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Blizzard looks forward to a 2024 with World of Warcraft

October 31, 2014 By:
This November 21st, World of Warcraft will celebrate its tenth anniversary, but according to lead designer Ion Hazzikostas, the game will keep going long past that date. In an interview with CNET about the genre-defining MMORPG and its future, Hazzikostas expressed certainty that the game will still be around in 2024.
"I definitely can't tell you what our 20th anniversary is going to be. I can tell you there is definitely going to be one," said Hazzikostas."I have no doubt saying that. We're definitely planning into the future, talking about what the next expansion is going to be, and what the one after that is going to be, just in terms of big picture storylines, how can we start setting things up now, where do we want the game to go. Ultimately it's all one step at a time."
Although no longer at the peak of its popularity, recording 12 million subscribers in October 2008, World of Warcraft is currently the world's most subscribed MMORPG. Its fifth expansion, Warlords of Draenor is set for release on November 13, and increased interest in the game has seen numbers rebound from 6.8 million to 7.4 million. According to Gamespot, the development and support team for the game is bigger than it has ever been.
The team continues to think about future expansions, though no firm details have been announced. "Coming up with [the next expanion] is as big a decision as they come," said Hazzikostas. "That is not easy, there is a tremendous amount of pressure, we know we need to get it right every time. In many ways we see World of Warcraft as driven by setting first and foremost. So the big question for us [is] "What world do we want to explore next?" From there we can tell the story to get you to that world and to make that world come alive."
In the past ten years, World of Warcraft has received significant changes to account for not just demanding hardcore players but to replenish their ranks with newcomers. "[Approachability] has very much been our philosophy." Hazzikostas remarked. "Increasing accessibility, letting people experience content in their own way, without it coming at the expense of people who still have an established and entrenched play style." Warlords of Draenor also increases the polygon count of in-game models, making the game look more up-to-date in spite of its age.
More about the game's future is expected to be announced at BlizzCon 2014 next weekend. In 2016, Legendary Pictures will release a 'World of Warcraft' movie directed by Duncan Jones.GMA News