There’s something that the big AAA MMORPG developers seem to be missing in their search for the Holy Grail of that World of Warcraft Killer.
The bar has been raised.
It doesn’t matter if World of Warcraft started life with more than a few bugs and far less content than it has now. Your game has to have at least as much content as WoW does now. And it has to be at least as stable.
It doesn’t matter if World of Warcraft wasn’t as polished upon release as it is now. Your game has to have at least as much polish as WoW. (That means no graphical glitches, spelling mistakes, or placeholders in the quest text.)
Your new game has to have at least as many quests as World of Warcraft after two expansions. And they must work cleanly.
That new MMORPG doesn’t just need the best release of all time, it needs to operate as smoothly as WoW does now, from the first day (or at least before the end of the free month.)
In short, if you are developing a WoW Clone, and want people to not only buy the box, but stay after the first month, then your game must be better than WoW in every way.
It occurs to me that perhaps the reason that no-one has created a World of Warcraft killer yet, isn’t because Blizzard pleased The Fates with the correct sacrifices, or that they were in the right place at the right time. Perhaps the reason is that they really do have a superior product. Could that be all it takes for someone else to make the much sought after WoW Killer?
It may even be possible that a World of Warcraft clone with simply more content and the same level of polish, and at least the dedication to marketing that the WoW marketing team has shown, would be a World of Warcraft killer.
The thing is, no-one has done that yet.