Blizzard exploring World of Warcraft on iPhone

Senior producer says company is "always" looking at how to put popular MMO game on mobile devices, "won't do it until we think it's decent."

Blizzard Entertainment is exploring an iPhone version of the popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft, the developer revealed to Eurogamer at an event last week.

Azeroth could sit snugly in your pocket someday.

Senior WOW producer John Lagrave told the site Blizzard is always exploring bringing the popular MMORPG to mobile devices.

"So yes we have [looked into mobile] and we always are," he said. "Maybe we'll stumble on the great way to put WOW on the phone, maybe we won't; but we're certainly looking into it."

As for when a mobile version of WOW might become available, as is typical with Blizzard, the developer said it won't ship the product until it is ready.

"We won't do it until we think it's decent," he said. "But it's interesting and the world is evolving towards that little handheld device; I'd have fun on it, that's absolutely the case."

How might WOW work on an iPhone? Lagrave said certain game systems--like fishing and pet battles--would translate better than others.

"Certainly you look at systems," he said. "You can look at fishing and say, 'Is fishing tailored to being on a table or on a mobile?' That would be awesome, right? You're sitting at the airport and think, 'I'll just go fishing.' We certainly look at pet battles too, but right now we're focused on PC; that's our bread and butter, PC and Mac."

Blizzard already has a toe in the mobile space, as it released the WOW Mobile Armory in 2009, which lets gamers view character statistics, browse the Auction House, and manage guilds.

Next up for WOW is the Mists of Pandaria expansion. The add-on is set on the new continent of Pandaria and focuses on the Pandaren as well as the monk player class. The expansion pack, which does not have a release date, will also increase the player level cap to 90.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

93 comments
Tweedledums
Tweedledums

This article doesnt at any point mention Iphones, infact they seem to be rather insistent on the term "handheld device". Blizzard have always supported IOS and microsoft, i think this is a misnomer by the editor of this article.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@-Unreal- All I meant was that it *could* run on a smartphone if you only buy the base game, without any enhancements. I'm fully aware that the graphics have been enhanced since release. Either way, I'm not a MMO gamer, so I'm not interested in playing it on any platform.

vishisluv7
vishisluv7

I'd imagine tablets and phones have enough power to run a game like WoW these days, or close to it. The interface would be the hardest to translate.

soulless4now
soulless4now

Now the creepy people will once again walk in the daylight.

pyroone
pyroone

Wow has broken up so many relationships I imagine people will be getting fired from work getting caught playing wow on their iPhone or iPad.

TrueProphecy22
TrueProphecy22

Sorry if some of us think Pandaria looks like a fun change of pace.

Pikdum
Pikdum

wtf? iPad maybe, but iPhone?

StJimmy15
StJimmy15

On the... iphone? Wha- I'm not- *sigh*

pelvist
pelvist

@Sevenizz Oh sorry about that did i say something you didnt like about your addiction that made you angry? Cry more :D

photokid201
photokid201

WOW on phones would cause so many accidents. People think texting while driving is bad, just wait until people start playing WOW while driving :o

FkThisName
FkThisName

Oooh God please Noooo! Do I really wanna see all those pale faced virgins in public? Let them remain in their mother's basement.

Sevenizz
Sevenizz

@pelvist I don't understand people like you. It's just a title of an expansion and a playable race. Are you that violence driven that words such as cataclysm, burning, or wrath can only please you?

zhaffy
zhaffy

Wouldn't be great if they make wow in iphone/ipads. I'd much rather have it on the PSVita. I prefer the physical controls

Bozanimal
Bozanimal

With a Bluetooth keyboard WoW would certainly be playable on a mobile device, given its (relatively) minimal system requirements. I might not raid or PvP, but it'd be a fun way to socialize, run a heroic, quest, level professions, etc. while on the go without having to cart a laptop. From a developer standpoint it certainly makes more sense to leverage the existing WoW playerbase than to develop a new title, particularly considering it takes Blizzard quite some time just to develop a sequel to its existing franchise titles. ;)

pelvist
pelvist

Cool imagine all those peoples batteries running out a few hours into a guild raid. Great idea Bliz, what ever will you think of next, maybe an expantion with kung fu pandas in it? Oh wait you already did that... I imagine this will end up being about as popular as Everquest was on the PS2.

-Unreal-
-Unreal-

@THA-TODD-BEAST As opposed to stopping and not releasing anything new in the game to its 10+ million players. You would make a great business man.

-Unreal-
-Unreal-

@CeeN11 Which dead horse? The iPhone 4 which sells truckloads or the game which has been steamrolling every other MMO to be released over the past 7+ years and grow to 12 million paying customers and maintain an outstanding number throughout its lifetime? Or maybe you mean WoW on the iPhone in general as an idea. If it's the later then I can agree. If it's the former, then your argument's been proven wrong.

-Unreal-
-Unreal-

@Hurvl WoW has a 7 and a half year old graphics ENGINE. At it's core. The game has been extensively updated since release. If you can't tell that from screenshots and videos, you should think about getting a new prescription.

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

@ahpuck Stuffing something on a mobile device isn't exactly ground breaking imagination... Not that it's a bad idea, tons of casual gamers play it, probably a lot of the same people that enjoy angry birds, should keep them happy and allow another way to spend their whole day playing wow.

ahpuck
ahpuck

It comforts me to know must of you will NEVER work as game developers, with your lack of imagination and forward I can't imagine what awful games you would make if given the chance. No one moved the gaming world by saying, oh, this wouldn't work on this platform.

