A few weeks ago at BlizzCon during an interview with WoWInsider’s Anne Stickney, Blizzard’s Alex Afrasiabi — the World of Warcraft Creative Director — made a rare and frank admission. He said that Blizzard has lost sight of the social world aspect of their MMO and that he was mainly to blame for it. Molten Core has frozen over.
The incremental yet relentless erosion of social interaction is something that many of us in the MMORPG community have been chronicling since the release of WoW in 2004. For some reason the developers at Blizzard have been unable to notice it until now. I am currently working on an article responding to Afrasiabi’s comments and what can be done to remedy this problem.
About a month ago I was contacted by a video game design student who goes by the handle Raistmere and studies at the University of Texas at Dallas. He is working on a project that examines the decline of social interaction in MMORPGs and requested an interview with me. I agreed and we completed the interview. You can find his interview with me here.
It was a fairly lengthy interview and it had to be condensed for his project. I will post the full length interview here on my site in a couple of weeks. Please head on over to his blog to read the article and other interviews about the subject.