THQ: WOW too strong to take on

Company CEO says going up against World of Warcraft would be "misguided" for any publisher; suggests waiting until Blizzard's hit is in decline to go massively multiplayer.

Despite promising sales of products like NCsoft's Guild Wars Factions, Blizzard's World of Warcraft is still the undisputed king of the massively multiplayer online game world. Not only has it staved off a number of MMO contenders since its launch, but it might actually be intimidating some of the game world's biggest publishers to stay out of the MMO game.

In a presentation to the Lazard Capital Markets Investors Breakfast today, THQ president and CEO Brian Farrell was asked why none of the major publishers have done much in the massively multiplayer online space. His answer showed some deference to Blizzard's juggernaut.

"We're looking at it very closely, but I want to find the right opportunity," Farrell said. "I think what you will not [Farrell's emphasis] see THQ do is come out with another fantasy-type game. The other thing we're thinking is these things tend to have a window. Right now that product is World of Warcraft, so the idea would be to time something for when that product is going to be on its downward slope. To come out with something competitive now I think would be misguided for anyone, including THQ."

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151 comments
Moren_PL
Moren_PL

Warhammer have strong brand, even if some kids think its WoW clone, i don't have to say, people behind wacraft and starcraft were strong Warhammer fans, they don't even try to hide it, i heard there were posters and figures everywhere in they office. Maybe Mythic didn't have lot of money, but now EA gives them everything they need, more resources, more devs and so on, because they also want to get some part of that fat cake. Another important thing is focus on RvR (real world pvp) - something i prefer over fed ex quests, you can even level without killing one npc, i think thats sum it all. It could be my game, because even i respect wow and played it maybe 200-300 hours, i don't like repetitive quests and solo play. Lets wait for WAR and see whats it like.

DirtyRotten
DirtyRotten

All I can say to folks who think WoW will never die, just know that people used to say the same things about the original Everquest.

vegedus
vegedus

It would be possible, but something near a miracle had to come along to "smash" WoW. Let's list the things it has going for: 1: Warcraft was a strong brand before WoW and is a MUCH stronger brand now. Even if a game better in every way came along, a lot of casuals and non-gamers would pick WoW up because it is what they've heard of. 2: Big cummunities grow exponentially bigger. You'd be surprised how many play WoW because their friends does. So, a game with lots of players will gain lots more. 3: Easy access. You can talk lots of it's shortcomings, but 1 thing it has, is the true essence of easy to learn, hard to master. Any newbie can pick it up and learn to play it in a really unintimidating manner. As a comparison, eve online has a half an hour tutorial after which you're pretty much off on your own. 4: A big budget. This, my friends, is the choking point for any wannebe-succesful-mmorpg-developer. Blizzard was nearly broke when they released WoW. Their previous games, starcraft, diablo II and Warcraft III have all sold millions of copies. And they were nearly broke. Of course, with so much money, it is possible to create something really refined and rich. How many companies has that amount of money? And what other company would be willing to risk them, for the sake of competing with an established MMO behemoth? Nobody, that's who. I highly doubt there has been an MMO with a budget like WoW and there won't be any time soon, thus, there will be no true contestants for the throne of the MMORPGs.

iluvtos
iluvtos

I wonder...how many of you complaniers would complain about WoW if it suddenly became FREE. I mean imagine WoW was Free, i bet no one would complain about it then.

twtech
twtech

I really don't think WoW would prove too strong if the right challenger appeared. Right now WoW is being supported by its community, but not everyone plays for community alone, and a lot of people don't like the raid game. Pull the hardcore players away with something like say, a significantly improved PvP implementation, while still providing enough casual content to attract other players and you could potentially win. I don't think Warhammer Online will be as popular as WoW has been, but I think if it lives up to its promises - and of course that's a big if - it could splinter WoW's playerbase to the degree that it is no longer considered unbreakable. As other posters have mentioned, a lot of people (including myself) are playing WoW only because the alternatives are worse. They will defect at the first available opportunity when it presents itself.

