Skip to main content

Blizzard Investigating World of Warcraft for iPad

Blizzard's Greg Street recently told Eurogamer that the company was currently looking into the potential for MMO gaming on Apple's iOS.

A similar statement was made earlier this year about bringing Diablo 3 to the current crop of consoles. Eventually Blizzard began hiring console developers for the upcoming hack-n-slash title slated for a Q4 2011 release. That said, does that mean Blizzard plans to do the same with iOS?

"Everyone I know here has an iPhone or an iPad so we're huge fans of the hardware," he said. "If we could make the right game changes to make that work, it's something we'd be interested in. It's not something you're going to see in the next week or two, but it's the kind of thing we're always looking at."

As with recent talk about porting the MMORPG to the consoles, the biggest issue in the PC-to-console transition would be in the controls. It's bad enough that the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 aren't well-equipped to receive mouse and keyboard input (although the PS3 is capable), the iPad 2 doesn't even come close to a PC-like environment.

"That's a really big topic," he admitted. "The one [issue] that comes to mind is that WOW is designed for use of a mouse and a keyboard and we haven't yet seen a console solution that lets us replicate it easily. I suspect that we would also want to own a lot more of the back-end than most console companies would be willing to let us have. Right now we're being pretty successful just supporting the PC and Macintosh. We'd love to do it if it ever made sense - I'm sure we would."

Bringing World of Warcraft to the iPad could mean using an optimized, scaled-down version with lower-resolution graphics in order to fit within the limited mobile hardware environment. This may also mean that the MMORPG would require its own servers to keep the gameplay experience even. Then again, David Perry has already proven that World of Warcraft can be streamed inside an Internet browser using his Gaikai service. The issue with controls still resides, but at least the game's visual quality and performance isn't compromised.

As for an iPad specific World of Warcraft client, currently the only natural means of input would be through a Bluetooth keyboard. So far Bluetooth mice aren't available for the tablet.

  • sliem
    Trust me, you need a physical keyboard and mouse to play wow effectively.
    Reply
  • erichoyt
    we need to save the World......of Warcraft

    I wonder if this is successful, how likely it would be for Blizzard to publish other titles (starcraft 2) to play via cordless mice/keyboard of course...an minimal settings. I don't think i would Jump on right away, but i would definitely be interested - especially as iPad capabilities to connect to TVs (for travel) evolves...
    Reply
  • Anomalyx
    "Everyone I know here has an iPhone or an iPad so we're huge fans of the hardware," he said.
    Aha! That explains it.
    WoW = crappy game that has lots of followers.
    i = crappy hardware that has lots of followers.
    It all makes sense now.
    Reply
  • crewton
    I'm glad I don't play WoW anymore...although I would have just added another note into the guild app section "must play on pc with keyboard/mouse"
    Reply
  • With the next generation of hardware they probably could run WoW on a portable device. Mind you it is a 6 year old game. The control scheme would suck, but maybe not too terribly as with the touch screen you could directly hit the action bar. It could work.
    Reply
  • dalethepcman
    Tablets as they are currently are a fad, and the iFad is just that as well. Apple is selling millions of these intentionally limited pieces of garbage, because people don't shop the competition. My windows tablet (Acer W500)runs circles around the iPad in every department except battery life, I only get 5 hours of video playback on a charge.

    It may not have access to the iTunes crap store, but it does have the ability to run pretty much everything useful or entertaining ever made courtesy of Windows. It can use a keyboard and mouse, it has expandable storage, and HDMI output, it has everything you would expect a real computer to have because its a real computer.

    /flame on apple lovers, defend your crippled device
    Reply
  • soccerplayer88
    stm1185With the next generation of hardware they probably could run WoW on a portable device. Mind you it is a 6 year old game. The control scheme would suck, but maybe not too terribly as with the touch screen you could directly hit the action bar. It could work.
    Gives a whole new meaning to the term "clickers". XD
    Reply
  • xenophorge
    I'm facerolling my pali. Literally.
    Reply
  • thaile4ever
    dalethepcmanTablets as they are currently are a fad, and the iFad is just that as well. Apple is selling millions of these intentionally limited pieces of garbage, because people don't shop the competition. My windows tablet (Acer W500)runs circles around the iPad in every department except battery life, I only get 5 hours of video playback on a charge.
    Tablets are the future and are here to stay. Traditional OS like windows and linux are designed with a computer user mindset for work.

    Hate apple as much as you want to, but they change the game when they design the iOS for the computer illiterate.

    I spend years trying to teach my mother how to read email on a normal computer and failed for two reasons. 1. She can't hold the mouse still and click at the same time, and 2. She can't remember the steps.

    With the iPad she can since it's 1 step and she doesn't have to fight with the mouse to click on anything.
    Reply
  • dalethepcman
    thaile4everTablets are the future and are here to stay... With the iPad she can since it's 1 step and she doesn't have to fight with the mouse to click on anything.
    You are correct Tablets are here to stay, but not in the form of an iPad. One you use a W500 or 110W you will know why I say this, and when the next version of windows is released this will become even more true.

    I guess touching the "Outlook" button on a windows tablet is too much work, its much easier for mom to touch the "MobileMe" button.

    Reply