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Saturday, June 27, 2009
Blizzard's Rob Pardo Interviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

IndustryGamers has published a new interview with Blizzard Entertainment's Rob Pardo. During the discussion Pardo covered a range of topics including the success of World of Warcraft, his thoughts on free to play MMOs, his advice to company's seeking to enter the massively multiplayer market, and the possibility of Blizzard developing a new game franchise.

IndustryGamers: It seems that the MMO space has been heavily moving in the free-to-play, micro-transaction supported direction, especially in Asia, but World of Warcraft has been incredibly successful with the traditional subscription model. Is there any thinking at Blizzard about creating something that's free-to-play? 
Rob Pardo: When we create games, we create a game and then we decide on the business model that makes sense for that game. We don't do it in reverse. So whatever game we make next, it's not going to be like “Let's make a free-to-play game.” It's going to be, “What's the game we want to make?” Then we'll start thinking about how we want to monetize it. Will it be subscription based or free-to-play? I don't know yet.

IG: Right, it just seems like one of those trends that Blizzard, as an online leader, can't ignore. Subscriptions are working great right now, but what about the future?
RP: Trends are trends; they aren't necessarily mandates. For every trend you look at, there's always the exception too. I don't know if I subscribe to the notion that everything's going to be a free-to-play game in the future. I don't think that's true at all. With digital distribution, cloud computing... if anything there's going to be more business models.  

IG:  Is there any thinking about Blizzard working on some new franchises we've never heard of? Right now the focus is on WoW, StarCraft and Diablo. How about some new IP?
RP:  I think you'll see us do it, but every time a development team frees up, in large part they decide what they want to make next. And historically, at least in recent years, the dev teams have wanted to work on our existing franchises. After we finished Warcraft 3, that team wanted to make StarCraft 2. It wasn't that the executives at Blizzard said that we have to make it. If our decisions were driven like that we wouldn't have made it after StarCraft 1 – it's been 11 years since StarCraft 1 came out.  So it's clearly not a business driven decision; it's a team passion driven decision. Same thing for Diablo 3. So I think you'll see us do something new eventually. It's just always challenge, because just as our fans love them, we love our franchises too, so we always have ideas to do something within our existing franchises. It's just a push-pull situation.
Visit the site below to read the full interview.

Industry Gamers: Rob Pardo Q&A
Blizzard Entertainment

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