Blizzard Needs to Come up with a Next Gen MMORPG to Replace World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft was an incredible game. But after 12 years of content, is it time for Blizzard to start something new?
When World of Warcraft released in November 2004, the gaming world was forever changed. Soaring past 1 million subscribers, Blizzard’s MMO quickly became one of the most played games to hit the market, and made its mark on the community one subscriber at a time. 12 years after the game’s initial release, it’s still soldiering on, with Blizzard planning expansion packs years in advance. But has the game reached its end already?
WoW Is Such an Old Game Now
WoW looked a lot different in 2004.
12 years is a long time for any online game to run. These days, extensions to games like Final Fantasy come out every year or so, with gamers asking for new, engaging content constantly. Since then, with the list of expansion packs and patches, the game has changed considerably. Those who remember how it looked when it first launched know how wildly different the game is now, looking only a fraction of the game it started out as. Some will say that’s a good thing, but from someone that has played the game an incredibly long time… it’s not that great.
When players are used to a certain style, and a certain look, well, nostalgia will always win. Ask anyone that has been playing the game for a long time, and they’ll most likely tell you they prefer the game when they started playing. This is a huge generalization, but with private servers gaining huge numbers these days, there’s no wonder nostalgia is winning.
It’s the Same Content Again and Again
Some of our newest content … metamorphosis reborn!
A few years ago, new and exciting content came to WoW at a steady pace. Blizzard had new ideas to give us that made players want to play more, and even gave us quality of life updates like meeting stone usage and connected auction houses. Blizzard still do this now, with new additions to Legion such as world quests and mythic+ dungeons – but there’s a difference in this content that is incredibly hard to ignore.
Content updates like this feel stale, like a rehashed version of something we already have (like mythic+ dungeons) or content they’ve used in their other games (like world quests looking a lot like Diablo’s bounties). Is it really new if it feels like something we’ve had for a long time already? Most likely not, as a lot of players tend to feel after running the content at least once.
It Won’t Last Much Longer
WoW’s sub numbers have been up and down for years.
When the expansion Cataclysm released, World of Warcraft’s steady increase in sub numbers started to decline. Since then, Blizzard have made every effort they can to bring them back, including releasing expansions intentionally faster and at different times. The decline in sub numbers became so bad by the time Warlords of Draenor came around, that Blizzard has stopped publishing their sub numbers all together. Embarrassed? I think so.
The only time sub numbers have increased these days is when a new expansion releases. This is due to the hype surrounding the game, and faithful returning players wanting to see what Blizzard has done next to keep us all interested in this 12 year old game. After a few months of hype, sub numbers start to dwindle… and it is any wonder when most content can be predicted due to Blizzard’s habitual content and patch releases?
Blizzard Desperately Needs Something New
After twenty years, what should Blizzard add to the roster next?
For years, there were inklings around the community about Blizzard’s plans on a new game dubbed “Project Titan”. Since 2007, Titan was set to be bigger, better, and brighter than WoW, as Mike Morhaime claimed they were “learning from their experiences working on World of Warcraft”. In 2014, Project Titan was officially announced as cancelled, making many hopeful gamers disappointed. However, some of the content designed for Project Titan was rehashed for Overwatch, Blizzard’s newest e-sports legend on the market.
Was it right of them to cancel Project Titan? From a business and development standpoint, this is highly true. If a project just isn’t working, developing more and more into it is just pointless. But what implications did that have for Blizzard?
After working on a new MMO for 7 years, they now had to put all their eggs in World of Warcraft’s basket, adding more and more content and making the game last as long as it possibly could. Since then the game has suffered tremendously, from Warlords of Draenor to Legion, and many players have been claiming for years that World of Warcraft is dying. In my opinion, Blizzard really needed a new MMO to freshen themselves up, and let WoW rest.
What do you think? Is this really the case? Should Blizzard start to look to other MMOs?
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