World of Warcraft – A popular MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role playing game) has been a part of many stereotypes of grown men living without sunlight, playing the game day in and day out – might be headed for the iPhone. We’ve seen WoW on the iPhone through cloud gaming services similar to OnLive (or VNC work-arounds), but a proper mobile client would be awesome.
Eurogamer recently spoke with WoW’s senior producer John Lagrave about the possibility of Blizzard bringing the popular game WoW to the iOS platform.
“We won’t do it until we think it’s decent. But it’s interesting, and the world is evolving towards that little handheld device — I’d have fun on it, that’s absolutely the case. It would be foolish for any game developer to not be looking at that, and we’re not – we don’t think – foolish! Maybe we’ll stumble on the great way to put WoW on the [i]Phone – maybe we won’t, but we’re certainly looking into it…What we’ve done [so far] with WoW on mobile devices is very simplistic: view the armory, check your auctions [manage guilds]… When we have an epiphany, everyone will know. But for now, no epiphany!”
Now the “New iPad” may very well be the point where a mobile device will be able to handle the full graphics capabilities that such a game has to bear on its own, but there would need to be at least a little bit of scaling down; the current install on PC takes up 25 GB, which isn’t an amount of space most folks can spare on their iPad for a single game.
Is it even possible to port enough over to make it a cross-platform game where smartphone players can interact with PC players? How do you design the controls where the game is easily playable? There are many usability and technical limitations. But the team is surely going to think about a big thing like involving a port of the fully-functional game and if they need screen estate for such a port, then perhaps tablets like the iPad would be more suitable.
Blizzard has already been active in the mobile world through their Remote app for iOS and Android, but they’re charging an extra $3/month on top of the $10/month subscription fee for the privilege of selling loot on the auction house and chatting with guildmates while on the go.
If and if Blizzard is all set to bring the full World of Warcraft to the iPhone, we can expect that they could just include the features in the existing Remote app rather charging even more. Beyond that, Blizzard also has a mobile authenticator app to add extra protection to your Battle.net account. Blizzard does currently have a WoW app available for mobile devices and the web to assist WoW players that allows you to check auctions, look up PvP gear, create talent specs, and access the armory.
Aptly dubbed the World of Warcraft Mobile Armory, the app will allow you to access all of these things on the fly in the rare occasion that you’re not in front of a PC or Mac. Gameloft has a decent clone called Order and Chaos on sale for significantly cheaper than what you would pay for WoW.
If, Blizzard are certainly eager to get WoW on mobile devices as soon as possible, they also want to do it in a perfect way. Via iMore