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Blizzard Speeds Up WoW Development To Address Subscriber Churn

Blizzard wants to reduce downtime in-between World of Warcraft expansions, according to a Gamasutra-attended conference call, with Mike Morhaime commenting: "We need to be faster at delivering content to players."
Blizzard is looking into ways to speed up its development process in order to reduce the downtime in-between World of Warcraft expansions, according to the company. The move is in response to a subscriber churn that happens after each expansion to the game -- a churn that appears to be growing as players get better at the game. "As our players have become more experienced playing World of Warcraft over many years, they have become much better and much faster at consuming content," said Blizzard president Michael Morhaime in a Gamasutra-attended conference call. "And so I think with Cataclysm they were able to consume the content faster than with previous expansions, but that's why we're working on developing more content." "We need to be faster at delivering content to players," he added. "And so that's one of the reasons that we're looking to decrease the amount of time in-between expansions." When asked if this decrease might mean we'll see expansions lighter in content than in the past, Morhaime said the company is not ready to talk about the content of its upcoming expansions, saying only that "we are looking at ways to speed up the development process." "What we have seen so far is that people have been consuming this content very quickly, and so the subscriber levels have decreased [following the release of Cataclysm] faster than in previous expansions," he added.

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