News
66 Comments

Four MMOs make $100 million annually, with The Old Republic among them

In the world of MMOs, it's World of Warcraft in first place and everyone else a very distant second, or third, though an analysis by the research firm SuperData turns up some interesting details about a market where freemium models are becoming dominant. One is that Lineage — the original, launched 16 years ago — was in second place (based on worldwide revenue), one of four NCsoft MMOs placing in the top 10. Electronic Arts' ambitious Star Wars: The Old Republic, which switched to a free-to-play model 10 months after its 2011 launch, is hanging in with $165 million in annual revenue, good for fourth place. World of Warcraft — both its Western and Asian releases, is still king, with more than $1 billion in revenue, and 36 percent market share. SuperData says the decline in subscription...

Opinion
70 Comments

MMOs are at their best when they're not cloning World of Warcraft

MMOs continue to be released every year with gameplay built primarily around aping World of Warcraft's approachable style. Tens of million of people have already devoted hundreds of hours to Blizzard's behemoth. That has to be a majority of the total audience for the massively multiplayer genre, and they've already experienced the pinnacle of that style of gameplay and know that they can return to it for ten year's worth of expansion and patch content at any time. I've been playing two massively multiplayer role-playing games that draw a lot from the World of Warcraft model: Wildstar and Final Fantasy 14. I like both of these games. In fact, Final Fantasy 14 is one of my favorite MMOs ever. But the more time I spend with both of these and the many other MMOs I've played over the last...

News
24 Comments

Blizzard's chief creative officer Rob Pardo leaves after 17 years

Rob Pardo, chief creative officer at Blizzard Entertainment and one of the lead designers of World of Warcraft, announced he's leaving the company today. "After 17 years at Blizzard, with long and careful contemplation, I have made a difficult and bittersweet but ultimately exciting decision to pursue the next chapter in my life and career," Pardo wrote in a farewell message. Pardo, 44, joined Blizzard in 1997 after a stint at Interplay. His game design credits include the original StarCraft, StarCraft: Brood War, Warcraft 3, Diablo 3 and more. Prior to being named chief creative officer, he held the position of executive vice president of game design at Blizzard. In his goodbye post on Battle.net, Pardo said he's not ready to announce what his post-Blizzard plans are just yet. "I'm...

Analysis
182 Comments

Gender hypocrisy in online games

My grandparents were delighted by boisterous, emotionally hostile male players like John McEnroe, forever hooting at umpires and taunting opponents. In the women's tournament, they preferred mellower players like Chris Evert, over those who seemed more outwardly aggressive, like Martina Navratilova. My grandparents' attitude was not unusual. Very few people found anything odd in this generally accepted hypocrisy. On those rare occasions when women sports professionals actually mattered (tennis, athletics, swimming), the most popularly accepted were 'lady-like,' as my Nan would say. The world of entertainment has changed in the past 30-odd years, but people, it seems, are much the same. A recent study of first-person shooters found that aggressive male players were more likely to be...

Video
3 Comments

Carbine Studios explores Wildstar's new content update in its latest video

Carbine Studio's latest DevSpeak video dives into the first major content patch for its massively multiplayer online game Wildstar, with a look at the gelatinous blobs and new dungeons that make up The Strain update. Polygon spoke with Carbine's executive producer Jeremy Gaffney earlier last week about the update, which focuses on new and mostly end-game focused material, including two new zones, new gear, player housing options and an open-world dungeon. The Strain is what Carbine is calling an "ultra drop," the biggest of their several varieties of content patches. While future patches may be designated as the lesser "epic drops" or even mere "regular drops." However, Gaffney promises that no matter the name, each and every one of the monthly content patches will contain a huge...

News
10 Comments

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor beta invites rolling out today

Beta invites for World of Warcraft's Warlords of Draenor expansion are rolling out today, according to a tweet from Blizzard community manager Micah "Bashiok" Whipple. The first wave for the closed beta will begin today, June 27 at 5 p.m. ET, according to an email being sent out by Blizzard. Whipple notes in his tweet that this first wave is targeting veteran World of Warcraft players and those who are selected will have their accounts flagged for it. The Warlords of Draenor beta will send players through the Dark Portal and allow them to establish Garrisons — personal fortresses — and take a first crack at fighting against new enemies in the Iron Horde. More content will roll out throughout the beta process. The Warlords of Draenor alpha test launched earlier this month. The...

News
34 Comments

Blizzard aiming to release Hearthstone single-player Curse of Naxxramas mode in July

Free-to-play digital card battling title Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is slated to receive single-player adventure mode Curse of Naxxramas in July, Blizzard community manager Aratil posted on the Battle.net forums. "Just wanted to give everyone a head's up that we are currently targeting to release Curse of Naxxramas during the month of July," the post reads. "Unfortunately, we still have a lot of implementing and bug fixing to get through, so please stay tuned! With that said, we are also targeting to reveal pricing details regarding Curse of Naxxramas next week on July 1, so please keep an eye out for that." According to the mode's announcement in April, the new content will launch simultaneously on iPad, Mac and Windows PC. Naxxramas sends players to a floating necropolis...

News
18 Comments

World of Warcraft's new human male corrects the model's 'more glaring problems'

The new human male model headed to World of Warcraft's upcoming Warlords of Draenor expansion will fix "some of the more glaring problems" with the existing model, the massively multiplayer online game's art director Chris Robinson revealed today in a post on the game's official blog. "As with the previous model redesigns, our goal here was to honor the silhouette and style of the original, while increasing fidelity and fixing some of the big issues we’d identified," Robinson wrote about the Champion of Stormwind pictured above. "The male human has long been a source of criticism from some of you for his odd proportions and face geometry. We’ve taken great care to ensure we’re not changing so much that he looks completely unlike anything you’d expect, while also correcting some of...

News
12 Comments

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor begins in the Tanaan Jungle

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor, the upcoming expansion to World of Warcraft, will begin in the treacherous Tanaan Jungle on the eponymous planet Draenor, amid a war between multiple orc clans. Even aside from the conflict, the jungle itself is dangerous. There are plants that defend themselves not with fly traps, but with literal teeth, and the foliage covers up miles-deep canyons. There, you'll begin your quest to strike back against the Iron Horde, with your first task being to seal the Dark Portal. The orcs themselves present a more active threat to you. Clans such as Warsong, Bleeding Hollow and Shattered Hand "won't welcome you with anything other than unbridled savagery," according to developer Blizzard Entertainment. But you'll have some help, and even players who have...

Culture
81 Comments

World of Warcraft player makes the longest, slowest grind to level 90

One World of Warcraft player had a long, slow grind to reach the game's level cap of 90. He did so remaining entirely neutral, unable to participate in any of the faction quests through which most players advance in the game. The player is Doubleagent and he was playing as a Pandaren, the race introduced in 2012's Mists of Pandaria expansion. Pandaren may begin the game not affiliated with either the Alliance or the Horde, but are effectively forced to choose around the time they reach level 10, otherwise they remain in the starting zone, where no new quests are given. Doubleagent remained neutral, well past the level at which he could gain experience killing creatures in the zone. As he couldn't leave the island, he couldn't access an in-world mailbox and thus mail himself gear or...

World of Warcraft Releases
North America
  • Windows
    • Released 11/23/2004
    • Publisher Blizzard Entertainment
    • Developer Blizzard Entertainment
  • Mac
    • Released 11/23/2004
    • Publisher Blizzard Entertainment
    • Developer Blizzard Entertainment
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