Hurvl
Hurvl

Mobile phones are getting so high tech that they could probably run WoW's seven-and-a-half year old graphics. I like that they emphasize that PC and Mac are their bread and butter, if nothing else to squash paranoid gamers fear of consolization or bad ports.

greek5
greek5

Any crappy ideas that Blizzard have can be forgiven at the moment, Including this one, since Diablo 3 is here soon :) after that id tread carefully on the moronic ideas they come up with

Hakkology
Hakkology

Yea, would be fun to play on a 3.5 inch widescreen. Not to mention the price of iphone. Noot to mention, its WoW we're talking about.

CeeN11
CeeN11

Keep beating that dead horse.

manciuxl
manciuxl

Blizzard should make a rpg not mmo rpg,or hack and slah rpg(diablo 3 looks good) if for once Blizzard would concentrate on a single player only game it would be a massive hit(more then what skyrim did 12 mil copies so far)

Davhut
Davhut

Instead of focusing attention on stupid iphone apps, Blizz should turn its attention to creating a brand new mmo juggernaut, that reinvents the whole genre. Otherwise they are going to start to look like stale bread trying to drive the wow project onto other outlets. If Guild Wars 2 and Elder Scrolls get their mmo projects right, wow will get damaged.

DuaneDog
DuaneDog

They should use mobile to rethink the lame and extremely boring professions that help you build up the money in the game. If you could have small mini-games that allow you to create coin on mobile devices I could see that being a big winner. When I'm at my PC I want the action, fighting, and most often go over to PvP. But when I'm on the go playing a little app that could generate a bit of coin would be a nice compliment to WoW. Anything to keep me from having to waste time doing boring professions on my PC when I could be doing something fun. This could also help perhaps cut down on some of the gold buying if there were ways people could more easily tap into the economy away from the PC. I think the entire economic model in WoW is very outdated and just hasn't kept up with many of the other improvements over the year.

scyldschefing
scyldschefing

I could see people doing things like fishing on a smartphone. If you have a few minutes while you're waiting, I could see throwing a few casts. Being able to fill in spare minutes here and there with those grindy tasks would definitely make them less tedious. But then the question is how do you travel to a fish area? You certainly can't have access to the dozens and dozens of skills in each class's massively over-bloated skill set.

DuaneDog
DuaneDog

I think it could be alright if they figure out a cool way to do some of the professions on mobile devices. Not like doing the professions on the PC/Mac is any sort of exciting gameplay experience as it is. Last few characters I've leveled up with friends I haven't even done them. I'd rather be broke as dirt than grind out the professions. Would be kind of neat if you could do some fun kind of mini-games of sorts when you are on the go to make gold so that you can spend your time at the PC playing the content that is actually fun. Honestly... WoW would be 10 times better if they would create some servers with more difficult questing and dungeons. Aside from PvP, WoW is pretty much a cakewalk.

Anema1986
Anema1986

please blizzard stop making this crappy MMRPG and get warcraft where it belong to the strategy-rpg realm i want to know what happen to the lich king, to the demon hunter on an strategy game, not a crappy game with unlimited boring quests and really slow pace

Barrakas21
Barrakas21

@argetlam00 wth?? Kid? I'm 20 with a job in the federal government.???lolol first of all. who cares??or what has that do to with anything? stop living a lie and get a life kid lol "i have a job in federal govermment" lol and im the fool . thanks for the laugh ing lol

vicsrealms
vicsrealms

Why put it on iPhone? Shoot, I don't even own a cell phone (takes too much money away from my computer fund to be useful)!

NoodleFighter
NoodleFighter

Well kiss your social life completely good bye WoW gamers

argetlam00
argetlam00

@Barrakas21 Kid? I'm 20 with a job in the federal government. I think its you who needs to check your facts. Stop making yourself look like a fool. Your immaturity is shown in your hostile reaction.

RiP_ili
RiP_ili

D.ude I.t's A.lready B.een L.ong O.verdue Blizz...put your phones down and GET BACK TO WORK!

scratchisme
scratchisme

That would be a great second wind for the game. They would have to drop the subscription model though. At least make it a ton cheaper (like $1/month). Quite honestly it's a pretty old game by now and isn't worth the price anymore.

megakick
megakick

I said this would be a cool idea, too bad I don't play it anymore...

anticusho1984
anticusho1984

so many people own iphone this is not surprising, and many developers will explore this opportunity with many potential customers

Sgthombre
Sgthombre

Passed on PC, I'll pass on the iPhone.

mtait01
mtait01

personally I am not a fan of mobile gaming, after experiencing gaming on PC and Consoles, mobile gaming to me is just lame

tigertaru
tigertaru

It certainly is possible. Order and Chaos online is a pretty decent WoW clone on iOS. But I don't know if I could see myself paying $15 a month to play this on an iphone, WoW or not.

NINEINCH-Tool
NINEINCH-Tool

"blizzard explores 'never making another original idea'!"

onewithtoenail7
onewithtoenail7

hardcore WoW players end up with custom designed keyboards that have 40 hotkeys. how the flying hell is a touch screen going to work for that? i also love how they wont do it until its "decent". dont these kind of announcements get scanned by PR guys to make everything sound overwhelmingly positive? words like "decent" almost always get replaced with things like "up to blizzard's high standard of quality". so is it good that they are talking more candidly? or does it mean our standards have fallen so low they dont feel the need to whisper sweet nothings to us anymore? probably reading too much into it, but public statements do go through a disgusting amount of review and rewrites to make sure theyre as inoffensive as possible.

ZeroX91
ZeroX91

You know I kind of like the idea of a portable WoW say if they restrict it to Vanilla and Burning Crusade if you want to access Lich king and up do it from a computer.

Barrakas21
Barrakas21

@argetlam00 first of all..bro??you must be 10 second check your facts before calling others ignorant stupid kid so go play wow before your bedtime

---Cipher---
---Cipher---

That game is getting worse and worse, now I can continue to ignore the game that USED to be good on my mobile! I can't even imagine how bad this would be...