Blizzard: Warhammer players already returning to Warcraft
COO Paul Sams praises EA Mythic MMO as most likely to succeed - but not with WoW's loyal subscribers
While a number of World of Warcraft users dropped the widely popular MMO to play EA's recently released Warhammer Online, more than half of those gamers have already returned to Blizzard's market-leader.
That's according to COO Paul Sams, who said the pattern of players leaving and then returning to Warcraft follows that of any major MMO release.
"We've certainly had some of that happen, which is the same thing we experienced with Age of Conan and each time an MMO has come out we've seen some amount of reduction of use," he said in an exclusive interview published today.
"The good news is that we've seen a significant number of people, well over half, that cited Warhammer as their reason for leaving - they've already returned."
Sams said he was surprised that Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning had a rocky start in Europe, but server troubles and registration hiccups are part and parcel of the MMO business.
"It surprises me because Mythic is a very good company and it doesn't surprise me at the same time because it's really hard, what they're trying to do and what we've done," commented Sams.
"We respect those guys over there a lot and certainly wish them well to succeed but having registration troubles, having server troubles, these are things that come with the territory when you're talking about managing a game as big as World of Warcraft or Warhammer or anything like that. So, it's not a surprise because it is really difficult."
It's not just respect for the team that Sams has – he's was keen to point out that if any other game can come close to the success of Warcraft, it's Warhammer Online, a game that has already notched up 750,000 registered users.
"I think Warhammer is best positioned to succeed out of the various products that have come out thus far since World of Warcraft has come out," he offered.
"It seems to be a good game, certainly a great company, Mythic and Mark [Jacobs] over there and his team, they're very, very talented.
"But I think without EA they would have struggled as well, because EA fortunately for them has a lot of money and so they were able to put forward a lot of marketing dollars and were able to support the huge infrastructure that they require for these kinds of games," added Sams.
The full interview with Paul Sams, where he discusses the challenge of MMO start-ups, Blizzard products on consoles and more, can be read here.