Blizzard Entertainment's Rob Pardo is a bona fide Rockstar
in the gaming industry. In his recent keynote speech
at the Game Developer's Conference at the Paris GDC
he continued to indirectly extinguish rumors that suggested World of Warcraft
is coming to a Console, rumors that stretch back years
. While not specifically talking about World of Warcraft
, when Pardo was asked what kept MMOs from Consoles he responded: "Lack of hard drive space, and difficulty in certifying patches. Basically just that.... another problem is that they want a piece of the subscriptions (laughs)."
That's a simplistic answer coming from the Executive VP of Design at Blizzard Entertainment, but there it is laid out in plain sight, a truth even if shared in a humorous fashion. Giving Microsoft or Sony residuals, most likely a big chunk is one thing keeping World of Warcraft
off Consoles. Is that a bad thing? No, but Blizzard could be missing something here, and just maybe Rob Pardo is plain wrong about what's keeping MMOs away from Consoles. It's simple really...There's a lot more transitional barriers to overcome and think about
than those that Pardo mentioned, and I stress that the ones presented are very critical barriers to overcome, but they are already starting to crack because Console MMOs already exist and many more are in development today.
There's a rumored Dungeons and Dragons Online
port from Turbine; Funcom's Age of Conan
is due on the Xbox 360 late next year
; an unannounced Nintendo Wii MMOG
by the developers of Shadowbane
stirred the back-channels not long ago. As for outside the rumor mill, both NCsoft and SOE are taking Console MMOs very seriously with big plans already underway. NCsoft is developing exclusive PS3 titles
with online functionality, more information on their first title is coming later this year. SOE's The Agency
is moving along
, that will make an appearance on the PS3. The list goes on
Progress is happening, some developers are cutting through the political bureaucracy in the Console landscape because they take the initiative to do so, and there will be more Console based MMOs.
They may not be Blizzard's World of Warcraft
or their next-generation MMOG
, but any complacency on their end is a loss for them.