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Blizzard to boost production of WoW expansions

The waiting time between WoW expansions is typically measured in years, but according to Blizzard boss Mike Morhaime, the mega-studio has plans to shrink that gap by increasing the frequency of its add-on releases.

Revealed during his call to investors, Morhaim said Blizzard is seeking to reduce the waiting time between expansions as a means to keep up with WoW subscribers' increasing appetites. According to Morhaime, years of playing has trained WoW enthusiasts to cut a swath through expansions at a much faster rate, leaving them hungry for more soon after the content's release.

"I think with Cataclysm they were able to consume the content much faster than with previous expansions but that's why we're working on developing more content,” explained Morhaime, adding, “We launched our first update last week and we have another update that's already in test. The response we've gotten so far from players has been very positive and we really think we need to be faster at delivering content to players and that's one of the reasons we're looking to decrease the amount of time in between expansions."

Morhaime avoided addressing the concern more frequent expansions would mean less actual content in each, adding: "We're not ready to talk about the content of the expansions at this stage but we are looking at ways to speed up the development process."

Player demand notwithstanding, it's possible Blizzard is also reacting to competition from the likes of Rift and other new online entries. Subscriptions numbers have fallen to 11.4 million, a decline of roughly 600,000 players since its pre-Cataclysm headcount back in October 2010. And although Morhaime said brief dips like this were natural whenever new competition enters the fray, one has to wonder if Blizzard is cranking up its production scheduled for the fans, or because it's no longer taking WoW's MMO dominance for granted.

[Source: 1up]

May 10, 2011

6 comments

  • CaptainWow - May 10, 2011 11:51 p.m.

    They can dress it up anyway they want, but this reeks of Activision.
  • bigwill1221 - May 10, 2011 11:44 p.m.

    I think this is more activisions money greed than blizzards willingness to make expansions.. Though fixing the lack of content updates is good too
  • MuckPuppy - May 10, 2011 11:38 p.m.

    They sound like an evangelist giving that last, high-pitched, sputtery sermon in front of people walking out of church. I think half their player base now is bots/farmers and the other half are slowly getting tired of it; and will grow weary with every dollar more they have to spend. WoW is not even that good, people. Let it go. It's worth it to play, but to STILL be playing years later?! Give it up. And don't use the "I talk to all my friends on WoW!" excuse. Get a FaceBook going and find a new game, with actually NEW content. And for christsakes, upgrade your computes so MMO's can start to look as good as they should.
  • lilbuddha - May 10, 2011 9:03 p.m.

    More expansions, less content, more money, less cost. Show me one piece of artwork in Cata that is 100% new and I'll show you 10,000 that are recycled with minimal changes. BC was the only decent expansion and even it reused a ton of content. Also, all the tier gear looks nearly the same for every class nowadays.
  • Whit - May 10, 2011 8:40 p.m.

    We lost several guild mates to Rift. While Rift is still new, they report back the playing experience has been great and they don't see themselves getting bored and coming back to WoW. We seem to loose a few members with every new MMOG (Conan, LOTR) but they always come back within a few months. KOTOR I am thinking may be different--only time will tell. On the other hand, if I am always having to pay for expansions on top of the monthly subscription fee and KOTOR turns out to be fun, I'll drop WoW in New York minute.
  • db1331 - May 10, 2011 8:33 p.m.

    Good news for the players, I guess. Like you said though, I think Blizz knows that they have some decent competitors coming down the pipe, like Guild Wars 2 and even The Old Republic. Not that either of those games would ever reach half of WoW's subs, but you can't blame them for wanting to strengthen the ranks.

Showing 1-6 of 6 comments

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