Next two World of Warcraft expansions planned

Blizzard COO Paul Sams confirms Mists of Pandaria follow-ups already in the works for long-running MMORPG.

World of Warcraft's fourth expansion, Mists of Pandaria, only just entered beta testing this week and has no release date. Despite this, developer Blizzard has confirmed it will extend the game's life with a fifth expansion and additional future follow-ups.

Blizzard is planning to soar over new lands, according to Sams.

Speaking to CVG at an event at the developer's Irvine, California, headquarters recently, Blizzard COO Paul Sams was asked if he saw potential for expansions beyond Mists of Pandaria. He replied, "Absolutely, because I know what the next one is. So, that being said, I think there's a lot of opportunity."

Gamers shouldn't get excited about a Mists of Pandaria follow-up too soon. Sams said the team at Blizzard has only an "idea, a general framework" for the expansion.

On top of a fifth WOW expansion, Sams said he has already seen a glimpse of what's next for the massively multiplayer online role-playing game.

"I got the pitch from [Blizzard senior vice president of creative development Chris Metzen] of what they plan for 6.0, and I'm pretty geeked up about it. They already know what they're going to be doing for multiple expansions ahead."

Finally, Sams addressed the health of WOW. He said he envisions the game remaining strong.

"I think the future of World of Warcraft continues to be bright, and I think Mists of Pandaria is going to breathe huge life into what I believe is the best MMO out there," he said. "I think the number of people we have playing and the level of enthusiasm they have for the game suggests that to be the case."

Mists of Pandaria will be WOW's fourth expansion. It follows The Burning Crusade (2007), Wrath of the Lich King (2008), and Cataclysm (2010).

Since peaking at an all-time high player base of 12 million in 2010, WOW has steadily shed subscribers, dropping to a current tally of 10.2 million. The developer said it has no intention to switch to a free-to-play business model, insisting it is happy with its $15/per month subscription plan.

For more on WOW's latest expansion, check out GameSpot's Now Playing video feature with Mists of Pandaria's beta, embedded below.

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

231 comments
redturkei
redturkei

forever WoW whocares graphics . Game was skying Ty Blizzard for 7years

saint0814
saint0814

So basically if Blizzard sparks my interest in WOW again with a future expansion I'll have to buy this garbage beforehand... those money making b@$^@&)$!!!

gravemate
gravemate

about graphics...yeah it s'd be better with new and cool details...but dont forget that; if graphs got detailed the size of game will be more...

gravemate
gravemate

stop making hate speech guys. if you dont like it, quit playing it and if you already quitted wow please stop making hate speech. I'm a role player in wow, and seriously....Lore is very very much detailed. Most of ppl whom making hate speech about wow; boosted by a high lvlled player, after 3-4 weeks looted bis items...afterwards they are writing same sentence to every wow news ; " wow sucks". no mate, you've got wrong, its a massive multiplayer online "Role  Playing" game. 

ShaggyCW
ShaggyCW

Blizzard just needs to start from scratch. Update the graphics and start a new story and just create a WoW2.

mochen0125
mochen0125

the Mists of Pandaria sounds good by my friends. the fifth expansion? i cannot imagine what's like. Maybe the fourth is enough? i don't if i need to buy account to adapt the new expansion since my account is  just level 35. shall i buy one with maximum level? i heard there is a website www.farmer100.com, which sell wow account specially, i'm not sure whether it's reliable?

tachyon96
tachyon96

Forget all these extra expansions, what blizzard should do is improve the graphics of the game and make it as good as Tera...People leaving this game because of its graphic engine..its obsolete...It could look so much better and people who left will come back again...its got all the depth any game needs, just the graphics are crap.

 

ninedot
ninedot

I think that Mists of Pandaria is for sure going to kill the game for me. The best experience I could ever have was the first time I could ever fly in WOW and this new expansion just doesn't give me that same thrill... I don't see how more expansion are going to help at all... Blizzard needs to come out with a new MMO for crying out loud.

dscholt
dscholt

my wife and have loved all the games but definitely though the best were Wrath of Lich King for the dungeons and Raids and Cataclysm for the quests.  we havent been on for awhile now but will come back when the Mists of Pandera comes out and hope it has both good dungeons and raids and good quests.  the dungeons no matter how fun they are get old after about 10 times but the quests if done well have more lasting impact i think.  the raids can be a lot of fun as well but really depend upon the group and how everyone treats one another

AshTray1986
AshTray1986

I can hear the eruption of applause coming from basements all around the world...

BigDawgSteve420
BigDawgSteve420

If only you could rewind this game back to just the Burning Crusade expansion it would be fun again.

coimantokio
coimantokio

am i the only one still playing frozen throne and ignoring wow?