Silverblade-GR
Silverblade-GR

Some people are so funny. Talking about WoW's shortcomings as if they are the end of all things and as if any MMO dev has done better. Someone even spoke of Blizzard "terror tactics" and others of their monopoly on MMOs. This is THQ's CEO talking here people... do you suppose VU paid him off to say these things? (lol) And WoW is certainly not a monopoly of any kind. It has achieved it's place because of its quality which has gone way above simple addiction or name recognition. Of COURSE it has shortcomings. Its PvP system is not the best in the world and the end-grind is unavoidable. Though winning matches or battles in PvP (not hk farming) and completing end-game instances is more than a grind imho. It takes skill, and lots of time, but skill too. Is it worth the time? That is debatable. However it doesn't make WoW a bad game.

fiendling
fiendling

Before I get flamed to death by the WoW zealots, let me just supply you with some background information: - I have had a WoW EU account since 16 March 2005. - I have levelled both Alliance and Horde characters to level 60. - I have wasted probably the equivalent of about 5 working months (taken as 8 hours per day and 5 working days per week) to this game, so I have sufficient experience of WoW to make the statements I make. - Currently my account is frozen I found WoW absolutely brilliant until, and this is the clincher, I reached the infinite grind known as level 60. It is sad that no game developer has as of yet come up with a better idea than mindlessly farming instances for kit or the oh-so-tedious pastime of gaining reputation with a faction or through battlegrounds. Once you have levelled a couple of Horde and Alliance characters to 60 there is not much new to look out for. The content being added through patches as well as the upcoming expansion will just add to the infinite grind, can you just imagine the grinding at level 70? This is by far my biggest criticism towards the game and it is unfortunate that Blizzard fell in the same rut as every other MMORPG out there. In closure: Level 1 to 59 = Brilliant Level 60 = Yaaaaawn

protec15
protec15

I love how when a shred of new news comes out about wow people seem to post their opinions of the game in a general sense. Like "wow is just not for me" or "WOW SUCKS QQ" God people talk about the issue at hand NOT just what you thought the first 10 minutes you play the game

LeadHeadr1
LeadHeadr1

world of warcraft is a very well mad game, i really love the PVP engine and how it runs also the basic leveling system is great i made lvl 40 in 3 weeks and my very close friend has a level 60 human pally and he still plays it there is just so much to do, raids, instances, exploration, or just good'ol PVPing noos lol. BUT! i must agree the new Warhammer:Age Of Reckoning will be much better.

Galamode
Galamode

As much as I love blizzard's games, I just cant stand their overall attitude, just beacause people play your game moreso than any of the competitions doesn't mean you have to (no matter how sweetly you put it) say "this is our market; back off", I, as I know many of the WoW players who hate end-game and the PvP situation, are not only waiting, but at the same time rejoiceing at Warhammer Onlines somwhat soon arrivial, I hope they knock Blizzard down a notch. Beacause the game is, in and of itself, relatively short to get to end-game comparatively to other MMO's (it was voted easiest MMO to gain max level or something I read), and arguably just cheap time-sinks as an end-game, I can imagine that many, many, of their long-time WoW players will soon be seeking differant MMO's, and by god I do hope that will be Warhammer Online (which the dev's are truely amazing may I point out, they made a little game called Dark Age of Camelot a couple years back), back on topic though, Blizzard's scare-tactics are something to look down upon, imho

Jodan48
Jodan48

WoW is amazing. I have played City of Heroes, and It just lacks something that Warcraft seems to have naturally. The End Game I think is good because after soloing most of the way to 60, I can appreciate and am inclined to do start raiding the high level dungeons. And hey, 6 Million Subscribers can't be wrong.

killmemr47
killmemr47

wow is amazing....people who think guild wars is better are mistaken and/or cannot afford the

deadone1000
deadone1000

God, you have to be sickj of people bashing WOW. For god sake its a good game. It is maintained properly and people are happy with it. I dont play it n I did for about 2 months then I got bored of the whole fantasy RPG thing so I moved back to RTS and FPS games. However I can sit here and say that Yes it is a good game, instead of trying to bash it just coz i dont play it!!!!

