You recently said you weren#DY#t afraid of Warcraft. Although you are aiming to offer an alternative rather than compete directly, are you hoping at least to take some of the Warcraft user base for yourself, or are you looking to corner a different demographic altogether?
Josh Drescher: We#DY#re looking for people that are excited about co-operative, competitive gameplay, looking for a really immersive experience that they can enjoy for years and years to come. If those players come from another game, that#DY#s fine, if they come from a fresh base of users that have never tried an MMO before, that#DY#s fine. When we say we#DY#re not competing with World of Warcraft we really do mean that. I#DY#m going to steal something from our creative director Paul Barnett, so imagine this is coming with a Northern English accent -- World of Warcraft is basically The Beatles, and if you set out to try and be The Beatles, you wind up as The Monkees. So, we really do just try and be a different type of product. We#DY#re not trying to beat them, we#DY#re not trying to replace them, we#DY#re not trying to destroy them, we#DY#re trying to be Led Zepellin.
We#DY#re trying to offer you a harder, darker, heavier sort of experience. We#DY#re trying to offer you the kind of music you#DY#d listen to down in your basement with your friends, with a black light on and maybe some illicit substances. We are not trying to be the thing that you all slow dance to at your high school prom. If that means we take a couple of players from World of Warcraft, great, but if it means that we get a group of people that have been waiting for an experience like ours then we#DY#re just as happy with that.
There are a lot of MMOs on the market, not all of them successful, and quite a lot of them have been canceled. What are you doing to make sure Warhammer stays and holds its own against the big MMOs out there, especially World of Warcraft.
Josh Drescher:I#DY#ll come from that at a slightly different angle -- what is it that causes the MMOs that fail to fail, largely before they even get out of development? Part of that has to do with [it being] very easy to look at the MMO genre and go, "this is where all the money is in PC gaming at the moment ... obviously the MMO is the only way to go!" So developers that have a pedigree in some other area -- maybe they make console games or real-time-strategy games -- they look at MMOs and they go, "well we#DY#ll just make one of them," not realizing just how much more difficult it is to build an MMO than it is to do anything else in the industry.
These are games where you#DY#re not working with a team for a year or eighteen months to develop ten hours of content. You are working with a team of hundreds and hundreds of people, for usually two, three, four or even five years in the case of something like WoW, to build a game that is intended to be played forever. You#DY#re handcrafting hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of hours of content. In Warhammer there#DY#s probably around a thousand hours of handcrafted content in the game across the six different races.
That#DY#s a ton of stuff to be building, and so it#DY#s really easy to dive in and go, "yeah we#DY#re gonna make a massively multiplayer game based on football! It#DY#ll be real easy." The next thing you know, you#DY#re two-and-a-half years in, you don#DY#t know what you#DY#re doing, your server code doesn#DY#t work, you#DY#ve never worked with thousands of players at once instead of ten or fifteen, the engine that you#DY#re working with is designed for first-person-shooters and doesn#DY#t scale when you put fifty models on the screen. There#DY#s just a lot of experience that we had that made it much easier for us to build this kind of game because we#DY#ve been in the industry for a really long time.