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Blizzard: Diablo 3 Can ''Cannibalize'' WoW Players

Is Blizzard worried about competition pulling away paying customers from its monster revenue machine, World of Warcraft? Not in the slightest-- or at least, that’s what it seems for the moment. There's no question that Blizzard's fantasy-based MMORPG is a mountain that currently can't be conquered. With the third expansion Cataclysm under its belt, the virtual realm only seems to be gaining momentum rather than slowing with age.

But as Blizzard co-founder and EVP of product development Frank Pearce points out, someone will eventually cannibalize WoW players. A developer/publisher will come along and steal players away with something new and original. For now, however, all seems calm. If anything, the only real threat that poses to throw a wrench into the WoW subscription gears will be Blizzard's own long-awaited action-RPG game Diablo 3 when it finally hits retail shelves.

Of course, that doesn't mean Blizzard's upcoming Titan MMO won't hurt subscriptions either. But Pearce said that, in the short term, Diablo 3 poses as a bigger threat because it's similar to WoW in terms of the RPG feel even though both titles offer completely different experiences.

"For us, I think it's really important that we recognize that somewhere, sometime it's likely that someone is going to cannibalize World of Warcraft players," Pearce told Gamasutra. "So it's better we cannibalize them ourselves than let someone else do that, because if we cannibalize them ourselves, they're still a Blizzard customer."

In the long term, however, Titan could very well mark the end of WoW. Why? Because the veteran WoW developers have been moved over to the project not only due to their AAA experience, but to prevent career "burn out." According to Pearce, WoW itself has been in development since around 1999 or 2000. That's a long time to be married with any one project, and any fatigue brought on by a growing disinterest shows up in their work. Better to move them over to the new project and let the "fresher" developers take the reigns of WoW.

"If we can keep people on the team that are really enthusiastic about playing the game, that energizes the other people around them that maybe aren't necessarily playing the game," Pearce said, indicating a huge level of excitement for the new MMOG.

Little is known about Titan at this point save for the fact that it will "compliment" Blizzard's current MMORPG. As for Diablo 3, the upcoming action-RPG game may actually launch by the end of the year... if we're lucky.

  • AMW1011
    Guild Wars 2 might be doing that first... the first Guild Wars was still a far superior game than WoW, and no monthly subscription. Then again, I hate WoW so I might be biased.
    Reply
  • davewolfgang
    I'm still thinking it's going to be World of StarCraft - which will have to be HUGE. They let that other guy keep developing to get everything to think they aren't going that way.
    Reply
  • K2N hater
    WoW sucks and I bet D3 will be rather disappointing in terms of graphics.
    Reply
  • AMW1011
    K2N haterWoW sucks and I bet D3 will be rather disappointing in terms of graphics.
    A game doesn't rape every setup available with amazing graphics, and instead offers fun, refined, and addictive gameplay, and you have a problem with that?
    Reply
  • aznguy0028
    davewolfgangI'm still thinking it's going to be World of StarCraft - which will have to be HUGE. They let that other guy keep developing to get everything to think they aren't going that way.It's not going to be. Blizzard has already stated that "Titan" will be a brand new IP. So any existing franchise is out of the question.
    Reply
  • MxM
    davewolfgangI'm still thinking it's going to be World of StarCraft - which will have to be HUGE. They let that other guy keep developing to get everything to think they aren't going that way.Unfortunately, I think there are more fantasy fans than SciFi fans, so, no, I do not think that WoStarCraft will kill WoW.

    I think the best setting for the game to kill WoW is something in between. Like W40K, were you have Orks, Elves (sorry, Eldars)just modernized, and you still have spells... Starcraft even though has roots (he he) in W40K completely misses the fantasy part.

    So, World of Warhammer 40K (WoW40K) is my prediction for the best WoW killer.
    Reply
  • bildo123
    davewolfgangI'm still thinking it's going to be World of StarCraft - which will have to be HUGE. They let that other guy keep developing to get everything to think they aren't going that way.
    Whatever the new MMO is, please, please, please do not let the art director from WoW touch it. As stupid as it sounds I have a difficult time getting into WoW because I want the fierce cataclysmic mentality, but I'm stuck in a Walt Disney backdrop...it just doesn't work for me. What would be nice if they could actually make their cinematic art style follower closer to the in-game art style (WAR being a good example).
    Reply
  • joytech22
    On Topic:
    I don't play wow in the first place but I did for about 2 weeks, then stopped but I'll definitely be getting this game.

    Off Topic:
    Advert to the right of this comment says

    "Cheap WOW Gold"
    $1.8/1000G

    I hate it when they don't look into what they advertise but I guess money is money right?

    RS was hosting adverts that took over the users PC and installed software, everyone was in a panic lol.
    Reply
  • pooflinger1
    IMO, Rift is likely to do so before D3. Blizzard is notorious for missing deadlines. Rift already has well over 1M subscribers, and if you ask me, the game is much better looking, and has a better feel to it than WoW. After playing wow for multiple years, (from release to WotLK), I can say that I am much happier with Rift.
    Reply
  • restatement3dofted
    Now, if only I were confident that Blizzard would be able to stop the rampant cheating that has plagued all of its previous Diablo games. I may be a minority in this regard, but I would gladly pay a subscription fee to Blizzard for D3 if it meant they would be able to address cheating to the same extent they do in WoW.
    Reply