ArticRecon
ArticRecon

Wondering how many more years this game will exist, and if the graphics will forever stay relatively the same.  We are all playing Skyrim with nice lush world, meanwhile WoW players are still stuck in the same outdated world.  eh, I used to play WoW, 7 years ago, lol.  Yes I'm bashing, only because, it seems these players might as well be bashing their heads on the desk.  MMOs, no complex story, just click, loot, click, loot... oh well.. whatever floats your boat.  p.s. I'm just as critical about the CoD heads.  Not much different really.  I like a little depth to my game.

sTyLnK
sTyLnK

I enjoy WoW because there is a lot you can do once you are raiding end content. Such as mounts, pets, achievements etc. With every other MMO out there, once you hit end game there really is literally nothing to do. The longevity of WoW is definitely a good thing.

adamms1384
adamms1384

Now that Diablo 3 is out, I would suspect a very sizable drop in active subscribers.  Personally, I know 5 WoW players that have already cancelled their subs just to play D3.

Swain23
Swain23

@buddybuk Obviously you haven't played many MMO's. WoW is based off the everquest formula but the reason wow was so successful imo is cause it brought a whole lot of new stuff to the table and made changes to the general MMO formula. And if you'd actually read into GW2 you'd know this is exactly what they're doing. They're making drastic changes to the mmo formula. They are not trying to make a WoW with certain tweaks like rift and swtor did. It is a completely different MMO like nothing you've ever played. And if it works...i think WoW will take a serious blow.

buddybuk
buddybuk

Every MMO is based off the same formula that WoW is based off of (each one just adds a few unique features or addons). GW2 will be just as much of a WoW killer as Rift and SWTOR were (...not much). They are all pretty much the same. This article just proves that you can depend on WoW to add more content for you to enjoy... games that only have a million or so subscribers don't give that reliability. In the end, play the game you love. I will stick with WoW.

djwood84
djwood84

The developer said it has no intention to switch to a free-to-play business model, insisting it is happy with its $15/per month subscription plan. $15.00x10,000,000 = No f***ing kidding

deustchin
deustchin

well don't take the global subscribtions. Most of them are from China and the game do not use monthly sub there, cus of the chinese low restrictions. Just tell me how many active subscriptions you have from Europe and USA. How many of those 10 mil?

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

@Meteor7 Not to mention people calling the game "Dead" or "Dead horse" as I can read below... 11 Million account, 10 million of em active... If that is the definition of "Dead" then I don't want to think what it is to play/work in any of those MMO's that have only 1 million active users (in the best of cases). @Albaficas Would it be that hard to write properly?

Meteor7
Meteor7

@Warlord_Irochi It's just the way people are. They don't like something they bash it. I quit WoW and bash it to an extent, but I don't join the club of morons saying the next MMO is a WoW killer. WoW is probably going to live on to the last expansion and will still have a community for some time until Blizzard makes their next MMO and people move on. That is if Blizzard ever makes it or if people like it in the first place. >_>

Kooken58
Kooken58

@Philly1UPer You do know whenever a new expansion comes out you technically have to start over...gotta grind 5 or 10 more lvls and get all that gear over again...When EQ was big they said the same thing, Not wanting to leave for WOW...Most who have your view point will leave eventually...You will be missing out GW2 is tons of fun, and its not just one massive gear treadmill and of course you can drop the game and pick it up anytime cuz there is no sub fee.

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

I don't get why people is so surprised about WoW longevity. Remember that Dark Age of Camelot had 7 expansions and is still active (little poeple, but active). Also seems like bashing WoW is trendy now... the game will not hurt you if you don't play it you know...

bluefox755
bluefox755

If I had a dead horse that shot out 10 million $15 subscription payments every month, I'd continue to beat it as well

Goupil418
Goupil418

Come on Blizzard... keep beating on that dead horse...

vadagar1
vadagar1

I could write pages but Unholy123 said it best....:P

DF2
DF2

 @gravemate You are correct its a role playing game, but look what Blizzard has done to it. I mean everything is so easy, players level up too fast to enjoy the lore as they progress; instead the whole model is changed to get you to lvl 85 in a week. There are little or no players for low level instances which have great lore. Where does this put players new to WoW. They will miss over half the content. When WoW first came out leveling was slow and at times painful but the reward of leveling up was great. Players of all levels spent great many hours experiencing the lore with friends before they moved on. I feel it is our right to voice concern over the current turn of events. If your happy with it, that's your cup of tea not mine. 

Meteor7
Meteor7

 @gravemate

 Stopping people from speaking their mind isn't possible... Haters gonna hate.

terminus
terminus

 @mochen0125

 Next exansion is going to have STARCRAFT universe in it............................................lol, jk.

ZoN1c
ZoN1c

dont buy. It's all i can say

terminus
terminus

You're missing out on a great expansion then, but understand where you are coming from. And Blizz is coming out with a new MMO, unfortunately, still probably 2 years away lol.

Meteor7
Meteor7

 @buccomatic

 I disagree TBC was a fun expansion, but there are other games out there that aren't MMOs that I think are better than WoW and TBC.

Dejon09
Dejon09

 @BigDawgSteve420 ........ there are free bc servers.... soon there will be wrath servs as well.... so you lackies who cant keep up can stay in the yester years lol. but yea

Dejon09
Dejon09

 @ArticRecon  New animations and character modules are being released in MOP, and if you think Wow has no depth your sadly mistaken. Maybe too much for u to handle.

