By Vivendi Universal , Blizzard Entertainment Released: 16 Jan 07
The developer behind the world's most popular MMO, World of Warcraft, has told Virgin Media that it has not even begun to think about a making a sequel.
Speaking to Virgin Media in an interview due to be published next week, Frank Pearce, executive vice-president of product development at US-based developer Blizzard, said that the team still has a "huge wishlist of exciting features" to implement in the game.
He also praised Blizzard's MMO rivals Warhammer Online, Age of Conan and Tabula Rasa for being "very promising" and "bringing some great new ideas to the MMO space".
World of Warcraft, or WoW as it's known to its army of fans, currently enjoys an astonishing active subscriber base of 9.3 million people worldwide, 300,000 more than it had six months ago.
Since the game's launch in February 2005 Blizzard has released scores of patches and one expansion, The Burning Crusade, in January this year. Another expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, is due next year.
Speaking to Virgin Media, Pearce said the team is still waiting to enjoy new content as players before turning to what must be an inevitable sequel.
"We haven't even started to think about a sequel," he said. "The team still has a huge wishlist of exciting features to add on top of what's already been implemented since launch. Not to mention, we're all still playing the game pretty heavily ourselves, and there's a lot more content that we want to see as players."
Asked when the new expansion might be released, Pearce was typically cagey, sticking to the "not ready till it's ready" mantra Blizzard is famous for.
He said: "As we've shown with The Burning Crusade, there's a massive amount of content required for what we consider a Blizzard-quality MMO expansion, and that can take some time to create. The bottom line is that we will never ship a product before it's ready.
"Obviously some of the elements we're introducing, such as the game's first Hero class and the world-PvP zone, are things the team will want to continue to tweak until they're just right. So at this stage we're not yet ready to talk about release dates."
When asked for his opinion on upcoming rival MMOs including Warhammer Online and Tabula Rasa, Pearce replied that Blizzard is "just as eager to play these games as anyone else".
Look out for our exclusive interview with Frank Pearce on Monday, where he talks about StarCraft II, Diablo III and Starcraft: Ghost. Until then, you can check out our World of Warcraft game page.