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Ex-Wow Dev: "We Killed a Genre"

in Firefall, News, World of Warcraft

Firefall developer, Mark KernMark Kern is the head of the team that's building Firefall, but long before that he worked at Blizzard and helped develop the World of Warcraft. In a guest post at, he spoke at length about whether or not MMOs had become too easy, blaming a casualness that's designed to bring users in rather than entertain the core crowd.

And who does he blame for this turnaround in the MMO genre? Why, World of Warcraft, of course.

With World of Warcraft, he explained, they tried to make a game that was as fun for casuals as it was for the core players - more fun, in fact. 


"And it worked. Players came in droves, millions of them. But at what cost? Sometimes I look at WoW and think “what have we done?” I think I know. I think we killed a genre."

The rest of his post goes onto explain what exactly he meant. Kern reckons that World of Warcraft's success made way for a culture where oyu can only have short, pointless missions, in which it's impossible to do anything more than the expected "kill 10 rats."

Of course, this isn't a problem in Firefall. They've got the exact solution for the problem.

"In our own game, Firefall, we try to focus on the journey, not the end. We work hard to create a beautiful world, and you never out-level a zone since the dynamic events scale to players. Our quests and missions are dynamic, letting us put more work into making the event fun to do and letting you do it as often as you like and because you are challenged by them. Our combat focus is tuned for skill and moment to moment fun, and because it require dexterity and aiming, you can always challenge yourself to do better.

"Firefall is not a trivialized distillation of an MMO. We found that adding a little difficultly and depth has actually made the game more fun, not less. Maybe, just maybe, as an industry we’ve made things too easy, and its time to get back to games being challenging as well as fun."

Maybe this is more than PR and maybe Firefall does everything right. Only time will tell. And if you're not interested in playing it directly, you can always check out our Firefall diary.

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