we're getting into spectating, tournaments, the marketplace and other stuff going forward.

"We've just got so much potential here, I only wish we could stop time and get some of this stuff sooner. It takes a long time to build this stuff."

By the time Diablo III is out, Battle.net should be a household name.

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Call of Duty: Black Ops

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Robert Purchese

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Bertie is a synonym for Eurogamer. Writes, podcasts, looks after the Supporter Programme. Talks a lot.