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Question Of The Week: World Of Warcraft Vs. Habbo?

The "Question Of The Week" feature, an industry-related question to be answered by professional game developers reading this site, is following up last week's Austin GDC event by asking what high-end M
The "Question Of The Week" feature, an industry-related question to be answered by professional game developers reading this site, is following 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 very different ends of the online game spectrum. On the one hand, Blizzard's president 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, with core gamers in the middle -- the opinion makers, and casual players as the ring around. 'In order to be real successful we want to hit both of those markets,' he said, achievable by trying to build games 'deep and replayable while being accessible to wide market,' through low system requirements, and the separate mantra, 'easy to learn, difficult to master.'" 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 the case. 'If you want to do well you have to invest a heck of a lot of time, and in that way you can't say it's casual.' He also rejects the Web 2.0 and Game 3.0 labels -- if for no other reason than Habbo Hotel has been around since 2000. 'My personal favorite is 'gameless game',' he remarked, and 'I'm very proud that we have this core gameplay without going out and killing monsters.'" Thus, the question, which can be answered at the official Question Of The Week page until September 18th, is: "Following the Austin Game Developers Conference last week, how important do you think online worlds such as Habbo and web-based social gaming in general is to the future of online games, compared to existing game biz successes like World Of Warcraft? What can WoW learn from Habbo, and vice versa?" As with the previous questions, the best responses will be compiled into an article to be published on the site, and users can either respond publically, with their name and company specifically cited, or anonymize their answers if they wish.

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