Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Future Of Film
The 100 Greatest Video Games
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Kevin Feige:
My Movie Life

The Marvel supremo's pick of the flicks
Want To Be An Empire Journalist?
Find out how here
Interview

World of Warcraft
It’s the most addictive game in history and one of the developers tells Empire why.

submit to reddit

In the two years since launch, World of Warcraft has has soared to the top of every sales chart and amassed more than 8 million players worldwide, including the likes of Brandon Routh, Vin Diesel, Dave Chapelle and two members of the Empire office. This week sees the launch of expansion pack, The Burning Crusade, to huge fanfare, something that can only increase the potency of this most addictive of pastimes. In recognition fo the fact, Empire quizzed Vice President of Development Itzik Ben Bassat, to discover what makes Warcraft tick.

Role-playing games have never been as mainstream as traditional cross-over game titles that have given us Sonic and Mario, how did World of Warcraft end up making the transition from game to cultural event?
You know, when we started out, all we wanted to do was create a great game. We knew World of Warcraft was good but I don’t think we ever understood the magnitude of what we had on our hands though. I think the key is accessibility. It’s easy to play but difficult to master, so it’s got longevity but anyone can pick it up. Whether you’ve never played an MMORPG (massively multiplayer online roleplaying game) before or even if you’ve never played a game before, it’s very accessible and very easy to get into. Also it’s fantasy-based, which has a huge appeal. Fantasy is timeless and also genreless in some respects. Two years on and we now have a card game, a clothing line, huge online forums and even an Episode of South Park.

Did they approach you with that?
Yes. The South Park guys came to us and said “we’planning the first episode of the new season, which is usually an exciting one. Would you like to do something?” We were all geeked out about South Park so we said “of course! Are you kidding?” It’s a very funny episode, I love it. People who didn’t know what Warcraft was but liked South Park all came to check out the game.

It has a surprisingly large female audience as well, which is unusual for any videogame, let alone an RPG.
It does. I think it’s because the game is very social - anything that’s online and social tends to appeal to a female audience. Also I think the fact that in wow you personalise your character, you can express yourself through the game and with the expansion you can do this even farther.

Do you think that MMORPGs are the future of video games?
Online gaming in general is the future. I think that in the near future you won’t see games that don’t have an online component, they’re all going to be based around that kind of group play and community.

There’s a World of Warcraft Movie in the works, do you expect that to enjoy similar success?
We’ve been working on that movie for years! If people only knew how many years we put in to closing this movie deal. We’re very happy with our progress though, it was really difficult for us as a company to find some we trusted to work with. With Legendary, well, they did Batman Returns and the new Superman so we knew that was a company we wanted to work with. Bringing Warcraft to the movies is the next step for us, we want to let people bring World of Warcraft into other aspects of their lives. After all, we’re competing for people’s entertainment time, whether it’s listening to music watching TV or going to the cinema. Our goal is to provide the best entertainment out there.

Any news on when we can expect to see the film?
Hollywood has it’s own pace but we’re working as hard as we can to push it forwards.

How do you imagine you'll be able to top Warcraft in the future?
When we announce our next MMORPG it’s not going to be another WoW - we’re not a company that tends to tread the same ground. It’ll be something innovative and new that really brings entertainment to another level.

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Making Of The Lost Pilot: An Oral History
The cast and crew look back at the epic season opener…

Empire's Gone Girl Review
Our official verdict on David Fincher's adaptation of the best-selling novel

The Future Of Film: The Streaming Services Will Be Major Studios
(Or how Hollywood will have to start worrying about Netflix)

The Empire Podcast #129: Liam Neeson Interview
Plus Max Irons, Sam Claflin, Douglas Booth, Holliday Grainger and Jessica Brown Findlay drop by to talk The Riot Club

The Future Of Film: We'll Be Watching Films In Virtual Reality
Immerse cinema aims to become the must-have experience for the filmgoers of the future

The Future Of Film: Cinema Will Cross The Uncanny Valley
The future of VFX, from believable digital humans to underwater mocap

The Future Of Film: There Will Be Another Indie Golden Age
Independent producers are growing from micro-budgets to something a lot bigger

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)