Blizzard: World of Warcraft Not for Consoles

While some game developers who have traditionally been making franchises for the PC have ported its games to find great success on consoles such as the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Blizzard isn't ready to jump on that wagon just yet.

The World of Warcraft is undoubtedly the juggernaut of the online PC gaming world, but Blizzard isn't so keen on the idea of trying to cash in on console gamers just yet.

G4TV asked World of Warcraft lead producer J. Allen Brack what may be stopping MMO's from crossing over into the world of consoles.

"I think there's a lot of reasons," said Brack. "There's not one thing. One is, it takes a long time to develop an MMO. The lifecycle of consoles being what they are, you have to really time when your console's going to come out, what its projected lifecycle is going to be with when your game is going to be, which is challenging."

Blizzard launched World of Warcraft in November 2004, a year before the Xbox 360 hit the market, and two years before the debut of the PlayStation 3.

Even if Blizzard had considered putting World of Warcraft on the then-state-of-the-art consoles, the company would be facing technical challenges today that it doesn't encounter on the PC and Mac. Brack listed patching challenges and differing quality control standards to what Microsoft or Sony or Nintendo enforces.

"All those things sort of raise the bar in terms of the challenges and then specifically in the case of WoW, WoW was designed to be a keyboard game and its control scheme and its camera controls and the number of abilities that you have and the spells and how things work are very keyboard-centric," Brack added. "The idea of translating that to a gamepad is a very, very challenging proposition."

Brack admitted, however, that Blizzard often considers an MMO product for consoles, but it's not going to be one related to the current World of Warcraft. In a near-conclusive statement, Brack said, "I think it's unlikely that WoW comes to the consoles."

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  • pumakrieg
    A modest PC can kill any "graphics machine" console. Then again, they do cost more.
    21
  • restatement3dofted
    hakestermanI'll take Console gameing over a PC any day of the week. Everytime you buy a PC game you have to waisttime configuring your new game to your system. Is your graphic's card supported in this game????Guess i'llhave to go online and research. Will my sound card work proper????? How much memmory does it require???? bla bla bla and so on. Ok now it's loaded, wait a minute i can't play yet, oh that's right i got to configure the controller to the new game. Ok now can i play right???, whoops nope, i got to enter copy protection code and also register it online. Ok now i'm playing it, yep were doing good. Opps i just got a windows crash, dam it all i should of got this game for my console. Yea!


    I recently switched back to PC gaming, and haven't had a single issue. Open Steam, choose my game, play game. Is it running smoothly? If yes, either play, or see if I can increase my graphics settings. If no, decrease graphics settings. It's a 15-second process.

    If you're having to constantly monitor whether your GPU is compatible, or whether you have enough RAM, you know it's time to upgrade your system. If you have anything other than on-board sound, you've probably wasted money.

    You make it sound like PC gaming is some incredible hassle, when the development of things like Steam have really simplified it. Hell, with Steam I don't even need physical media anymore, even for the newest games, and my purchase history is stored remotely. No discs to swap or scratch, which means no need to get up from my desk to play something different. Sounds like a win to me.
    18
  • restatement3dofted
    Jakew120The only thing I can currently think of that consoles have going for them is that they are graphics machines. But, in all honesty, amazing graphics never really impressed me. I do not care if something is 10% more life-like, as long as the graphics don't hinder my play, I am fine.


    "Graphics machines" in what sense? The only point in a console's lifetime that it is potentially competitive with the graphics capabilities of even a mid-range PC is right at launch, and even then that's far from guaranteed. You can't upgrade a console's hardware, other than maybe upping your storage space, and so within a few months you're almost certainly going to be running hardware that's inferior to what you can dump into a PC.

    The only thing consoles have going for them is that the hardware is optimized for what the system is doing, and designed with permanency in mind - when you build a console, you know you're stuck with the same guts for the machine's lifetime. That keeps it functioning at acceptable levels until the company releases its next generation of consoles, but it's still going to lag quite far behind even a marginally upgraded PC.
    15
  • Other Comments
  • jakew120
    What is the fascination with consoles anyways? I prefer a PC to anything. The only thing I can currently think of that consoles have going for them is that they are graphics machines. But, in all honesty, amazing graphics never really impressed me. I do not care if something is 10% more life-like, as long as the graphics don't hinder my play, I am fine.
    -9
  • nekoangel
    old by a few years.
    -6
  • touchdowntexas13
    Jakew120What is the fascination with consoles anyways? I prefer a PC to anything. The only thing I can currently think of that consoles have going for them is that they are graphics machines. But, in all honesty, amazing graphics never really impressed me. I do not care if something is 10% more life-like, as long as the graphics don't hinder my play, I am fine.


    wait, what?
    10