runstalker
runstalker

There are millions of teenagers who can't get their parents to cough-up consistently for a subscription-based MMO like WoW or City of Villains--so the kids can't play. As a result, these kids often become vocal and bitter towards the entire genre. It's an expected backlash born of angst. For working adults, 50 cents a day ($14.99/month) for a game isn't much of a concern. And nobody says you have to play longer than a couple of months, or that you can't drop back in at a later date, re-activate, for a good-looking patch or expansion.

igl
igl

The wow-generation has no skill, no aim, no clue, no tactic, but chat and raid at 5 FPS with packet loss. When will the Sonic/Q1 generation take gaming back! ;D

o0pIumM
o0pIumM

Every game has its killer, for Everquest it finally came when WoW was released. Make no mistake there will be a WoW killer, but it wont be for some time.

Hyousetsu
Hyousetsu

wow>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>guildwars

jaefrmbk2k
jaefrmbk2k

hm...it's like a job and you're paying to work. interesting... you should prolly wait to play MMO's till when you're old & retired from your real job. and make sure & pay with a credit card. that way you can play free for the rest of your life. cuz when you die of old age, you're debt-free baby!

Somazx
Somazx

A few days ago I read an interview with WoW dev/exec (not sure which) who said the master plan was to keep WoW alive for a very long time and that meant they would certainly be doing a graphics engine overhaul at some point. So long as Blizzard keep the quality up and continue to develop WoW, any other MMO will have a long jog to catch up. WoW was 4+ years in development and has been further develeoped for nearly another 3 years. That is a lot of catch up for the competition. For those who hate the end-game... I've played WoW since Beta and I only recently reached level 60 with one character. It has been more fun trying each class out, each race, and each different starting area. I've still only done half the instances available, maybe less and I don't play in the battlegrounds or do much at all with PvP. The game is still fun. I'm now just trying the Hunter class. There is something wrong with the mentality of people who seek to race through content as fast as possibile and then whine and moan when they hit the end. Have you forgotten what the RP in RPG stands for? Role Playing! Blizzard has provided a marvelous environment and yet so many aim to dismantle everything down to its barest mechanics then complain when they find no fun in it. Maybe a cliche sums it up best: It is about the journey, not the destination.

luke_wj
luke_wj

I have both WoW and Guild wars and in my opinion, WoW if far superior. Guald Wars isn't even an mmo. I feel sorry for the guild wars players that can't get killed by a horde that's a much higher level than them.

jiipee
jiipee

I don't know where all these trolls come from... WOW is one of the greatest games ever. That's it. Of course it has faults, but hey so does everything else. But the good stuff outweighs the bad anytime. I'm a long time gamer since the ZX-80. I have played on most platforms and more games I can remember. Here are the games that I remember and that have hooked me badly. Elite, just awesome Ultima series, no other series come even close Nethack, still play it, more stuff than any other games combined System Shock 2, atmosphere and everything else Civilization 3, what can I say about this World of Warcraft, the MMORPG Back to the article. I think that WOW dominates markets in such way that's not good for the industry. Sure, it has brought more gamers to MMORPGS than any game before. It has brought MMORPG to mainstream market. In western world anyway. It will decline, be sure of it. But don't hold your breath while waiting it. There are huge number of really great looking MMORPGS in development, but I'm afraid none of them will break through. WOW is extremely polished and it's candy looking graphics are awesome. It appeals to casual players because it's easy. I would like it to be more complicated, but then, if it were harder, I doubt it would have 6 million subscribers. I have played it over a year now. I took 3 month break last winter, but now I'm back. No game I tried could beat WOW.

