Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning

It’s an exciting time. The breakout success of WoW hasn’t deterred the WO team - it’s only encouraged them. “The market that was available to MMO developers prior to the advent of World of Warcraft was relatively small,” Josh points out. “When Dark Age of Camelot first launched, the audience you could expect from the western market topped out at around half a million players. Then WoW came along and threw open the doors to a much broader audience. We’re actually really grateful for what they’ve done for the industry - they’ve established the MMO as the pre-eminent marquee PC genre.”

Josh firmly believes that Warhammer, thanks to its ultra-competitive focus, can take online gaming further into the mainstream. “I think we’re going to see a shift away from online gaming being this underground weird thing that people do, and it’ll become a lot more like what sports are in the western world. Realm vs realm can give people that factional rallying point, something that’s bigger than their individual experience.”

He doesn’t stop there. “What we’re hoping will happen is that we’ll see the market shift away from the isolated niche experience into being an overarching hobby; having online gaming become part of the overall fabric of western culture. Our game has the opportunity to be one of the avant-garde that moves the industry away from being a repetitive rehash of the same grind-based player versus environment worlds, into something that’s a cultural event.”

You can tell Josh is excited - as you talk to him, you can feel his passion for the game, and for the future of MMOs. Because the release of an MMO is just the start of a project: the game will run and run. “I would love, ten years from now, for people to say ‘when it came time for the industry to transform into something bigger, Warhammer was there’.”

Feb 21, 2008