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Wednesday, November 18, 2009
 

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World Of Warcraft 5th Anniversary Interview
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

The Escapist recently published a new interview with Blizzard Entertainment's Rob Pardo. In the interview Blizzard's VP of game design discussed the phenomenon of World of Warcraft, which will be five years old on November 23. Pardo touched on a variety of topics including the game's initial success, mistakes made along the way, and the future of MMO games.

"I certainly did not expect it to have such a transformational effect on our company and the industry as a whole ... we thought that WoW would be able to expand [the MMO genre], but I figured that... if any game would ever pass the 10 million subscriber mark, it would be in many years, many generations of MMOs, many different evolutions of the genre," Rob Pardo, Blizzard's Executive Vice President of Game Design (and one of TIME's People of the Year in 2006), told The Escapist.

Of course, Pardo and Blizzard recognize that WoW won't last forever - which is why he isn't too worried that Blizzard's unannounced "next-gen MMOG" will cannibalize the WoW playerbase, leaving the company doing twice the work for the same amount of people. "Obviously, we want to compete with ourselves, and create something bigger than WoW ... We know that someone is going to beat WoW one day. Someone is going to make a bigger MMO, it's going to be faster and better."

"If someone's going to beat WoW, it might as well be us.

Despite the game's massive success, the developers are extremely aware that they've made mistakes, says Pardo. The lack of a proper Looking For Group tool was something he was "really unhappy" to not have at launch, and that tool is only now coming five years later in Patch 3.3. Aside from all of the technological errors like having too few servers at launch to keep up with the demand, Pardo thinks that the single greatest mistake as far as design of the game is concerned was the choice to introduce competitive "e-sports" into the game via Arenas.

"I'm not sure that that was the right thing to do with the game ... we just added it on, so it continues to be very difficult to balance. Is WoW a PvE cooperative game, or a competitive PvP game? ... I don't think we ever foresaw how much tuning and tweaking we'd have to do to balance it in that direction. Either I'd go back in time to before WoW ever shipped and change the rules to make the basic game more conductive for being an e-sport, or if not that, just say it doesn't make sense. Right now, WoW has a bit of a schizophrenic philosophy behind it, and we're trying to figure out how to guide it.""
Read the full interview at the page listed below.

The Escapist: WoW 5th Anniversary Interview
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
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