WoW Versus Blizzard’s New MMO

As we knew from Blizzard Entertainment’s leaked product slate, the dream team that brought us the Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft franchises has a project in the works they’ve dubbed “Titan.”

In a recent interview with VentureBeat, Paul Sams, the chief operating officer of Blizzard, provided a modicum of insight on Project Titan.

Although Simms refused to acknowledge the leaked codename “Titan,” he stated “the project” would not compete with World of Warcraft.

We intend to do more expansions (for WoW) too. There is no change in our thinking. We intend absolutely positively to continue to support the existing World of Warcraft product. There are over 12 million global paying subscribers that are active in our game. We are not going to turn our back on them and we intend to continue to support that franchise for many many years to come.

As to our new unannounced game, we believe that it will be more complementary than competitive. And while people do have a limited amount of free time that they can devote to these types of games, we do think that people will want to check out the new and the old. We think the new one is very compelling and is going to capture a lot of hearts and minds and will be very successful for us. But we also believe that many people will continue playing World of Warcraft because they have such a huge collection of friends and community.

We have taken some of our most experienced developers and put them on this project. We believe we have a dream team. These are the people who made WoW a success. We are going to blow people’s minds.

With an increasing number of MMOs moving toward a free-to-play model, will Blizzard adopt this business model for “the project?” Simms shed some light on the matter:

As it relates to free to play, I do think that is an interesting business model. But it is not going to allow those companies to create the type of complexity and experience that a subscription-based title like World of Warcraft can have. The fact of the matter is, the companies that make high-quality games have to have monetary backing and they have to be able to generate revenue that covers the costs of initial and ongoing development.

We are going to create the most immersive experience and the most engaging, deep experiences. That is because we can put a big budget behind our efforts that the free-to-play games can’t match.

Is that an implicit promise that “the project” will be subscription-based, like WoW?

While we wait for the projected Christmas 2013 release of “the project,” there’s news on the WoW front. Game producer J Allen Brack has told Eurogamer that player housing, a system where a character or guild can purchase an in-game house, may never be included in WoW.

I don’t necessarily think that it’ll ever actually happen for WoW because the thing that we want to do is… I don’t think it’s sufficient enough for us in WoW to just say, ‘Hey we have player housing – great.’ There’s got to be some reason to have that, there’s got to be gameplay behind that, stuff that happens.

So thinking about the content creation we need in order to make that successful, as well as the other content creation that we need to do just to keep the game going, makes that… [Player housing] has fallen off the list of things that we’re willing to tackle on a per-expansion basis I guess one, two, three times now – so we’ll see what happens for the next time.

If “the project” will truly complement WoW, can we at least expect player housing in Blizzard’s next MMO?

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