InterviewsThe Blessings of Curse: An Interview with Hubert ThieblotInterviews - RSS 2.0
TE: Curse has been steadily gaining ground against your biggest competitors, like Allakhazam and Thottbot. You describe yourself in the press release as the premier MMOG portal, so do you have your sights targeted on these guys to overtake them, and what will set your apart in the long-run to hit that goal?
HT: Services like Wowhead (which, along with Thottbot and Allakhazam, is now owned by IGE spin-off The Zam Network) have done great work creating WoW item/quest databases, but I don't really consider them to be portals. Curse is also building databases, but our aim is to provide a whole lot more than that. Our goal isn't to be like Thottbot or any of our competitors who only address one aspect of an MMOG gamer's needs. Doing so doesn't bring value to the community or to the MMOG developers. Our goal is to provide a single, centralized location for MMOG gamers to turn to, regardless of what they need. Be it add-ons, blogs, forums, databases, wikis or nearly anything else, they should turn to Curse.
TE: World of Warcraft drives a lot your traffic. Does it require a game like WoW to make a site like Curse successful? Where would you be without WoW?
HT: I don't think anyone can deny the fact that the entire MMOG industry has benefited from the success of World of Warcraft. Blizzard has kicked off innovation among users and publishers alike.
What's more important is the question of where we go from here, and how we do it. The expansion of content and applications in V4 reflects our desire to maintain our leadership position as a portal for WoW, while making significant strides for all MMOGs. We're doing so in various ways, including actively fostering relationships with developers, in order to expand our support for existing and upcoming titles. We're also preparing to expand our scope into free-to-play and item-based games. We believe the Asian market to be a source of tremendous opportunities that will make their way into the U.S. this coming year. If and when (and we believe it's a matter of when) a mainstream console MMOG becomes massively popular, it will benefit the entire industry in a similar way. And Curse will be there for that, as well.
TE: So, is this the grand vision of Curse come to life, or has V4 served to open the door on new goals, features or directions for the site? Do you already have a V5 beginning to brew in your head?
HT: While V4 is the culmination of some significant development, it is truly just a first step, considering some of the things we have in store. It was, to be sure, a very important first step. We are excited by the fact that the MMOG market is on the rise, and we are working hard to set the pace in our slice of the market. I don't know if we'll call the next big change V5, but we're hard at work developing new features with our users in mind.