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.

Just when you thought WAR 40K couldn't get any cooler

Just when you thought Warhammer 40K couldn't get any cooler

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.

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  1. Longasc says:

    I heard they plan to have 40.000 more subscribers than Warhammer.

    OK. This was low. :)

  2. Petter says:

    1. Of course he’ll say that. He must say that. He won’t go out and say “hey, we’re going straight up against Blizzard!” because he knows that is crazy talk. He has to be like that, some stockholders would probably go crazy if they heard him talk about going head to head with WoW.

    2. He doesn’t say “we’re going for millions of subscribers!”. He’s thinking it, of course, and hoping for it no doubt. But hopefully Funcom and Mythic have taught others to be careful. Careful what they say, what promises they give and what both internal and external goals to aim for. I think you are being a bit to hard on Farrell here; what you are saying here more applies to both Funcom and Mythic (especially the latter). :)

  3. Scott says:

    What he said was “What we love about the Warhammer 40K MMO is that it’s different in that it’s a sci-fi, futuristic-based world. We’re not competing directly in the orcs and elves fantasy environment that World of Warcraft is in. We can differentiate ourselves.” which is a little different than the sensationalist (IGN? Sensationalist? Say it isn’t so!) headline the “journalist” used on the IGN article makes it seem.

    Sure, on any level, *any* MMORPG is “competing” with WoW simply for being in the MMO-space. But you can replace “WoW” with every other MMORPG name, too. They’re all competing for attention and money.

    If nothing else, the loud-mouthed idiots from Mythic have hopefully demonstrated rather dramatically to everyone else to not proclaim to be the mythic (pun intended) “WoW Killer,” and just STFU and build the best MMO you can launch with.

    • Gordon says:

      It’s definitely a mistake to start procaliming new MMOs as a “WoW killer” still, I think developers have to realise that their games are going to be competing with WoW (and every other MMO) for subscribers and ignoring that fact isn’t a great idea :)

  4. xXJayeDuBXx says:

    Well I don’t know how much a 40k MMO will compete with WoW, but I do know I am looking forward to playing a 40k MMO!

  5. namerequired says:

    Screw WoW quest quest raid BORING

    I would like my inquisitorial rosette now, please.

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