Next World of Warcraft expansion already in the works

Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime says company has already begun work on follow-up to Warlords of Draenor.

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Warlords of the Draenor, the next expansion for World of Warcraft, was only just announced on Friday, but its follow-up is already in the works, Blizzard Entertainment president Mike Morhaime told Polygon in a new interview. He explained that the company will increase the speed at which it releases new content for the MMO as a means to keep players coming back on a regular basis.

"It's going to be on us and our development team to continually look at ways to evolve the game and keep it relevant," Morhaime said. "And look for new ways of maintaining engagement within the game. We view expansions as a huge opportunity to do that.

"We recognize that we need to release them on a faster cadence than we have in the past," he added. "So we're investing in the team and our resources to enable us to do that."

Morhaime said last week during an Activision Blizzard earnings call that Blizzard has more resources dedicated to World of Warcraft now that it ever has in the history of the franchise.

World of Warcraft currently has 7.6 million subscribers, down just 100,000 from the previous quarter, but also below the 10 million subscribers it had following the release of Mists of Pandaria last year. Morhaime said Blizzard has adjusted the way its World of Warcraft development team is structured to allow them to continually look ahead to what's next for the aging MMO.

"We also have to start looking further down the road and planning further out," he said. "We've already started working on the expansion after this one [Warlords of Draenor]. We've never done that in the past. We've been doing one expansion at a time, sort of a very linear content creation model, and we've looked at ways that we can parallelize that. So that while we're working on this expansion we're looking at the new one."

For more on Warlords of Draenor, check out GameSpot's previous coverage of the expansion.

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