In Activision Blizzard's earnings call on Wednesday, CEO Robert Kotick said the Santa Monica, Calif., company plans to create new "World of Warcraft" content, and faster.
“It's important to note that the nature of online games has changed, and with the environment becoming far more competitive, especially with free-to-play games,” Kotick said during the call. “To address this, we're working to release new content more frequently to keep our players engaged longer and make it easier for lapsed players to come back into the game.”
What does this mean? More expansions, baby. It was reported in 2011 that Blizzard planned to release at least two more "World of Warcraft" expansions. One, "World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria," was released last year. After its release, World of Warcraft’s subscription numbers spiked from 9.1 million to 10 million. The next "World of Warcraft" add-on has yet to be officially announced.
As it stands, there have been new "World of Warcraft" expansions released every one to two years since "World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade" was launched on Jan. 16, 2007. We're all for more content done faster, but Kotick's statement reminded us of Valve's infamous declaration of an "episodic content" release cycle for "Half Life" games. At this point, the last "Half Life" title to be released was "Half Life: Episode 3" on Oct. 10, 2007. Since then, nada.
Considering the issues that "Diablo 3" has suffered since its release and the repetitive (but curiously beloved) gameplay offered by "Starcraft 2," Blizzard should take its time when it comes to putting out future World of Warcraft expansions. After all, few feelings are worse than waiting for a game to be released and getting your hands on it, only to feel depressed and jaded once you discover that its a lackluster effort that would have benefited from a greater investment of time. "Aliens: Colonial Marines," anyone?
Are you excited about the prospect of more frequent "World of Warcraft" content? Do you think this will help Blizzard keep its "World of Warcraft" subscription numbers? What features do you want to see in the next "WoW" expansion? Sound off in the comments below.