November 14, 2009

5 Years of Change

As a gaming geek, I can't imagine my day to day life without World of Warcraft or Firefox. A little over five years ago, neither one existed. This month, both celebrate five happy years of existence.
Five years ago today, Mozilla announced the official release of Firefox 1.0. The open source Web browser has come a very long way since then and has achieved a level of popularity that few would have imagined possible.
Its amazing how things come in twos on the Internet, this quote paralleling with WoW perfectly. Five years ago, NO ONE imagined the level of success that WoW has achieved. MMOGs went from communities of thousands, to millions in one giant leap.

With WoW's five year anniversary coming up later this month, The Escapist is running an interview with Rob Pardo:
World of Warcraft turns five this month, and we sat down with Blizzard VP of Game Design Rob Pardo to chat about the biggest triumphs and biggest mistakes of the mega-MMORPG, and why he's not worried that their new MMOG will kill it.
The full interview is worth the read. It covers the casual vs. hardcore debate, without pulling any punches, which is quite amazing coming straight from a game developers mouth. Its not often we see questions like this levied in an interview:
If you weren't a designer, but a hardcore WoW raider, do you think you would think the game was too "casual" these days?

Quite possibly. I have this theory that, when you're a really elite hardcore gamer, what you really want - what drives you - is that sense of competition; really having that gap between you and the less skilled, and more casual. That's what drives you, and that's not different no matter what game you're playing: WoW, Counterstrike, Warcraft III, games like that. You strive to make the gap as big as possible.
My commentary can't do the interview justice. Catch the full transcript here.