Blizzard’s World of Warcraft can walk through the Sahara without water, climb the Everest without additional oxygen gas and swim across the Atlantic without even feeling exhausted. Well, that’s the feeling we get since nothing seems to be powerful enough to threaten the Goliath that WoW is. First came Funcom’s Age of Conan and more recently EA’s Warhammer Online. Both were said to be potential “WoW-killers” but they have — according to Blizzard — drawn the shortest straws in this fierceful MMORPG battle.
It’s true that many WoW-players leave for other games as they are released, but eventually more than half of them come back. GamesIndustry.biz talked to Blizzard COO Paul Sams about the situation after Warhammer Online’s release. “We’ve certainly had some of that happen, which is the same thing we experienced with Age of Conan and each time an MMO has come out we’ve seen some amount of reduction of use. The good news is that we’ve seen a significant number of people, well over half, that cited Warhammer as their reason for leaving – they’ve already returned.”
Innovative thinking when developing MMO’s are crucial at this moment. With WoW dominating the fantasy domain and EVE Online the space domain, any attempt of trying to take serious ground in those territories seems to have slim chances of succeeding. Also, with the future release of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, even more players are likely to return to World of Warcraft.