Blizzard skeptical about Xbox 360 for MMOs

Posted by Mike Luttrell

Blizzard, the company that pays its way in the world via Starcraft and World of Warcraft subscription fees, said it could be interested in bringing its MMO prowess to the Xbox 360, but wasn't sure the console could handle it.

"I think certainly that we would place really heavy demand on the technical structure of those things before [the Xbox 360] was something Blizzard would want to get into," said company bigwig Greg Street in an interview with CVG.

He noted that due to the closed nature of Xbox Live, it would be a challenge and there would need to be substantive discussions with Microsoft before anything could ever happen.

Massively multiplayer online games are niche enough to begin with, so whenever someone tries to bring the concept to a non-PC device, it's always an uphill battle. That's primarily because MMOs rely heavily on a mouse-and-keyboard setup.

"I'm sure someone will solve that problem. I'm amazed it hasn't been solved yet but someone has to put a lot of thought into it and it has to be the right game for that medium," said fellow Blizzard employee David Kosack.

Aside from a couple noteworthy titles, Microsoft has been reluctant to let MMOs on its platform. They eat up a whole lot of bandwidth on the Xbox Live servers and are a beast to maintain. Most recently, Microsoft actually denied Xbox 360 licensing to Square Enix for Final Fantasy XIV.

The publisher was told it can't do cross-platform online gaming. That is, Microsoft bans anyone from letting an Xbox 360 player play the same game online with a PS3 user.

So in other words, don't expect to play World of Warcraft on your Xbox anytime soon.