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Speaking to Develop at Games First Helsinki, former Blizzard and World of Warcraft creative chief Rob Pardo observed that while the term MMO is poison, and that new entrants to the genre face challenges, games in the genre are still gaining currency.
"If anything, I think people are even avoiding the term MMO," he said, pointing to Activision and Bungie's Destiny as a great example of MMO gameplay minus the label.
Publishers avoid the label, Develop reports, to avoid the expectations players have for "MMO" in a post-World of Warcraft world: "You couldn’t come out with WoW to the exact same feature-set today -- it would get crushed by what WoW is 10 years later," Pardo said.
He puts down the transformation of Blizzard's erstwhile MMO project Titan into a shooter called Overwatch to the fact that "we never had an expectation that WoW would have this many subscribers ten years later."