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Is World of Warcraft's success hurting PC games market?

Ross Miller

Can a title be too successful? Iron Lore Entertainment President Brian Sullivan thinks so, sounding off that, "for retail PC games, I think the biggest problem is World of Warcraft." Speaking to Gamasutra, Sullivan, who admits to being a big fan of Blizzard's work, added that the title "is such a compelling MMO game that it sucks up a lot of money and time that would be normally spent on other retail PC games."

The success of Blizzard's MMO is a testament to its quality and mainstream appeal, but should we fault the game for its ability to steal time / money / social lives from people, or are game developers slightly jealous that Blizzard again and again finds ways to stand out in over-saturated PC genres? While some innovation may inevitably be overlooked, a title like Half-Life 2 and Will Wright's upcoming Spore will certainly have no problem co-existing in a WoW world. What developers need to do is find ways to reinvent tired old genres, return to old ones (LucasArts adventure games? Hey, we can dream), or branch out into something entirely different.

Sullivan, the co-creator of Age of Empires, also comments briefly on the state of game industry as a whole, worrying over the rising development costs. His latest title, the action-RPG Titan Quest, was released in late June to decent reviews, often being compared to Blizzard's Diablo franchise.

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