A Random Thought: If I Were Head of Blizzard…

This thought occurred to me as I was reading We Fly Spitfire’s comments on the console MMOFPS rumour around Blizzard’s next game

Resting in a pool of money.

A typical break period at Blizzard HQ.

If the rumour was true and I were head of Blizzard, I’d:

  1. Take a trip to the Money Room at Blizzard HQ and have a swim around in the Money Pool ala Scrooge McDuck. (You just know Blizzard HQ has a Money Room.)
  2. Make that console lifespan work for my game something fierce.

There is an accusation that making a console MMO is a bad idea because consoles have a limited lifespan of 4 – 5 years while PC MMOs can operate in perpetuity. However, this seems like a huge advantage to me: as MMOs get older it seems they run out of well-considered things to do and just end up fiddling around the edges. Older MMOs can’t change their core gameplay – existing players would run for the hills – but this arguably locks them into an increasingly smaller player base, which in turn gives them less money to spend fiddling around the edges. Instead, work with that fixed time period and work the hell out of it – develop a title with an ongoing story that lasts for four years and then ends. Everything builds up to a dramatic end-point. Make that end point really count, make the ongoing narrative have an opportunity to count outside of the player (not like other allegedly story-based MMOs). Give players a unique experience they can value and contribute to.

An MMOFPS seems like the best thing for a console – fewer number of hotkeys required to play compared to a MMORPG – and I’m certain that next gen console-based MMOs aren’t a matter of if, but when. Add in a dedicated focus on an in-game narrative and Blizzard would absolutely be blazing a new, innovative path.

Plus after those 4 or so years, I’d have plenty of spare time to go swimming in that Money Pool.

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