Blizzard: Diablo III will steal WoW players before Titan MMO

"It's better we cannibalize them ourselves than let someone else do that," says studio cofounder

The trouble with being Blizzard is any newgame it makesis bound to steal some thunder from World of Warcraft, the very game that made Blizzard an online powerhouse to begin with. And while Blizzard's upcoming Titan MMO looks to be the biggest threat in this regard, studio co-founder Frank Pearce believes Azeroth is in danger of losing some of its adventurers even sooner to Diablo III.

In hisinterview with Gamasutra, Pearce was asked to predict the degree to whichBlizzard's far-off Titan projectwould impact WoW's subscription base. Reflecting onthe company'smore immediate release, he said, "I think even a shorter-term concern is whether or not we might see cannibalization of WoW players from Diablo III when we launch it, because it's a similar type of experience. Not exactly similar, but it's that RPG feel."

Pearce argued against the misconception WoW leaves little room for success in the MMO space, saying players' appetites far exceeded the amount of content currently in the market. Addressing concerns there are simply too few of these die-hard online gamers to go around, he added, "If you make a great game experience that's really awesome, there's always more room in that market." Inspiring words, but great gameplay doesn't imply great sales.

Earlier this month, Blizzard expressed even loftier expectations for itsaforementioned Titan MMO, predicting it willeclipse WoWsoon afterthe game'sreported launch in 2013. No release date has been set for Diablo III, but it's conceivable Blizzard will have three differentonline worldsvying for dominance. Acknowledging this, Pearce added, "It's better we cannibalize them ourselves than let someone else do that, because if we cannibalize them ourselves, they're still a Blizzard customer."


Mar 21, 2011

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