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15 Years of 'WoW': Designing for the Very, Very Long-Term

Ion Hazzikostas (Game Director, Blizzard Entertainment)

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core+Summits Pass, Core Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Design

Format: Session

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: All

When the World of Warcraft team first crafted the game's systems and built the world of Azeroth in 2004, little did they imagine that millions would still be exploring that world over 15 years later, with some still playing the very same characters they first created when the game launched. Designing systems that will not only stand the test of time, but the strain of repeated expansion, adds an additional layer of complexity to an already challenging task. In addition, modifying a world that is actively inhabited by passionate players becomes a joint endeavor with the community, with both new pitfalls and potential triumphs. Game Director Ion Hazzikostas shares lessons learned throughout that journey, with examples of both successes and mistakes made along the way.


Attendees should leave the talk with a deeper understanding of the unique considerations and challenges that arise when a game's lifespan stretches across many years, let alone decades, along with cautionary examples and insight into how Blizzard has approached those hurdles in evolving World of Warcraft.

Intended Audience

This talk is ideally suited for game designers who are working on systems or content that will be patched and extended over time, especially over multiple years.