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Blizzard's 'next-gen MMOG' to heat up consoles?

Author: inwowgold Source:

Source: An interview with Blizzard's Jeffrey Kaplan for MTV's gaming blog, Multiplayer.

What we heard: That Blizzard is working on a massively multiplayer online game outside the realm of World of Warcraft isn't what's at question. The developer confirmed that fact back in December, when a Blizzard community representative said on WOW's official forums that a spate of "Next-Gen MMO" job requisitions weren't for an expansion to the massively successful online game.

While the focus of last weekend's BlizzCon was the Starcraft II trilogy, Diablo III, and the WOW expansion Wrath of the Lich King, Blizzard also dropped a few clues concerning this aforementioned MMOG. In an interview with MTV, World of Warcraft game director Jeffrey Kaplan confirmed he was involved in the unannounced project and addressed the possibility that the MMOG will arrive for consoles.

"We definitely aren't adapting World of Warcraft to the console at this time," Kaplan began. "But that's not to say that other MMOs couldn't [work well on consoles]. And we have a pretty savvy group of console developers--a lot of the guys we inherited from [Starcraft: Ghost developer] Swingin' Ape really know what they're doing on next-gen consoles. So we might have a few tricks up our sleeves in that regard."

For a developer who hasn't made a game for consoles this century, controversy over Blizzard's non-PC plans has been abundant. Dating back as far as Diablo II and churning up a maelstrom through the now indefinitely postponed Starcraft: Ghost, speculation has swirled, often for naught, over the developer's plans.

Still, it's worth noting that Blizzard has emitted a number of strong indicators that its unannounced MMOG will arrive for consoles. Most notably, the aforementioned job listings for Blizzard's new online game prominently count experience shipping "console titles" as a plus.

Furthermore, while Blizzard has maintained its reputation of being notoriously autonomous as the subsidiary of a variety of larger corporations, it may be that Activision will pressure the developer into going multiplatform, especially in light of the current piracy crisis afflicting PC gaming. Indeed, the upcoming Diablo III, which Blizzard's Jay Wilson recently indicated is still "years" off, currently boasts a work-in-progress user interface that would naturally lend itself to a gamepad.

One final note: Regardless of Blizzard's plans, don't expect the new MMOG to arrive for this generation of next-generation consoles. According to Kaplan, it's "going to be a while" before the game makes it to market, and many industry watchers believe the next wave of consoles will arrive in 2011 or 2012. Therefore, it wouldn't make much sense to launch a multimillion-dollar MMOG--which have in some cases proven to have life spans of 10 years and counting--at this stage in the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, or, yes, even the Wii's, life cycle.

The official story: "As we've mentioned many times before, Blizzard has not made any announcements regarding console projects, and we have no current plans on console," a Blizzard representative told GameSpot. "With three major games currently in development on the PC, our focus is squarely on making those PC games the best they can be."

Bogus or not bogus?: Eventually not bogus. It isn't so much a question of "if" there will be a Blizzard console MMORPG, but rather "when."[wow gold]

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