It’s a widely known fact that Blizzard invented the achievement-based fantasy MMO, and one of WoW’s producers has given an interview to PC Zone magazine explaining why copying this unique blueprint is a bad idea.
When World of Warcraft sprang wholecloth from the minds of Blizzard back in 2004, there simply had been nothing like the game at any point in history. Anyone daring to trod down this same path is doomed to failure!
Okay, I get the point that some companies are indeed specifically trying to make knock-offs of WoW, and agree that such a strategy in and of itself is flawed. However, to imply that WoW represents originality is ludicrous. The game launched as an evolution on an existing title–the main innovation being a dedication to polished and fun gameplay. It has certainly moved in its own direction over the ensuing five years, but let’s not forget that it started as an upgrade to the EverQuest experience.
Despite what some naysayers claim, the achievement-based Diku MMO is a popular style of game with many directions it can grow. While games that don’t venture far from the established core are likely doomed to mediocrity, those that innovate key aspects of the experience have huge potential for success. As ever, it comes down to execution.