BioWare and Blizzard Talk Competition

After returning from this week's DICE Summit, Ars Technica has done a brief write-up of a panel discussion between Blizzard Entertainment's Mike Morhaime and BioWare's Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk that featured an ever-so-slightly competitive conversation about the MMORPG market and how Star Wars: The Old Republic might fare against World of Warcraft.  You can almost sense what these guys were really thinking:
Zeschuk also had warm words for Blizzard's ability to run an online service. "I have learned so much about how you run a service without yet running one, and how unbelievably complicated it is, and how scary that is," he said. "We have the Bioware quality in the game side of things, but we want to make sure the service has the same level of quality." He described World of Warcraft as a "machine," an international business of its own.

Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime offered some pragmatic advice for his competitors. "Bioware is a great developer, and obviously Star Wars is a very strong license. We think it's good for the MMO genre for additional MMOs to come out that are actually fun to play. I don't know that it serves the genre very well when MMOs come out and have all sorts of problems and players leave in frustration," he said.

His hope is that new players will come in, play Old Republic, and the smooth experience will help them become fans of online gaming. This might seem like an easy task, but it's one that many, many developers have failed at to date.

"So, you know, do a good job," Morhaime said, again drawing laughs from the crowd. It didn't sound like a threat, not really, but it didn't seem far off, either.
It'll be interesting to see how the MMO scene changes over the next few years as Star Wars: The Old Republic matures and Blizzard gears up to release Titan and additional World of Warcraft expansions.