Juthan
Juthan

Sounds like a pretty ostentatious statement to me to be such a mediocre game. Their numbers mean nada! Those supposed figures they so love to tout about, I am sure, isn't who all are CURRENTLY playing, but anyone who has ever subscribed before. I know plenty that have quit that spoon-fed game--including yours truly. Do not get too big for your corporate pants, Blizzard. Your game is FAR from being untouchable as you all seem to think.

bobreturns
bobreturns

i prefer GW not saying WOW is bad just prefer GW

Rheikon_basic
Rheikon_basic

I think people are confusing fun/good gaming with addiction. ill admit i have played it for hours and hours but there really is nothing that good about it. and like some other people have been mentioning you can just buy your way to the top. More games that require player skill need to come out. GW is good and all but there is so little development. you go hunt around for skills and items through boring quests just to go fight some other people. They should have made more of a world for everyone to exist in. o well. dont think any good MMOs will be out for a while.

MAD_VIRUS
MAD_VIRUS

Skill Blizzard! Keep going, WoW WTF, WoW kicks your buts. xD

Rotherden
Rotherden

friken wow...ill topple it one day when i make my military MMO....(LOL)

whosgotthe311
whosgotthe311

"Overcode I played WoW 'till 60. Awesome game, but to 60 is enough. I'm not paying to play for the next 6 months just to do Molten Core and Blackwing Lair runs (or the new Naxx) just for some cool armor. It was simply an incredible game, but enough is enough for me. Maybe I'll go back when the expansion comes out, but I'd rather wait for a new MMO. Never played any game in my life as long as I played WoW, though. About 8 months... No more." I was going to type a response but you already did it for me. I've said it before and I will say it again, WoW is an addiction and it can/will consume most of your life if you let it. Luckily, I have been clean for about 7 months now.

darksporesg
darksporesg

Is he sure he knows what he is talking about? He doesn't seem to have the exact figures to back it up. However, I do believe WoW will entice even more players when the expansion comes out. The increase of level cap to 70 will help keep its player base for quite a while longer.

elfik
elfik

Yeah sry :) i'm just angry at WoW :D WoW is a great game indeed ! And it will be hard to compete against it. they will anticipate the decline and innovate (the expansion is coming :P ! Blizz got good Game designers ! Good luck to all company who wants to compete against WoW :)

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

I think the question is, will WoW ever hit a decline?

elfik
elfik

Player_leo got a point, if you want to see the whole Endgame content, you'll have to lose your life! Believe me, i had like 7 or 8 Alt character cause, each time i wanted to do something with my mage (60 mage), i had to give 3hours+ each time ! Yes... it ...will... Suck you life ! Addicted players are Blind. They won't see the fact that this game is like a Job, and you pay to work ! ;) (Enjoy the game until level 60) THEN~ loose your life raiding or PvPing ~ Good luck Make a Choice: 1) World of warcraft 2) Girlfriend/boyfriend/family/friends etc... #2 is free !!!

player_leo
player_leo

I never played the game but what I hear is that it's one tough donkey.....It'll suck your life away like a slow but enjoyable cancer !

SupaTrupa
SupaTrupa

I love the Warcraft games (WC III in particular) but tired of WoW months ago. Hopefully MMO's die out altogether, there really is nothing good about them at all, waste of time, $ and for those of us with lives, a waste all-around. Get out and do something with your lives, video games are fine, but MMO's promote abuse, addiction and lack of real life social interaction.

keinuveye
keinuveye

haha warhammer will never take Wow. people will see it as a rip off. plus there has to be a buzz. People have to start playing online before others decide to pick it up. I think it will be awhile before Blizzard is dethroned. I just hope that company doesn't lose its good history and customer support.

trylks
trylks

The decline will take a long time, the burning crushade will give WoW a new life. I think it can hit the 10 million users mark. It also has a chain effect, when a gamer wants to choose a MMORPG the number of players in it is an important factor.

outriderx
outriderx

I think Blizzard holding the title of WoW can not be beaten for a long time... maybe 5 years atleast. But as a company Blizzard (a division of vinideni entertainment? )they will have major competition from the Asian Companies. In maybe 2 years of less. NCsoft and Webzen, based in South Korea, the two most likely to put up a good show with the WoW title. Sony has potential if they continue to acquire titles and publish more games from different developers. In the future the best games will cater to everyone and will be simple to play... Faster in game play and more player skill. As you advance in levels It will be more competitive with AI enemy that knows its surroundings that can hide or stalk much like a real player would. Team work will be more common. The games will difinetely have a combo of fantasy, sci-fi and asian influence.

soulknight63133
soulknight63133

Can't argue with success and NOT look like an idiot...lol.

