Blizzard leading the way in online gaming - Sams

Xbox Live 'not even close'.

Blizzard COO Paul Sams has expressed his personal admiration for Microsoft's Xbox 360 console, but argues that console online services can't compare to Battle.net and World of Warcraft.

"When you look at Battle.net and you look at the subscribership we have with World of Warcraft, even Xbox Live is not even close to us," he said, speaking exclusively to our sister site GamesIndustry.biz in Leipzig.

At the time of writing, Sams says that World of Warcraft has over 6.5 million players worldwide and is "just shy of seven" - a figure he believes the massively popular online RPG can reach by the end of 2006.

The release of the Burning Crusade expansion this winter will help, he believes, and as we learned yesterday the company aims to release one new expansion every 12 months.

For more of Sams' views on the differences between PC and console online markets, and the obstacles that stand in the way of a potential crossover for WOW, read the full interview today.

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