[MUD-Dev] NEWS: Blizzard Entertainment announces World of Warcraft

Derek Licciardi kressilac at home.com
Wed Sep 5 21:04:45 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Dave Rickey

> So the simple fact that they are jumping into this market is
> impressive enough, all by itself.

Interestingly enough, there is another somewhat more optimistic view
of the whole situation.  Blizzard will expand the market for sure,
as you state in the above post.  Because they will not be
implementing anything more than an EQ with a much nicer graphics
engine,(based on their very limited web site info) it could be
assumed that this creates a larger audience for the game that truly
comes out with innovative gameplay/content.

That being said I think you assessment of their entry into the
market is spot on.  They will raise the bar by adding a deeper story
line, better intro movies, a better UI, and prettier graphics.  All
of this only acts to increase the monetary barrier to entry for the
indie developer or non-big time publisher.  What remains to be seen
in my eyes, is if they can pull of the infrastructure, the more
involved gameplay(Diablo and Warcraft only have a handful of command
verbs), and the scalability issues inherent in the game.  While I
believe they have the game talent, I do not believe that every game
company out there has the systems development talent to develop
large systems just because they can produce a single player RPG/RTS.
All in all, I do not see their entry as having an incredibly
profound impact on the market.  It will increase the markets size,
it will raise the barrier to entry, but as of right now it will not
reinvent the genre and will therefore struggle like the rest of the
EQ clones.  It just doesn't threaten the truly next generation games
that are promising increased depth, better realism, intricate
gameplay complexities, and enhanced communities.

Derek Licciardi

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