Warhammer 40K MMO Competing With World of Warcraft
IGN PC had an article today with a quote from THQ President and CEO Brian Farrell in which he states that the forthcoming Warhammer 40K MMORPG won’t be competing with World of Warcraft.
Ex-squeeze me? Baking powder? Isn’t that a little like saying Burger King doesn’t compete with KFC or the Xbox 360 doesn’t compete with the PS3? Of course Warhamer 40K will be competing with WoW! Just because it has guns instead of bows doesn’t mean it suddenly appeals to a whole new set of gamer or will suddenly cause 10 million dormant MMORPG players to crawl out of the woodworks and subscribe to it.
Yes, I duly take the point that the MMO market is expanding and that there are players who are diehard WAR 40K fans and those who love WoW and will never leave it but to assume that a MMORPG can be as equally successful as World of Warcraft without eating into its playerbase seems incredibly naive. Equally so, it seems very foolish to think that the majority of players would be willing to subscribe to multiple MMOs at once. It’s been my experience as a longtime MMORPG gamer (if that counts for anything) that, apart from a short period of ‘tourism’, players tend to focus on one game at a time and don’t the time nor money to play several at once.
The whole idea of being able to accrue millions of subscribers without competing against WoW seems spectacularly optimistic at best and utterly clueless at worst. This foggy thought resulting in a lack of realism also seems like a convenient excuse for not actually having to try hard enough with development. It’s easy to excuse lack of polish and gameplay if there’s no need to compete against World of Warcraft and it seems to be like a failing attitude right from the start.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with MMORPGs having a modest subscriber base but if a development company is truly beholden to the idea of creating the same success as World of Wacraft then they have to be realistic about what it means. If a MMO is going to achieve 11 million plus subscribers then it means taken on Blizzard at their own game (pardon the pun), directly competing against them, and producing a product that is more fun, more highly polished, and better in every single way. Only then will a game have the chance of succeeding in the same capacity.