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For World Of Warcraft Vs. Habbo

The “Question Of The Week” feature, an industry-related question to beanswered by professional game developers reading this site, isfollowing up last week’s Austin GDC event by asking what high-end MMO World Of Warcraft can learn from Web-based social world Habbo, and vice versa.
Two of the major keynotes at the event this year were from verydifferent ends of the online game spectrum. On the one hand, Blizzard’spresident Mike Morhaime gave a speech discussing the immense success of the firm’s World Of Warcraft, and commenting:
“Morhaime said Blizzard uses a model of the market of a donut, withcore gamers in the middle — the opinion makers, and casual players asthe ring around. ‘In order to be real successful we want to hit both ofthose markets,’ he said, achievable by trying to build games ‘deep andreplayable while being accessible to wide market,’ through low systemrequirements, and the separate mantra, ‘easy to learn, difficult tomaster.'”

On the other hand, designer Sulka Haro discussed his major Web-based online world Habbo in his keynote, commenting in it:

“Is Habbo Hotel a casual game? Haro isn’t entirely sure that’s thecase. ‘If you want to do well you have to invest a heck of a lot oftime, and in that way you can’t say it’s casual.’ He also rejects theWeb 2.0 and Game 3.0 labels — if for no other reason than Habbo Hotelhas been around since 2000. ‘My personal favorite is ‘gameless game’,’he remarked, and ‘I’m very proud that we have this core gameplaywithout going out and killing monsters.'” 

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