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Activision-Blizzard’s Greg Street, a lead designer behind the company’s highly successful World of Warcraft online game, told Eurogamer that his company was interested in making games built for the iPhone.
That would give Activision-Blizzard access to millions of iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch owners that aren’t necessarily interested in playing a game on a typical computer. While World of Warcraft and Blizzard’s other games aren’t that resource intensive and don’t require a powerful graphics card, they still requires a notebook or a desktop computer with a little bit of power.
“Everyone I know here has an iPhone or an iPad so we’re huge fans of the hardware,” Street said to Eurogamer. “If we could make the right game changes to make that work, it’s something we’d be interested in. It’s not something you’re going to see in the next week or two, but it’s the kind of thing we’re always looking at.”
World of Warcraft is also designed to be used with a mouse and keyboard. Players have access to dozens of skills that demand a point-and-click interface. A console controller, for example, would have to have to map around 10 skills to buttons on the controller while still including controls for movement, jumping and chatting. Starcraft II, another Blizzard game, also has a complex interface that requires similar controls that can’t easily be mapped to a console controller.
But The Blizzard team has already proven that it knows how to make a good online game. Activision-Blizzard’s World of Warcraft is already a huge commercial success. The game boasts around 11.4 million monthly subscribers who pay around $12 a month to access the world of Azeroth. And the company makes a lot of money selling additional expansion packs and initial copies of the game. It has become one of Activision-Blizzard’s most reliable sources of revenue.
Blizzard’s Starcraft II has also proved to be extremely popular with gamers and the company sold more than 1.5 million copies of the game in about two days. The game is particularly popular because of its extensive multiplayer options. So there are a number of audiences that Activision-Blizzard can tap into when building a game for a mobile device.
Activision-Blizzard sold more than 4.7 million units of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm in the first month after it was released. On the first day, Cataclysm’s sales topped 3.3 million sold. By comparison, World of Warcraft’s previous expansion pack Wrath of the Lich King sold 2.8 million units on its first day in 2008 and The Burning Crusade sold 2.4 million units on its first day in 2007. World of Warcraft’s third expansion generated an estimated $188 million in retail sales in its first month.