On Blizzard's Next MMORPG

Empire offers an interview with Blizzard's Itzik Ben Bassat on the topic of World of Warcraft (thanks Kotaku). The final answer offers the obvious point that with over 8 million WoW subscribers, they are not looking to create the same game again in a remark that does indicate plans to further explore the MMORPG market in the future:
When we announce our next MMORPG it’s not going to be another WoW - we’re not a company that tends to tread the same ground. It’ll be something innovative and new that really brings entertainment to another level.
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Blizzard
Jan 23, 2007, 15:55
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Blizzard Jan 23, 2007, 15:55
Jan 23, 2007, 15:55
 
If there is one game developer that I respect, it's Blizzard. The Lost Vikings was an ingenious co-op platform game. Warcraft was the groundbreaking RTS (yes I know that Dune came first, but Warcraft really defined the genre). Diablo was a great point and click action RPG, and is another wildly popular game that is still copied by many developers. Starcraft is a masterpiece of a RTS, and I don't need to say anything about World of Warcraft.

But what I like and respect most about Blizzard are their self-imposed standards of quality. Warcraft Adventures simply didn't measure up, so they canned it. They certainly could have released a mediocre adventure game and it would have sold decently, but they didn't. Starcraft: Ghost has been delayed and delayed some more as they try to get it up to snuff.

Blizzard was lucky enough to have made their money early on before developers became extremely reliant on publishers for funding, and have used the resulting artistic freedom to really get things right before they release a game. Looking at that list of releases, every single game from Blizzard since 1995 has been a quality release (except Justice League Task Force, I never played that). What other developer can make that claim?

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