Richard Garriott, who heads up social games outfit Portalarium, publicly put the screws to Blizzard and other major MMO companies for overlooking the casual gaming space. In fact, he says that World of Warcraft's biggest challenger won't be from another AAA title, but from the "Zyngas of the world."
Talking to Industry Gamers, Garriott accused Blizzard and EA of dropping the ball when it came to social gaming, which Zynga has since explored and exploited. "The only reason Zynga exists is because people like EA, people like Blizzard, failed to step in," he said.
Garriott sees these small start-ups as having great potential in the near future. "I think within a few years, you'll see that's not really the case," he said. "I think you'll see that the quality level that comes up through the casual games will rival the quality of traditional massively multiplayer games and then, because it's not something you have to subscribe to, because it's something that virally spreads, and especially because, as people churn out of a big MMO they've got to go somewhere."
Garriott's Portalarium is currently working on an upcoming project that is "much more like Ultima Online than people might expect."