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Posts with tag competitors

Giving up on conquering WoW

Backhand of Justice has an interesting post up about something we've considered for a long time: who will overtake World of Warcraft. Way back before this year started, game developers were challenged to come up with an MMO that could take on WoW's influence and popularity, and while there have certainly been some interesting MMOs announced and released (Star Wars: The Old Republic, which isn't out yet, and Aion, which is, are probably most in the forefront at the moment), it just hasn't happened. WoW is still the juggernaut it's been for almost the full five years, and with Cataclysm coming in 2010, that doesn't appear to be changing anytime soon.

So now, two months from the end of 2009, let's just say it: it's not possible. World of Warcraft is an aberration, an extremely well-made game that happened to be in just the right time and place (the casual game explosion, the adoption of MMOs and subscription model gaming, the "mainstreaming" of fantasy/sci-fi geekiness) to become an uber megahit. In short, game developers simply can't recreate WoW, at least not on purpose. As BoJ says, that doesn't mean they can't try -- there are certainly lots of original and interesting games and MMOs out there, and it's completely possible to be an MMO that isn't WoW-sized and be successful. But as for the actual question of beating WoW and its worldwide audience, game developers have pretty much moved on.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

WoW's "worthy competitors"

The Houston Chronicle has a short piece up about what they call WoW's two competitors: Lord of the Rings Online and Guild Wars. Interesting choices -- LotRO is, obviously, an MMO based on Tolkien's famous books, and Guild Wars is actually not an MMO in the traditional sense at all -- there's no monthly fee, and the whole thing works a lot more like does, where you can play a hero both in a solo game and in an online environment (not surprising, considering the developers used to work for Blizzard).

While both games are reviewed well, neither of them quite matches up to our favorite game. But as I'm sure lots of you know (I'm guessing that most of you have played either one or both-- I've only played Guild Wars), each game does have some elements that could give WoW a run for its money. Most interesting, LotRO is planning to put player housing in a future patch, and Guild Wars, on its latest product page, advertises "no loot stealing, spawn camping, and endless travel."

So while these aren't really "competitors" in the grander sense of player numbers (I'd say WoW's biggest competitor this holiday season might actually be Halo 3), they are definitely biting at WoW's heels in terms of features, and specifically targeting WoW's players with promises of what we've wanted for a long time. Other game companies are clearly getting better at figuring out how to attract the audience that World of Warcraft did, so it seems Blizzard's biggest challenge, from patch 2.2 to Wrath of the Lich King, will be to try and stay ahead of the curve of newer games and their new features.

[ via ]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Wrath of the Lich King

E3: What lies beyond WoW?

We'll be making an appearance at E3 next week, and we hope to find more about the future of WoW there. However, for anyone interested in life beyond Azeroth, there's a whole host of other MMORPGs currently in development -- from Hello Kitty to post-apocalyptic sci-fi -- and our mothership Joystiq's taken a look at them all.

Whether any of these games will prove a WoW-killer is debatable. Would you give up your level 60 epic-clad character to try out a new MMO? If not, have some comfort in the fact that several of these games will be free to play -- either permanently, or they'll use in-game currency sales as revenue -- so you might be able to keep up two at once.

Filed under: Odds and ends

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