Corrupted_Wolf
Corrupted_Wolf

 @ArticRecon 

 

You think Skyrim had a complex story...? Great game. Great immersible world. But the story was childlike at best. 

 

Graphics doesn't matter to create immersion - Minecraft showed that.

 

WoW does have depth compared to most games out there. Most games have depth these days. It just depends on what kind of depths you are looking for.

 

My point is people enjoy what they enjoy no matter how stupid that something may be to others.

 

WoW - though I myself stopped playing it years ago - has proven itself by leading the industry for a decade.

 

People should stop the nasty habit of tearing down something/someone with success just to tear them down.

 

 

Corrupted_Wolf
Corrupted_Wolf

 @adamms1384 

 

5 of 10.5 million is nothing.

 

WoW players are dropping because the game has been out for a while. But the formula still works...

 

I mean look at how long EverQuest lasted.,, or Ultima Online...

 

hell.. Ragnarok is still alive. 

Dejon09
Dejon09

 @Swain23  @buddybuk  I agree they're taking risks, but the combat is not as challenging, nore is the lore or concepts behind it as detailed. but for ppl who dont like the time wow takes to get into everything it will be a good outlet mmo.

DF2
DF2

 @buddybuk Challenging instead of being kids play, world events that everyone can join in, decent graphics and no subs. Yup that's GW2 and that's the reason I no longer play WoW.  

terminus
terminus

 @DF2  @gravemate

 You are absolutely correct with what has happened to WOW, but I still feel, despite it's cheesy ways, and simplified gameplay, it's STILL better then the rest.....and that's sad. There is no way someone can say GW2 is more sophisticated in anyway. You have less abilities, a much cheesier interface, cluncky mechanics, the list goes on and on. There is no world pvp, their idea of world pvp is wvwvwvw which is a condensed map, seperate from the actual world, and it's the same over and over and over and over and over and over. I still have to use many abilities in pvp on WOW and feel there is much more skill, maybe because I don't do macros for every singe thing I do, idk, and I don't even like WOW anything like I did in the good ole days, but I continue to enjoy pvping and playing that game over all else. Especially now, there is sooo much world pvp going on all over pvp servers it's great, for those who like the danger of getting jumped by a bunch of opposing factions.........do you? or do you like the safety of no enemy REAL players in your world? That was another reason why I didn't feel SWTOR too much, I liked the game, but felt it was lacking due to sharding the servers too much, they are working on changing that finally, and making it free, which should pull me back since I really am a huge SW's fan....lets hope they get it right this time.

terminus
terminus

 @Meteor7  @gravemate

 You're right, and it shows the mentality, and irony that is GW2 fans, you don't see WOW fans flocking on GW2 review sites bashing how sad that game is, and it is sad. You don't see WOW fans going to other MMO's and bashing it when they didn't play it. I play all games, and I have given honest reviews for all the MMO's, none of them got below an 8, ie, GW2, SWTOR, RIFT etc etc etc, but in the end, IMHO, WOW is much better. But again, I don't deliberatly go to GW2 source bashing the game on every article written about it, it's done, I sold it, I didn't like it, I'm still playing WOW, and I'd rather be playing WOW then sharing my opinion or hate towards some other game lol.

ninedot
ninedot

 @terminus No I'm not... I posted this like.. 3 months ago. I ended up giving in and got the game LOL! I won't lie, I enjoy it. Not only that, but it's also, I feel, giving me an appreciation for Asian culture, seeing as how this particular expansion seems based on that - can't complain there!

BigDawgSteve420
BigDawgSteve420

 @Dejon09 I kept up and all and have an 85 shadow priest and 78 Druid waiting for me if I ever went back, I just had so much more fun in the game at BC, in fact I'd call BC once Sunwell got in a perfect mmo.

Abysshalolover
Abysshalolover

 @Dejon09 ARE YOU KIDDING ME! Really WoW blew it!! when it brought in there furry's.  WoW has lost alot of Subs they are lying if they said they still have 10 mil subs hell i don't even think they have 2 mil anymore. Plus i hate the fact that you have to buy a a WoW expansions just for them to fix something in the game oh oh oh we will fix world pvp BUT you got to BUY MoP first.... right thats how i wanna waste my money .so you can handle your hardcore cartoonish graphics so called Pandas... honestly they made that race for Fat people so they can feel better about them selves when they play that game lol BUT everyone has their own game types just don't call it to much to handle when you can youtube a 6 year old Tanking DW thats how easy that game is now requires no skill anymore to even dps,heal, or tank for that matter

DF2
DF2

 @terminus  @DF2  @gravemate 

GW2 is still behind WoW which I know is sad, but to its credit it does not cost $15 to play, which you could use towards other games so that's a big plus for me. Since I stopped playing WoW I have purchased many games and their DLC's so its been a new experience for me. When I played WoW I did not have time for anything else. I was not into the PVP aspect but I see your point. In the end play style has a lot to do with opinion I guess.