World of Warcraft is such an interesting beast. We are talking about a video game that has somehow managed to remain relevant for 10 years. 10 years. Interestingly enough, Bungie has always talked about Destiny in terms of a ten year plan. World of Warcraft has essentially just achieved what Destiny wants to achieve.
So when I spoke to Ion Hazzikostas, lead game designer on World of Warcraft, I asked him if he had any advice for Bungie and Destiny, who are attempting to undertake the same journey Blizzard did all those years ago when it launched World of Warcraft.
He didn't have any concrete answers.
"It's tough," said Ion. "I think in many ways Destiny has the potential and they've on the right track. They have a tremendously fun core game -- my team has been playing the hell out of that game. It's what half the encounter team I'm currently working with goes home and does on a nightly basis. There's a tremendous amount of fun there.
"I think people are still dealing with what the game is. Coming into it some people weren't sure: is it an MMO or an FPS, what exactly was it supposed to be? There were a lot of different expectations there. They've already done a lot of great work and the potential is there to improve it and iterate. It's already a great game in many ways and it's just going to keep getting better."
Ion admitted he hasn't been able to spend too much time with the game -- he's been too busy putting the final touches on Warlords of Draenor -- but the key to making World of Warcraft sustainable for so long, he says, was it's ability to constantly and consistently evolve in the right directions.
2004. That's when World of Warcraft came out. Here is a list of other games that came out in 2004: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Halo 2, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater.
Jesus. When Blizzard talks about how to make a video game relevant for 10 years, you should probably listen.