Pearce: We had no “idea what we were getting ourselves into” with WoW

By Stephany Nunneley, Friday, 10 February 2012 16:33 GMT

Blizzard co-founder Frank Pearce has the firm had no idea “what we were getting ourselves into,” when it launched World of Warcraft 7 years ago.

Speaking in a DICE discussion panel with Epic’s Mike Capps and Insomniac’s Ted Price, Pearce admitted the firm “grossly underestimated the demand” for the MMO when it shipped.

“We had to stop shipping boxes to stores,” he explained, and said the firm decided to take a “more aggressive” approach in its estimates for future shipments. The new business model came about through contact with the online community, and allowed the firm a better idea of how many allotments to ship through perceived demand.

Pearce also touched upon the subject of addition to videogames, MMOs in particular, saying he felt it was not a phenomenon pertaining to just the games industry as there are cases of “overindulging” with all forms of media.

“We think about it all of the time… if there’s something that you’re really passionate about, whether it’s video games, a book, a TV series [or something else]… we have to consume it in moderation,” he said.

When Blizzard launched World of Warcraft it had around 500 employees, and now, with Mists of Panderia looming, 4,700 staffer across 11 cities work for the firm, the majority in customer support.

On the development end, Blizzard as 750 employees working on WoW, StarCraft II and Diablo III.

Thanks, Gamasutra.

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Frank Pearce

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