VentureBeat.com has posted a new interview with Blizzard’s Chief Operating Officer Paul Sams. There’s no mention of Diablo III in the conversation, but Sams gives some interesting insight into F2P vs. the “Disneyland” style full features of WoW, and he extends that point into some general details about Titan, even though he won’t actually acknowledge that project code name for Blizzard’s Next-Gen MMORPG. A quote:
Paul Sams: As to our new unannounced game, we believe that it will be more complementary than competitive. And while people do have a limited amount of free time that they can devote to these types of games, we do think that people will want to check out the new and the old. We think the new one is very compelling and is going to capture a lot of hearts and minds and will be very successful for us. But we also believe that many people will continue playing World of Warcraft because they have such a huge collection of friends and community. We have taken some of our most experienced developers and put them on this project. We believe we have a dream team. These are the people who made WoW a success. We are going to blow people?s minds.
VB: That?s a tease. It sounds like you can take some lessons from seven years of WoW and apply them to a new game?
Paul Sams: Yeah (Blizzard CEO) Mike Morhaime talked about this. We really try to learn from what we?ve done in the past. When you architect the game, you architect it with the vision that exists at that time. We?ve got some vision for what is coming and how gaming has evolved. Some of the new things that maybe we would want to do, we can?t do as elegantly because of the way we?ve architected the old game. It?s easier if we are starting fresh. So that being said, we are doing that sort of thing and it?s also not the same game. It?s a different game, so we do feel it?s important to our developers as well as the players for us to deliver something else that can expand their gaming experiences.
The very next question was about social media and gaming, and Sams said he loves it, that he loves his iphone and that he often gets in five minutes of Angry Birds when he can grab a free moment. Rumors have long suggested that Blizzard next MMO will be divided between the computer-accessed online game play, and a strong social media/gaming element accessible via smart phones or ipads or whatever hardware we’re using for that sort of thing in 2014.
Sams doesn’t comment on that, and he won’t even admit that Titan is the code name, but from what he says I see support for the theory that Blizzard’s next MMO will have a major social gaming component. Look at Sams’ mention of being “more complimentary than competitive,” the other comment about “how gaming has evolved,” look at Blizzard’s recent and relentless push to integrate Facebook and other social media, and it seems clear that Titan will incorporate those elements.
Players can already access some aspects of WoW (Auction House) via smart phones, and in fact the whole game can be played via Android. Are you interested/excited to see a lot more of that sort of thing in Titan? Will a *real* MMO with Facebook integration get Zynga and all the other Farmville clone makers shaking in their little space boots?