producer Bill Roper described
the early days of World of Warcraft's
development to CVG,
saying, "we were hoping we'd be able to sell a million copies of the game." He pointed out that at the time, EverQuest
was the gold standard for MMOs, and it only had 500,000 subscribers. "It would have been impossible to predict that World of Warcraft
would take off as a cultural phenomenon as it did," he said.
He's right; people knew World of Warcraft
would be a comparatively big deal, but how could they have predicted 9.3 million
players? Throughout the history of persistent world online games, we've been surprised again and again at just how large the market for them can be. There are studios out there who think they can take it even further -- BioWare, for instance.
Or maybe the industry will fragment into niche games now. The point is, you can't always predict this stuff. That's what makes it so exciting.
In case you were wondering what Roper is up to now, his company Flagship Studios
recently released Hellgate: London
-- more of a niche title than a mainstream record-buster. Flagship is also working on Mythos,