Replayability A Main Focus for World of Warcraft Developers
World of Warcraft has truly stood the test of time. Since its launch in 2004, It has made an estimated $9.23 Billion as of 2016. All this time it has remained profitable and playable while other MMORPG’s have fallen to the wayside.
This is clearly due to its six expansions that had been released over the past 12 years with a 7th coming out in 2018. PC Gamer spoke with Game Director Ion Hazzikostas to learn a bit of the developer’s approach while developing expansions.
It’s a mix of identifying and maintaining key pillars and fundamentals of the game, while being willing to innovate and take risks and try new things. The core of the open world questing gameplay, exploring, completing quests, killing creatures—all of those things have been mainstays of the game that we see as the bread and butter. It’s the first part of every expansion we plan out and they’re essential.
Five years from now, they’ll be five-player groups crawling through dungeons, learning and killing new bosses, and getting sweet loot, people will be exploring new continents, I don’t see those things changing. We’re going to continue to innovate on endgame structures in particular, continuing to focus on the replayability and dynamic feeling of our outdoor world.
There’s still large chunks of Azeroth that we have yet to visit. If you look in the chronicle books, there’s all sorts of landmasses, all sorts of cultures and foes we have yet to deal with. There’s no lack of ideas on that front. Story-wise, we try to think two expansions ahead at this point. We’ll see what the end of Legion brings, but we’re trying to make it a cohesive narrative that flows and segues from one expansion into the next.
Are you still playing World of Warcraft? What has kept you playing all these years?