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Blizzard: Diablo III could cannibalise WoW

Frank Pearce believes RPG could be a draw for Warcraft players

Blizzard co-founder and vice president of product development Frank Pearce has told press that he feels Diablo III is likely to cannibalise World of Warcraft's audience well before new MMO 'Titan' hits the scene.

Speaking in an interview with Gamasutra, Pearce spoke about the likelihood of WoW players leaving to play Diablo, but pointed out that if the game is going to lose players to anybody, it may as well be another Blizzard product.

"It's hard to say," said Pearce when asked about Titan and WoW running concurrently. "I think even a shorter-term concern is whether or not we might see cannibalization of WoW players from Diablo III when we launch it, because it's a similar type of experience. Not exactly similar, but it's that RPG feel.

"For us, I think it's really important that we recognise that somewhere, sometime it's likely that someone is going to cannibalise World of Warcraft players, so it's better we cannibalise them ourselves than let someone else do that, because if we cannibalise them ourselves, they're still a Blizzard customer."

However, Pearce doesn't see the current level of player engagement as a plateau - there is, he believes, still room for another big game or two in the market.

"Whether it's a Blizzard game or another great MMO, I think there's plenty of space in the market for great MMOs to share customers," Pearce claims.

"We have players that burn through content in weeks or months that takes us two years to create. There are so many people looking to play these experiences so passionately, so many hours a week, I think there's plenty of space for the industry to grow."

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