Blizzard Vice President Rob Pardo says the World of Warcraft studio would “absolutely” lend an assist to Bungie if it ever ran into trouble with its rumored MMO project.
Making an MMO, despite what a great many of the world’s game company executives seem to think, is not an easy thing. The massively multiplayer landscape is littered with the wreckage of games that by all appearances should have been successful, yet crashed and burned for one reason or another. So it’s probably reassuring for Bungie, if its next project really is an MMO, that if things get really dicey it can just pick up the phone and call Blizzard.
“It would have to be a very specific proposal,” Pardo told Edge Online. “Blizzard are very focused on our own stuff and I think one of the reasons that we’re successful is because we don’t get distracted.”
“That said, Activision is in the family and Bungie is doing stuff for Activision,” he continued. “If they called us up and wanted some advice or wanted to have a conversation, absolutely, but I do that with a lot of my game developer friends throughout the industry.”
Activision CEO Bobby Kotick said in September that Blizzard’s expertise in customer service was a big factor in Bungie’s decision to sign with the publisher, but Pardo said the idea of Blizzard handling customer support for a Bungie project was “really far out there,” adding, “That’s a lot of speculation. It’s possible, I guess.”
He also expressed confidence in Bungie’s ability to come up with a great game despite its inexperience with the genre, pointing out that Blizzard did exactly the same thing with World of Warcraft. “When we first started working on an MMO people right away pointed at our pedigree and said there’s no way that Blizzard can make an MMO – they’ve never tried it before,” Pardo said. “So clearly if we can do it, I’m sure a company like Bungie or Valve or Nintendo or any of those top tier developers are more than capable of doing it.”
“As far as whether I’d welcome a Bungie MMO, I certainly would as a gamer,” he added. “I think that’s one of the other reasons we’ve been so successful at Blizzard – all of us play and love games. We’re as big a fans as anybody. I would love to play a Bungie MMO. I think it would be cool.”