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World of Warcraft is "pretty well positioned" to come to consoles

Following the bombastic Blizzcon announcements last weekend, a console port seems more likely.

For those keen to jump into World of Warcraft but not huge fans of the whole keyboard and mouse thing, there might be good reason to get excited for the future. In an interview with GamesRadar, WoW vice president and executive producer Holly Longdale stated that they were "pretty well positioned" for an eventual port to consoles.

The interview, A to-the-point discussion between Quantum Break enjoyer Josh West and the Blizzard Exec, focused heavily on the possibility of a console port. It's a good line of questioning for a company seemingly entering a new era: with not only a new saga of WoW expansions around the corner, but its acquisition by Microsoft also basically set in concrete.

When asked whether the team at Blizzard find the concept of a World of Warcraft console version interesting, Longdale said that they "talk about it all the time", adding "we are Microsoft now." Although, later on Longdale does stress that it's too early to put any solid plans for console ports to happen any time soon in place. After all, with the deal only recently going through, the teams at Blizzard and Xbox Games Studios have yet to have many interactions.

Something to potentially look out for as the years go by then, but why would World of Warcraft coming to consoles be a big deal anyway? Well, there's the obvious business and accessibility points: a console version would mean more players spending more time in World of Warcraft, maybe paying for a subscription or perhaps even jumping in through Game Pass. Simply put, it'd mean an expansion of the player base, which would obviously be a good thing for Blizzard financially.

It would, however, more than the obvious comparison of Final Fantasy 14, open up the doors for unique issues. While overwhelmingly a good thing for casuals and the hypothetical new wave of WoW players, the game has a heavy add-on culture, and endgame content is designed to be balanced around the existence of third-party tools. Whether this has led to a better or worse experience for the current World of Warcraft player depends on who you ask, but an influx of console players without access to these add-ons would raise interesting questions.

Would Heroic raiders want console users without Deadly Boss Mods in their raids? Would mythic raid encounters built around the existence of add-ons be fair for a player base without them? If the answer to both of those is no, how would the community react to these new players? If the answer is to split the two communities up - would Blizzard have to tinker with experiences twice over and how much added work would that lead to?

It's clear to those who consider the practicality of a console version that it's not as simple as opening the flood gates. A problem for the future, I suppose. For now, Blizzard's focus is probably on making sure the near future of WoW is good enough for its PC player base.

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