WAR's War With Warcraft - 7.1.2008

A subject was brought up on War Noob about how Warhammer Online is going to have a very narrow window of release in order to be successful. Here is a small snippet from the post.

"If you have paid any attention to the gaming world, you will know that StarCraft 2 is set for release in Q4 this year. Wrath of the Lich King is set for release in Q4 this year, but I have read bits and pieces here and there that WotLK may not be released until early in '09. Blizz just announced that they will be releasing Diablo 3. Although there is no release date yet for D3, speculation is that it may be released around Q4, 2009.

And now, there is speculation about Blizzard's next gen MMO. Certainly, no release date has been set for Blizz's next MMO but let's assume that it will be released as early as 2011.

[...]So with the upcoming release of SC2 in a few months, with the release of WotLK at the end of the year, or at the beginning of next year, and with the release of D3 perhaps at the end of next year (and of course this does not mention non-Blizzard games that will be released) it seems to me that EA Mythic has a narrow window in order to release WAR. Either they get it done this fall, or wait until the WotLK bomb drops and then stay out of its wake until Q2 or Q3 next year."

The following is basically my "response" to that post.

In my opinion, Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 won't take ANY players away from WAR. They aren't MMO's, they are just regular games (RTS/RPG). The only reason that they are in this conversation is because they are from the same company that works on WoW - Blizzard. I might sound stupid if I said that Bioshock 2 will take people away from WAR, but it's really the same thing when you look at it.

An MMO player is very different from a "regular gamer". They know what they are getting into, meaning the subscription fee, when they buy an MMO. Sure, they buy other games like everyone else, but because of the subscription, they will come back at the end of the day and call the MMO "home". I just couldn't see a regular game taking people away from an MMO. The only way to "beat" an MMO, is with another MMO.

As for Wrath of the Lich King, the next World of Warcraft expansion, I highly doubt that it'll be pushed back into 2009. J. Allen Brack, from Blizzard, has already said that they are extremely disappointed that WotLK isn't as ready as they wanted it to be this far into 2008, so I'm sure that they are pushing to get it out there and ready for release.

My guess was always that WotLK will be out the first week of November and that WAR will be out the second week. If it weren't for WotLK, I'm sure that EA Mythic would have already stated a release date for WAR, however, they are probably waiting to see Blizzard's move and release two or three weeks earlier. You could think of it as a chess match between giganto-gaming companies.

WotLK, in my opinion, is really the only worry for WAR. The problem is that it's a big worry. But, like I said before, at the end of the day, I believe that WAR will be a very healthy and lively MMO - I definitely do not doubt that.

P.S. - Please don't take this as me flaming the War Noob blog. I'm definitely not. I love that blog and I respect his opinions. This post was just inspired by his post. It's is not a flame in any way.

-Matt Graham


dave said...


I don't take what you said as flaming at all. I agree with a lot of what you said, but I do disagree on a few points. Instead of rehashing what I wrote in respone to your post on War Noob, I will simply quote it here:

I think if WAR is released a week after WotLK this will be a very bad thing for WAR. It certainly won't affect the people who have been following WAR and are waiting for its release. But the casual player and the WOW player will either have just purchased WotLK or will soon be purchasing WotLK.

Economics plays a large part in entertainment purchases like movies, books, video games, etc. I certainly think that games like SC2 which may be released within a week or so of WAR can negatively impact purchases of WAR.

I agree that MMOs are different than stand alone games, but if a parent is buying one game for a kid, why not choose the one that has no subscription fee? Or if someone is on a tight budget and will only buy one or two games at the end of the year, a certain number of those people will buy SC2 and not WAR. So I disagree with you on this point. I think it is inevitable that a game such as SC2 or D3 will take a certain number of players away from WAR.

If EA Mythic is really sitting back and waiting for the release date of WotLK, sooner or later they will have to announce a release date. Someone has to blink first.

I was not flaming Blizzard in my post. In fact, I love the Blizzard games and I think Blizz's next gen MMO will be amazing (even though I know absolutely nothing about it). I also think SC2 will be terrific. If Blizz even had a hint of a bad game I might change my mind, but they have not released anything close to a bad game yet.

I love Blizz. But I think EA Mythic will have a hard time competing if it doesn't get WAR released this fall. Hopefully before WotLK is released.

boatorious said...

I believe they already announced that SC2 won't happen this year.

I also don't believe that WAR would be delayed much. At this point it's likely Mythic would already be ramping up for launch. If they decided not to ramp up then they probably would have already announced the delay.

arbitrary said...

While I think there is some healthy competition between WotLK and WAR with regard to release dates, I'm not sure that Blizz's expansion will prevent WAR being a success.

First of all, there's a bunch of people who just aren't interested in a WoW expansion (like me, I'm bored of WoW - completely).

Secondly, sure... some will go play through WotLK. But by the time they're done with it, WAR should (hopefully) be starting to really get into the swing of things, any launch bugs fixed etc etc, ready for a new spate of players, done with Lich Kings and the like.

Thirdly, there's a big market out there and we still don't entirely know the numbers needed for a successful launch and continuance (though we know AoC's 700k subscribers is being seen as awesome).

Both games pretty much have to co-exist so we need to get used to the idea..