SnuffDaddyNZ
SnuffDaddyNZ

The MMO's I have played are Sims Online, Earth & Beyond, World Of Warcraft, a little Guild Wars and very little City of Heroes. Sims Online was a beta I played for several months. Never bothered taking it any further because I never had a credit card at the time. Earth & Beyond I played the free trial for two weeks, liked what I saw and signed up for a month. Strangely enough I lost interest in that game a few days after signing up - I guess I didn't have the time needed to commit to the kind of game it was. I have a lot of experience with WOW. An initial run of 4 or 5 months, followed by a long break, followed by another 5 month run. I've quit since then, but will probably go back to it at some stage. I got City of Heroes for free with some hardware, and have played a few hours of it. Probably not going to sub for this one as at the start of the game the only real superhero like powers I have are I can jump slightly higher than normal. Don't really want to put a lot of time into becoming a Superhero just so I can play as a Superhero. Guild Wars is a game I bought during my time away from WOW, but I quickly discoverd the game sucked and therefore haven't played much of it at all :( I think WOW is a little expensive as far as buying the client goes, but the monthly fees are worth it.

Toma88
Toma88

I have played wow since the day it came out but im thinking about quiting now. You see, Wow is just a shadow of what it once was, i remember running around in Ironforge(A city in wow) with a few level 60`s, and it was amazing seeing someone with a mount, And you could never be too safe in Ironforge because the Horde could be raiding anytime, it was just so freakin fun. but now you will be considered a noob if you arnt 60 and you dont have the best quality gear, its all about stats, numbers, world pvp doesnt exist(well there are some people who like to gank ) and if you want good gear and not being considered a noob, you have to have alot of spare time. And with Naxxramas coming, hardcore players will be even more

nightwalker89
nightwalker89

WoW is gay, Guildwars is better, City of Villains is genious, Vanguard will be god. End of storry

Gooblat
Gooblat

Too bad WOW sucks so bad.

LizardMan676
LizardMan676

Probably will remain this way until... 1. Next generations of totaly awsomeness MMORPGs comes out 2. The next WoW rolls around and continues WoW's imperialistic rule over all MMORPGs. The ladder of the 2 is most likely to happen.

Ground_Zero
Ground_Zero

I play WoW for over a year and still play it, but my eyes are on Stargate Worlds and Star Trek Online have to see what there like :D

Zippo_Fire
Zippo_Fire

Huxley could quite dethrone WoW or at least give it a run for its money. Huxley uses Unreal 3 Engine technology thus making it look better then WoW. The game play is mixing RPG style ways of gaining experience so you can level up and get new weapons and armor but when you fight.....its all FPS baby. I may haven ot played WoW but I was not impressed when they ruined the great RTS game cause I enjoy yplaying warcraft 3 and before that the 2 and 1st ones.

overcode
overcode

I played WoW 'till 60. Awesome game, but to 60 is enough. I'm not paying to play for the next 6 months just to do Molten Core and Blackwing Lair runs (or the new Naxx) just for some cool armor. It was simply an incredible game, but enough is enough for me. Maybe I'll go back when the expansion comes out, but I'd rather wait for a new MMO. Never played any game in my life as long as I played WoW, though. About 8 months... No more. :)

NinjaFoot
NinjaFoot

The reason Guild Wars doesnt charge monthly is because its not really an MMORPG. Like someone earlier said, it's more like Diablo than WoW.