In an article on Eurogamer, industry analysts and developers lend their thoughts as to what made World of Warcraft so dang popular to begin with, and what it will take -- if anything -- for another game to beat its popularity, subscription numbers and cultural footprint. Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter declared that nothing will top the title for at least 20 years due to an insurmountable lead, although this became debated by the other participants.
Cryptic's Jack Emmert thinks WoW will be "chipped away at" instead of toppled. Age of Conan's Craig Morrison thinks that nobody can consciously plan to overcome WoW's lead saying, "You don't topple a cultural phenomenon. But you can join one." GamersFirst's Bjorn Book-Larsson doesn't think there's a need for WoW to be toppled due to the size of the market.
Codemasters' Dave Solari imagines that the winning formula "would have mass market appeal, with instant accessibility, would work on all platforms, particularly mobile, be incredibly viral and social -- like a feature-rich FarmVille." Undead Labs' Jeff Strain thinks that MMO studios should be looking at it a different way: "They should instead be striving to achieve the same level of success with their own game ideas."
Some even speculate that Blizzard is the only studio capable of besting its own game, perhaps with its second MMO that's due to be announced in 2012. Head on over to Eurogamer for the full discussion.