Blizzard: MMO focus equals failure

Aug 29 2007

Developers who focus solely on MMO projects are "setting [themselves] up to fail," reckons Paul Sams, chief operating officer for World of Warcraft creator Blizzard. He believes devs and publishers need to avoid being caught up in the "blood lust" of subscriber-led revenue.

"I think a lot of companies that get a taste of what an MMO can do for their financial performance - they get this, and I'll use a Blizzard term, they get this 'blood lust' for more...

"[At Blizzard] We think that having a portfolio that is focused solely on MMOs is going to set you up to fail. You're putting all your eggs in one basket, assuming that all the gamers are going to want to play that type of game over and over again."

Sams revealed his insider-advice to Edge magazine during the Blizzcon event in LA earlier this month. Blizzard's COO was also keen to point out that the heavy-hitting developer will be practising what he preaches, and not rushing headlong intoworking on a WoW sequel.

"We need to give World of Warcraft time to breathe. That's why a lot of sequels don't perform, because players don't want to pick up and leave the community and all the things that they've done. They've put a lot of time and energy into it. To ask them to move is a big request."

Plans for a WoW sequel are afoot, however, with Sams hoping that Blizzard will "time it right," while colleague Frank Pearce predicts WoW's lifespan to stretch between five and ten years. You can read Edge's full Blizzcon feature inissue #180, on sale from tomorrow.

Ben Richardson is a former Staff Writer for Official PlayStation 2 magazine and a former Content Editor of GamesRadar+. In the years since Ben left GR, he has worked as a columnist, communications officer, charity coach, and podcast host – but we still look back to his news stories from time to time, they are a window into a different era of video games.