Activision Blizzard always leaves ample time to take questions at the end of the call, and one cheeky chappy asked Mike Morhaime how he felt the “MMO that was released in March” affected World of Warcraft. Morhaime answered the question gallantly without dodging or flinching, like the seasoned professional he is.
Morhaime tackled the question of whether Rift was too much competition for World of Warcraft to handle with his usual frankness and confidence, saying:
“We knew that this year was going to be a year where we faced new competitors; this isn’t the first time, though, that we’ve had strong competitors enter the MMO market. What we have seen in the past is we tend to see our players leave for some period of time, try out the new MMOs, and then a good percentage of them historically have come back to World of Warcraft. So far, I haven’t seen anything to indicate this will be different.”
Sounds like fighting-talk to me! No figures on just how many people left or have already came back to Azeroth were given, but a solid statement saying that the developers are not worried eases my mind. Every World of Warcraft player is bound to admit that you never really quit the game; you merely take a break until the next cool content is ready to be explored, so this pattern of coming and going is not unknown to us. The game is undoubtedly a huge success that has stood the test of time and is going nowhere any time soon, so long as Mike Morhaime and the rest of his team keep their current passion for the title.
[Source: Activision Blizzard Conference Call]