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The Bigger They Are...

By MrJenssen23-09-2014

...the harder they fall.

I was never a big MMO player myself, but the MMO genre - or rather, a certain behemoth within the genre - has been popular for just about as long as the internet has been available for the larger mass of people with a fleeting interest in gaming. Blizzard's World of Warcraft has seen a significant downsizing in its playercount over the past few years, but it's still up in the millions. Not bad for a game that launched literally ten years ago.

But all things eventually end, and someday something else will take WoW's place. For a long time, it was Blizzard's own new MMO - tentatively codenamed 'Titan' - that was expected to do the job. Despite the fact that it was never officially announced, work on the game has been going on behind closed doors for some years now. But apparently, Titan wasn't meant to be. Work on Titan has now seized, as revealed in an interview Polygon had with Blizzard's CEO Mike Morhaime and their "senior vice president of story and franchise development" (that was a mouthful!) Chris Metzen. Metzen compared the studio and their experience with the development of Titan with a rock band.

"I'm not saying we're an old rock band. But you watch documentaries about The Rolling Stones or U2 or these bands that have lasted for a while. And there's times where they just drive each other batshit crazy. For as good as they are and the experience they have, sometimes you just don't find it, and you've got to get out of the damn studio and go have a beer and regroup. In many ways, Titan was that for us.We took a step back and realized that it had some cool hooks. It definitely had some merit as a big, broad idea, but it didn't come together. It did not distill. The music did not flow. For all our good intentions and our experience and the pure craftsmanship that we brought together, we had to make that call"

Mike Morhaime agreed, stating that they "didn't find the passion", and that it just wasn't fun to play. Interestingly, he hinted at Blizzard's lack of motivation for doing MMOs in the near future.

"I wouldn't say no to ever doing an MMO again, but I can say that right now, that's not where we want to be spending our time."

Though there are plenty of alternatives out there for World of Warcraft, none have ever come even remotely close to gathering as many players under its umbrella. Many have resorted to going free-to-play in order to keep a playerbase at all. It'll be interesting to see what'll happen the day World of Warcraft finally dies, if that day ever comes. Who will take over? Where will all the confused and disillusioned people with thousands of hours to kill, go?


Comments (2)
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Posts: 596

Despite all the hate and anti-WoW attitudes, WoW was and still is a great game if you look at the design, content, and attention to detail as well as the graphics + gameplay. A perfect balance between graphics that while looking good, demand very little hardware power (on low settings, bumped up to maximum it looks stunning and has higher demands) and as an added benefit do not cause too much lag issues when you have massive battles going on.

All other MMO's were trying hard to be WoW - while WoW's original development goal was to make something like Everquest, but just much, much, much better. They definitely succeeded and I doubt there will be an MMO in a long time that will surpass the success WoW achieved. At least not until a new developer sets out to make a great MMO and not just an MMO that will sell well because it is an MMO.

It is cool to hear though that despite the company's size and merger with Activision, they still have managed to hold to their founding value of not releasing a game no matter how much time and money was spent developing it. If it just isn't fun and up to the standards they want they aren't afraid to cancel it.

Most companies would just rush it out then and try to grab some money out of the project. But not Blizzard.

So no matter what you have against Blizzard and WoW, you have to appreciate at least that value that the company has.

Bear in mind, this statement is coming from me, someone who never was a big fan of WoW or Blizzard.

Posts: 3290

Well that was unexpected