Wildstar doesn’t need an existing IP to prove itself a true successor to World of Warcraft, according to executive producer Jeremy Gaffney.
“Because we’re a non-existing IP, we’re not telling a story you’ve heard before, we’re not taking some movie you loved when you were a kid and trying to play with that – we have to earn every user we get,” Gaffney told PCGamesN.
The developer copped to some similarities in the art styles of the two MMOs, but pointed out that carbine was founded by 20 senior members of the World of Warcraft team.
“Right after WoW launched they were like ‘We did stuff, we did stuff wrong, we really want to nail the space’ so they started Carbine studios specifically to do that,” he said.
The ex-Blizzard staffers – which eventually totalled more than 60 – turned their powers to making Wildstar something above and beyond its progenitor.
“What we want to do is that make sure there’s enough compelling features and stuff like warplots and player housing and make sure those systems are embedded deep in the game. Those new features are in part to attract new players in but the core of it is to make the meat and the potatoes, to make sure your game is solid from level one to level cap [and] earn those users – to have them love the game,” Gaffney said.
“They’ll bring their friends into the game and [we'll] do the right social systems and that’s what grows your game up. That’s how all the good games do it to one extent or another. That’s how WoW did it,” he added.
“Remember that WoW was a huge success at launch, they had 300,000 people in the game but that grew to over 3 million people in the Western market, 12 million people globally, because it was a good game, not because it was Warcraft. They made a solid game.”
Wildstar will launch in the first half of 2014. It will be subscription-based, but like EVE Online, players can purchase subscription time with in-game currency earned through play. It’s unusual for an MMORPG not to take the free-to-play route now, but Gaffney said recently that doing so is “not a magic bullet”.