Is World of Warcraft killing the PC Gaming Industry?

July 25 2006

Last week, Brian Sullivan (Age of Empires co-creator and Iron Lore, makers of Titan Quest, co-founder) made the following statement in an interview on Gamasutra:

"The game marketplace is currently undergoing a lot of change, with the success of World of Warcraft and other MMOs, the rise of console gaming and what looks like a very long transition to next-generation, the rise of handheld gaming (especially with the DS), and the huge increase in development costs," Sullivan said. "It is harder than ever to figure out how to be successful in this market."

I find this to be an interesting comment. Yes, budgets for games these days dictate a 200,000 break even selling point. Yes, World of Warcraft is the biggest game out there, still #1 on the Game charts after almost 2 years. Let's face it ... when you have 6.5 million subscribers, and the next most successful MMO over time had 2 million, this is going to change the marketplace. I know my purchasing of computer games is down the past two years. I have bought Civilization IV (and getting the expansion today), Sin Episodes 1: Emergence, Half-Life Episode 1, Prey, Quake 4, and Galactic Civilizations 2 since WoW came out. That is 7 games in 24 months ... half of what I spent 5 years ago. Two of those titles are budget titles and 1 is an expansion. I guess the monthly subscription to WoW has impacted my purchase (I buy it in 6 month blocks).
Maybe the average game just is not as fun as it used to be.