World of Warcraft, the world's most popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game, is available on the PC and on the Mac. It is not available on home consoles like the PS3 and the Xbox 360. And it probably won't be.
"I think there's a lot of reasons," World of Warcraft lead producer J. Allen Brack told game site G4tv. "There's not one thing. One is, it takes a long time to develop an MMO. The lifecycle of consoles being what they are, you have to really time when your console's going to come out, what its projected lifecycle is going to be with when your game is going to be, which is challenging."
The life cycle for consoles can last up to ten years plus; however, it can also be much shorter. There are hard drive issues, too: all PS3s have hard drives installed in the consoles, but that is not true for the Xbox 360.
"There's those technical challenges," he continued, "there's patching challenges, there's the quality controls that we have vs. the quality controls that say, a Microsoft or Sony or Nintendo has. All those things sort of raise the bar in terms of the challenges and then specifically in the case of WoW, WoW was designed to be a keyboard game and its control scheme and its camera controls and the number of abilities that you have and the spells and how things work are very keyboard-centric. The idea of translating that to a gamepad is a very, very challenging proposition."
Okay, fine, there are hurdles, but if MMORPGs like Final Fantasy XI have come to home consoles, then certainly World of Warcraft can do it, too. Right? Right?!
"I think it's unlikely that WoW comes to the consoles," he added. "It is something that we talk about on a pretty regular basis, but someone is going to figure out how to make an MMO on a console and they're going to be wildly successful. I have no doubt about that."
That game, it seems, will not be World of Warcraft. This is a stance that Blizzard has had for a couple of years now, and it doesn't look like it will change. Sorry console gamers!