Monday, April 18, 2016

Where's a Demon Hunter When you Need One?

Looks like WoW's latest expac, Legion, will drop at the end of August.

That's a very very long time for "not much" in the context of new content for Azeroth, but we'll see how that pans out. In terms of context, they're going back to one of their favorite baddies --Gul'dan and the Burning Legion-- so in some respects it'll be a blast from the past.

But this is very much a WoW-at-a-crossroads release. Blizzard is no longer releasing sub numbers, so there won't be that metric to scale against, but they absolutely need a healthy WoW to keep other projects afloat. WoW's profits allow Blizzard the luxury of taking their time on projects to get them "just right" (the soon to be released Overwatch) or to kill a project when it simply isn't working out (Titan). Without those profits, it is likely that (for example) Heroes of the Storm would have ever seen the light of day, as it required a completely different mindset from Blizzard's development team.

Notice I didn't include Activision in this listing. Activision, well, likely has other plans for its Blizzard sibling, and those probably include maximum profit for minimum work. If Legion stalls out early like Warlords did, then that might be the last major expac for WoW; Activision will demand more Heroes of the Storm and less WoW from the Blizzard development team.

Here's to hoping that the MMO standard bearer doesn't fall victim to the bean counters and get put off to a steady state level of support.

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