Welcome to another week of Ask Massively, where we don't just buy into hype, we devour it with the kind of intensity usually reserved for stoners and Doritos. Since we're a couple of weeks away from the launch of Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, I thought it would be good to answer the biggest question on everyone's mind these days.
Can Warhammer Online:Age of Reckoning be the "World of Warcraft killer"?
-- (about 600 emails in the past month)
It seems like we've been here before, but as long as folks keep asking, it's up to us to answer. For some strange reason, I'm having a feeling of deja vu about this question. I can't imagine why.
Without going into the merits of Age of Conan Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning because I haven't played the game yet, let me reuse an old and tired cliche make a bold prediction . I want you all to repeat after me so that we don't have to have this conversation again when Star Trek Online comes out.
"The only thing that will kill World of Warcraft is World of Warcraft."
But.. But... What about <insert exciting and revolutionary new title here>?
No. It won't kill World of Warcraft either. New games do not kill older games off. New games do not cause people to leave other games en-masse except perhaps for a brief trial period.
- World of Warcraft didn't kill EQ.
- Age of Conan didn't hurt World of Warcraft substantially.
This trend will not change with Warhammer. Will some folks leave Azeroth for the "greener pastures" of Warhammer's Empire? Sure they will. People unsubscribe from MMO's all the time, and the biggest facilitator is a player who has a new and shiny game to play. Warhammer will be the "excuse du jour", but not the kind of killer game that will make everyone forget about WoW. That is an unreasonable expectation to have of any new title. The thing that will eventually spell the demise of World of Warcraft is when there are so many "new and shiny games" out there that WoW can't stand out in the marketplace any more. When Blizzard eventually decides to allocate development dollars to other parts of their portfolio and WoW becomes the "old school forgotten MMO" you might call that the end for WoW. Considering the fact that Sony is still cranking out expansions for EverQuest, I think we can agree that this particular day is a long way off for Blizzard.
With Blizzard's track record of producing quality games, the only thing that is going to keep WoW from remaining king of the MMO's is if Blizzard decides to focus their efforts elsewhere. Wrath of the Lich King will be a smashing success and break just about every PC gaming sales record in existence. Now that I have thoroughly surprised you with such a crazy and bold prediction, does anyone rationally expect a new game, with all of the headaches and bumps present at launch to eclipse WoW's success in any way? Most players I know are planning on playing both games, and as long as Blizzard gets your money every month, I'm sure they don't care how many other games you choose to play.
As always, if you have a question for us here at Ask Massively, feel free to drop us a note via our tip line, or via email at ask AT massively DOT com.