I thought you might be interested in checking out a pair of stories from MTV Multiplayer with comments from World of Warcraft's game director, Jeff Kaplan, and Warhammer Online's head guy, Mark Jacobs, on their respective games. Actually, I guess most of the talk is specifically about Warhammer. But it's interesting to watch them sort of poke and jab back and forth.
The original interview with Jeff Kaplan took place during Blizzard's annual BlizzCon and seems to be focused on who was in who's beta. Apparently Blizzard reached out to the great uniter, Paul Barnett, to allow Mythic's posse into the Wrath of the Lich King beta. But Mythic's policies prevented any sort of official reciprocation with the Warhammer beta.
This brings us to rap beef in video game interview form, where Kaplan is quoted by MTV as saying "I’m always fascinated by betas in general and [non-disclosure agreements] and how tight-lipped they tend to be. It’s Blizzard philosophy that if you’re really confident in your game, then you have nothing to worry about. So I guess that would be my big take away from that."
OH SNAP SON NO HE DIDN'T IT AIN'T BEEN ON LIKE THIS SINCE 'KISS WAS ON THE PHONE WITH GREEN LANTERN, REAL TALK FAMILY... ahem... sorry.
Kaplan then goes on to talk about his experience with Warhammer, which sort of mirrors mine, though I haven't been able to play very much (or at all, really) over the past two weeks. He claims he's on a server with 30-45-minute wait times to get into the game's PVP scenarios and that a lot of the public quests are empty. Sure sounds like Mordheim to me.
MTV got a post-publish response to the article from Mark Jacobs, leading to a second story. His responses are what led me to write this in the first place, because it sounds weirdly defensive for a game that, by most accounts, seems to be doing just fine. Heck, I like it, anyway. Take this bit from the MTV story, for example...
Referring to Kaplan’s mention of the 30-45 minute wait times for battlegrounds (called “Scenarios” in “Warhammer Online”), Jacobs said that “World of Warcraft” also had long queues just to get into the servers to play the game when it first launched in 2004.
So... your defense against wait times is that a game released four years ago also had the same problem? Shouldn't your game be, like, evolving and fixing the problems that have plagued previous games in the genre?
Then there's this one...
I think you’ll find that if you’re actually going to compare the two products, I would say ‘WoW’ is certainly a more polished game now than ‘Warhammer is — of course they’ve had four years and billions of dollars — but if you look at the innovations in ‘Warhammer,’ you’d be hard-pressed to find as many in ‘WoW.’
You've been working on Warhammer for three years, haven't you? And you've had the benefit of seeing what Blizzard is up to for that entire time period. And you're owned by EA. They... aren't exactly broke. The aside of "of course they've had four years and billions of dollars" is totally Crazy Town from where I'm sitting. Butterfly. Sugar, baby. All of that.
I don't know, maybe it's the jet lag talking, but reading these stories reminds me of the Presidential debate with all the somewhat-petty bickering, except we don't get incredibly creepy footage of a guy constantly blinking and sort of looking like his head might explode.