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Blizzard's Pearce, Pardo whip up storm

Author: Tom Magrino,Jim Maybury Source: GameSpot

By Tom Magrino (text), Jim Maybury (video), GameSpot

MMORPG barons tell GameSpot the fabled WOW-killer will be internally developed, address PC piracy and Starcraft II's trifurcation.

"We aren't in a situation where we feel that we're untouchable."

Such were the sentiments expressed by Blizzard Entertainment cofounder Frank Pearce in an interview with GameSpot during last week's BlizzCon 2008. Humble words, but if there were anything in the game industry that could be considered untouchable, it would be Blizzard's World of Warcraft. After all, the game boasts nearly 11 million players worldwide, a figure several times larger than the closest competition.

"We feel we've done a great job with WOW, but there's definitely a lot of talent in the industry," said Pearce. "There's going to be a game that comes along that tops WOW--hopefully it will be our game, but who knows. We'll have to wait and see. Even in the event that happens, hopefully WOW will still be a viable experience for many of our fans."

Many, namely those making massively multiplayer online games, are hoping that game comes along sooner rather than later. In an interview with MTV shortly before Warhammer Online launched, Mythic head Mark Jacobs said, "If we don't succeed with EA behind us, the Warhammer IP behind us, with one of the most experienced teams in the industry, that's not going to be good for the industry."
How does Blizzard take these kinds of comments? "It depends on what someone means when they say it's not good for the industry," Pearce told GameSpot. "As a whole, the MMO genre has exploded in terms of the size of the market. When we launched in Europe originally...we launched to a bigger base than the experts said was the size of the wow gold market. The market has grown incredibly over the last five years or so, so that's a good thing for everyone."

World of Warcraft may be Blizzard's bread and butter, but the company is far from a one-trick pony. Also on the horizon are Starcraft II and Diablo III. With both traditionally being PC games, Pearce also addressed how Blizzard plans to handle the omnipresent problem of piracy that plagues the desktop market.

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