Way back when I predicted that *World of Warcraft* would fail. Probably nobody remembers. And Google failed to index that page of my old blog, so I could just keep mum, and even if somebody did remember would they be able to find the link? No. But here I am, coming clean: way down at the bottom of the page, here http://gamedevleague.blogspot.com/2003_09_28_gamedevleague_archive.html, I say that *World of Warcraft* will weaken the *Warcraft* brand, because people think *Warcraft* means RTS.
So: how come an *Everquest* RTS tanks but a *Warcraft* MMO goes ballistic?
One: *Warcraft* doesn't mean RTS to people, it means games with cool art.
Two: there are places where line extensions work. An obvious example is politics. Actors have incredible mindshare and are pretty much unstoppable forces when they turn to politics. Even though a lot of people say "I'm not going to vote for an actor! What do they know about politics?" so many people say "I haven't even heard of this other guy" that the actor wins. On the other hand, could a politician go into acting?
Likewise, millions of people play Warcraft. Even if 4 out of 5 of these people say, "I'm not interested in an MMO by these RTS people," the other 1 out of 5 means 500,000 people, which is huge by MMO standards. But only 400,000 people play Everquest. If 4 out of 5 of these people say, "I'm not interested in an RTS by these MMO people," then the Everquest RTS does under 100,000 units.
I like that theory.
In other news, I've been catching up reading other people's blogs, and I can't believe I never came across this one before. He even quotes me! There's an ego boost.
And finally, *Spider-Man 2* was nominated for "Outstanding Achievement in Gameplay Engineering" by the AIAS. I am pleased as hell by this. That's a much, much cooler nomination than the "Best Voice Over" we got from SPIKE TV; the category is cooler, the organization giving it is cooler, and it's kind of what we were all about - we were really focused on a new kind of game mechanic, made possible by some clever engineering. Thanks AIAS!