EVE boss questions MMOs

"Why make a clone of WoW?"

EVE Online boss Hilmar Veigar Petursson has questioned developers that create World of Warcraft clones, and reckons there's plenty of other genres to exploit - including his own company's specialist area of sci-fi, GamesIndustry.biz is reporting.

For the CEO of Icelandic developer CCP, Blizzard's market-leading MMO already represents the pinnacle of the fantasy genre, and studios need to forget some of the history associated with massively multiplayer games in order to try something new.

"I just don't understand why people do yet another fantasy game. Why make a clone of World of Warcraft?" said Petursson, in an exclusive interview with GamesIndustry.biz.

"World of Warcraft is the perfect implementation of this [genre]. It's been done. Do something else.

"This might have something to do with the fact that the birthplace of massively multiplayer games is in the MUD, and the MUDs were very fantasy-driven, and the whole sort of level treadmill and all these things - it's so ingrained into the people developing it that people always fall into the same traps," said Petursson.

While EVE Online seems to have the space-based MMO market sewn up, Peturrson says he would welcome another company entering the sci-fi market, as it would help expand his 200,000 strong user base.

"If Blizzard were to make Starcraft the MMO and make an accessible game similar to World of Warcraft, I think it would actually add to our subscriber base rather than retract," he said.

"We saw it when World of Warcraft came out. About six to eight months after it came out we saw people coming to EVE, because they had played through WoW and they were looking for the next thing to do.

"We've also gone through the launch of Earth and Beyond, and we've been through the launch of Star Wars Galaxies; it created more opportunities than issues for us," he revealed.

The full interview with Hilmar Veigar Petursson will be published on GamesIndustry.biz next week.

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