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Thursday, January 28, 2010
 

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World Of Warcraft Retrospective
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

GamesIndustry.biz has published a new interview with Blizzard Entertainment CEO Paul Sams and Executive Producer Rob Pardo about the company's successful MMO franchise, World of Warcraft. The two Blizzard veterans discussed a variety of topics related to the game including initial development, the unexpected level of success, and fond memories of the game.

"So we were excited to see how quick it was going, but we were also pretty freaked out because it was moving so quickly. The good news is that we'd bought, built and installed enough capacity for what we thought was unlikely, but could happen - and that was basically hardware for what we thought we'd do in the first year, but we doubled it.

"That was the learning from the Diablo II lesson, and thank God we did, because we had to light the second year hardware in just a small number of weeks from launch. Had we not planned for the worst, we'd have been in the same circumstance as Diablo II - maybe not with the stability challenges, but certainly with the capacity challenges.

"Within a couple of days I placed more orders for hardware and set up more data centres together with our IT team, to accommodate what was becoming a runaway hit. We started dropping millions of dollars more within launch to start pulling in more hardware, in anticipation of what we felt was going to happen. It was mind-blowing to be honest."

In fact, the game surpassed all expectations from anybody internally - while 1 million users was the ambitious target for peak subscriptions that's been mentioned before, company president was even more optimistic. Mike Morhaime confidently predicted that 4 million people would one day be playing World of Warcraft, says Sams. "Mike was far and away the most optimistic, which is why he gets paid the big bucks and is the founder of the company, because he knew it was going to be bigger that all of us did.

"But it was even bigger than he expected - it's been quite an experience, and one that's very humbling to all of us, that we've been able to create something that would have the kind of appeal, following and impact that it's ultimately had. It's been incredible for us."
Check out the full interview at the page linked below.

GamesIndustry.biz: Paul Sams, Rob Pardo WoW Retrospective
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