Blizzard has confirmed its working on bringing controller support to World of Warcraft with the upcoming Shadowlands expansion, while pouring cold water on rumours that the studio was developing a console port of its hit MMORPG for PS4 and PS5.
The news follows datamined game code (via Martin Benjamins) which referenced game pad bindings for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 4 Pro, and PlayStation 5, suggesting World of Warcraft would be launching on the platforms in the near future.
However, posting a response on the game's forums, Blizzard Community Manager Randy “Kaivax” Jordan clarified on the World of Warcraft forums that this code instead reflected the studio's ongoing experimentation with controller support for Shadowlands.
“For a long time, we’ve seen a small number of players turn to 3rd party addons, such as Console Port 17, in order to work through certain accessibility issues," explained Jordan. “We always want to make WoW more widely accessible, if possible, so in Shadowlands, we’re attempting to add some support for keybinds, camera, and turning a character on controllers such as the Xbox Adaptive Controller.”
So, while it's unlikely we'll be playing World of Warcraft on anything but our PC for the foreseeable future, that doesn't necessarily mean we'll be using a mouse and keyboard to quest and raid forever either.
And while Blizzard seems to be ruling out a console port for now, the release of both Diablo 3 and Overwatch on PS4 and Xbox One certainly leaves a precedent for the studio's future portfolio making a home for themselves on Sony and Microsoft's platforms.