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Next Blizzard MMO may not compete with World of Warcraft

9:00 AM on 09.01.2009 // Brad Nicholson

It’s no secret that Blizzard Entertainment is crafting another MMO. The studio isn’t commenting on what it is or when it’s hitting of course, but the fact that they are treading on their own territory raises a few questions. World of Warcraft is still ridiculous popular, and it’s hard to believe players will abandon the title. So, is Blizzard worried their forthcoming MMO will compete with it?

No, not really. They’re thinking co-existence is possible. Speaking to Wired, Blizzard COO Paul Sams explained that Blizzard intends to “create a game experience that is unlike anything that has ever been done before,” that could live in the same space as their other title. It’s brainstorming at this stage, but Sams shared his thoughts.

“These are brainstorming types of conversations because we anticipate the question, and we’re concerned about it,” Sams said. “Is it going to cannibalize or not? And the good news is, I think the game is going to be significantly differentiated enough. Such that, you’re not going to feel like they’re one in the same resulting in that you have to pick or choose. My feeling is that they’re distinct enough to where you’re going to say, ‘Okay, I have all my friends over here. I dig this, I have a lot of time and energy in this, I’ve got these characters and my guild, and this that and the other.’ So I have connectivity there, and I want to continue that connectivity. But man, I think, ‘Well, this is awesome, and I want to go check this out too.’

One thing is for certain: this next MMO could be fascinating. The idea of it being free-to-play has been floated around long enough to make us stop and consider, but even if it wasn’t, it’s obvious that Blizzard is willing to do more than simply make it free. Perhaps we’ll see some sort of interconnectedness between the two? We'll see ... possibly.

The next Blizzard MMO hits retail in January, 3031 (the Year of our Great Martian Lord).

Brad Nicholson,
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