When will Blizzard release World of Warcraft GO for the iPhone?
Pokemon GO will no doubt spawn a huge glut of similar games. Will Blizzard make World of Warcraft GO for its fan base? I'm betting they will because there's a lot of money at stake.
Eye on Apple
By Jim Lynch, CIO
Pokemon GO’s amazing popularity has millions of gamers running around in the real world trying to capture monsters on their phones. The game has quickly become an international phenomenon and has raked in tons of cash for its developer and for Apple.
Of course they say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and that’s particularly true if there is big money to be made. We could soon see a huge glut of games that are very similar to Pokemon GO but set in different worlds.
Azeroth is the perfect place for a mobile monster hunt
One developer that could release its own version of Pokemon GO is Blizzard. The company’s World of Warcraft game is one of the best known brands in the world, and still has millions of paying subscribers.
World of Warcraft, as you probably already know, has thousands of different monsters and other assorted critters wandering around its various areas. The game is simply chock full of such beasties that would make great targets for a monster hunt in an iPhone app.
Think about it, can you imagine millions of World of Warcraft geeks walking around their local communities trying to capture monsters from Azeroth on their phones? I bet such a game would rocket to the top of the App Store’s popularity charts very quickly indeed.
And if Blizzard was smart, it would tie a World of Warcraft GO game into the desktop WOW game. Players who captured monsters and other critters on their phones could earn rewards that could be used in World of Warcraft itself.
I bet some of you think I’m nuts for suggesting this, but if you’ve ever spent time in Azeroth then you know that the place was made for hunting monsters. Quite a lot of what WOW players do is to run around killing this demon or that boss monster.
Why not let World of Warcraft players do some of that on their phones?
Don’t get me wrong here, I am not suggesting that the full WOW experience be put on an iPhone. I’m talking about basing it Pokemon GO’s gameplay, where players hunt monsters on their phones in the real world. World of Warcraft GO would be a different experience than desktop WOW.
Blizzard already has a hit mobile game based on Warcraft
Blizzard already has a big mobile hit on its hands with Hearthstone, which is based on its Warcraft franchise. So the company is experienced in mobile development, and it knows that mobile is a very different kettle of fish than desktop computers.
Plus Blizzard also has its Armory app that connects players to their World of Warcraft characters. The Armory app lets WOW players see their Reputations, Achievements, character profiles, and many other useful game tidbits.
Given Blizzard’s experience with mobile development, and the massive success of Pokemon GO, I suspect that the company may already be planning something like World of Warcraft GO. The folks running Blizzard aren’t stupid, and World of Warcraft GO could be a huge addition to the Warcraft franchise.
Blizzard could rake in big money from World of Warcraft GO
And what would motivate them to move quickly on World of Warcraft GO? The answer is simple: money. As I write this post, Pokemon GO is the top grossing iPhone app in the iOS App Store. It is raking in tons of cash each day, with one market intelligence company estimating that the game is pulling in $1.6 million dollars per day.
That’s a lot of money, and I’m sure that it has caught Blizzard’s attention (as well as the attention of many other companies). So I have no doubt we’ll soon be seeing an onslaught of other games from developers eager to offer their own twist on Pokemon GO’s gameplay.
But will Blizzard be one of them?
I think they will because there is simply too much at stake for the company to ignore such an opportunity. Its Warcraft franchise was made for a mobile monster hunt game, and could easily be tied into the main World of Warcraft game in a way that could garner serious money from in-app purchases by WOW players.
I look forward to playing World of Warcraft GO when it’s released by Blizzard.
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