Blizzardâ??s Morhaime plays down WOW sequel plans

Blizzardâ??s Morhaime plays down WOW sequel plans

By Rob Crossley

January 20th 2010 at 3:30PM

As company president sees Warcraftâ??s gigantic subscriber base as a glass half empty

Blizzard is not ready to begin development on a full sequel to World Of Warcraft, the studio has confirmed.

Company president Mike Morhaime said that the studio’s current business strategy is to avoid making long-term plans, citing rapid changes the industry is experiencing.

“We really don’t have World of Warcraft planned out five or ten years,” he said in an interview for the first edition of World of Warcraft magazine.

“We have it planned through our next expansion and we have ideas for what should come after that, but nothing is really set in stone, and probably shouldn’t be.”

Morhaime indicated that the studio’s primary business goal is to accelerate the popularity of its breakthrough MMO.

“I think there’s an opportunity for us to continue evolving the game and to continue to make it more accessible so that the people who decide to play World of Warcraft, the game is ready for them,” he said.

“Things change, people come up with new ideas, as the game evolves [and] as the industry evolves.”

Now five years since release, World Of Warcraft boasts over 12 million active monthly subscribers worldwide. The trailblazing success of the IP was a key factor in the $18.8 billion Activision Blizzard merger, which was finalised back in 2008.

However, Morhaime revealed that his ambitions for the game far surpass the record figures:

“Well, 12 million doesn’t sound like a big number to me,” he said.

“Think about the number of people around the world who are getting onto the internet for the first time, the people who are just getting broadband, and the people who will be getting broadband over the next five years – that’s a lot of people who are not playing World of Warcraft.

“Maybe there are twelve million people who aren’t playing.”