What do you think of the so-called casual MMOs, like Club Penguin and whatnot, those sorts of things? Is that a... certainly not a threat, because of the different market, but is it that…do you see that sort of thing expanding past the traditional lines of MMOs?
FP: I mean, yeah, something that is easily accessible and easy to get into is certainly something that can draw a lot of people to it, certainly. It’s the sort of thing that's going to introduce people to the whole online experience.
We’ve got a big laundry list of backlist features, things that we'd love to have the opportunity to do with World of Warcraft - and really, the challenge is to be able to do all of it. Because we have finite resources, finite in terms of personnel, staff, time, and money and everything. It's…we just can't do it all. So we have to start picking and choosing what to do for the game.
What was the biggest challenge when World Of Warcraft was actually being created for the first time, I mean from the development standpoint?
FP: Really the biggest challenge is…it's just a huge scope of content, and we were developing content in conjunction with the internal toolset that we use to create the content. So it's just really a challenge of creating all this content with finite resources and tools that are in a fledgling state and stuff.
Was there any point where you thought ‘this isn't going to work, no one is going to play this game’?
FP: I don't think we ever really felt that way. I was skeptical, but then when I started playing it… because I actually play single player experiences, old-school, you know, there's a beginning and there is an end, you put it aside and you move on to what's next. This sort of goes on in perpetuity, like ‘okay, what's compelling about playing a game in perpetuity?’
I was really skeptical, but once I started playing it, it was really fun and the… you know, I'm still playing the game. What I discovered is that the most compelling aspect of it is the whole social component. Like now if I log on to play, because I'm in a guild with several hundred people, if I log in to play, and I can’t find guildmates to share the experience with, its not nearly as compelling.
Yeah, I'm actually one of the people kind of like that. I pretty much only play single player or two player head-to-head type stuff. Do you think people like me will ever be lured over?
FP: When I play the experience from leveling up from [level] 1 to 60, it really appealed to that sort of single player old-school component that I'm used to. But then when I hit 60, I started doing more social stuff and raiding and all that sort of stuff. And then when I went back to the level-up curve from 60 to 70, it was much more interesting with people that I've been doing stuff with while I was in the 60s.
So I think if you picked it up and played the 1-to-60 experience, I think that would appeal to what you’re used to. So this is the factor of giving it a shot. One of the real factors is the time investment. The single player experience, especially for like, a console game, is 10, 12, 15 hours, and the level-up from 1 to 60, even the most expert players take like, seven days of play time to achieve that, so...
Many people such as myself actually have time to play on the train on my way to work - would you guys ever consider a handheld or portable version of the franchise? Now that all the consoles are online. I mean the handheld consoles, most of them are online.
FP: This is the sort of idea we’ve heard, but nothing we've pursued with any particular interest, because like I said, we've got such a backlog of other features that we want to get through. That would be really ambitious.