Gary Cutlack writes…
I wish people would stop bleating on about getting a console version of World of Warcraft. It wouldn’t work. It’s not a console game. It requires more than six buttons and you have to type out words. It just wouldn’t work.
And if a broken, dumbed down version ever did arrive on Xbox 360 or PlayStation3, it’d be old news – and who wants to spend their time playing old games that clearly don’t work as well as they’re supposed to?
There’d also be a nightmare decision for poor old maker Blizzard to face – do you let console gamers play with the existing PC fans, or section them off into their own little special corner? Either way it’d be a disaster. Let new console gamers play with the PC hardcore and you’ll have a slaughter on your hands – but cordon them off and you’ll have a riot.
This happened with MMORPG Final Fantasy XI. After over two years of the game being played, explored and thoroughly “maxed out” on PC, maker Square Enix brought it to Xbox 360. They let the new console players play with PC obsessives, and the concept of getting dumped into a vast, existing game world where everyone’s already friends, the rules have been set and you’re a clueless outsider from day one, was a disaster.
It’s like moving to a new school. Everyone knows all the cool tricks and the social groups have been established. You might be able to make friends with a few of the weirdos that are shunned already, but you’ll forever be an outsider. You’ll do everything wrong. They’ll all hate you for it.
Forget all the talk of brilliant, nice, community-minded people helping out newcomers – it’d be a baptism of fire. New meat. The console gamers would be lined up and slaughtered. Grist to the mill. Plankton.
Plus there’s the simple awkwardness of typing and organising large menu screens on a console controller, not to mention the way console gamers aren’t used to the idea of paying a separate monthly fee to play specific games. The few games that have tried that – Final Fantasy XI, Phantasy Star Online – have hardly exploded into popularity.
Basically, World of Warcraft on console is a thoroughly bad idea, and it’s no surprise that a weary, bored Blizzard keeps issuing constant denials about it ever happening. They’ve thought about, looked at it, probably even had some serious meetings about doing it, maybe even knocked up some concepts – then decided it’s a rubbish idea and not bothered. They’re making enough money out of the situation already, thanks.
The only real point in a console version of WoW would be so existing PC account holders can play on console while the wife’s using the internet to buy curtains – and all that’s going to do is cost Blizzard a pile of money for zero extra return.