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It's often been said that the only MMORPG that has a chance of unseating World of Warcraft would be Blizzard's next MMO. However, Blizzard COO Paul Sams says their unnamed next-gen MMO is not intended as a replacement for WoW.
When asked by Wired if more expansions would be released for WoW after the upcoming Cataclysm, Sams replied, "Sure, you can put that in quotes. We’re going to continue to support this game." He added that Blizzard would continue to make the game "bigger and better" as long as there's interest among players. "There are no indications whatsoever that suggests that they’re not still interested."
Sams' isn't worried about their next MMO cutting into WoW's subscriber base, either. "I think the [next MMO] is going to be significantly differentiated enough [from WoW]. Such that, you’re not going to feel like they’re one in the same resulting in that you have to pick or choose."
Even if some WoW players do leave to play Blizzard's other MMO, Sams notes that it's really a "a high-class problem to have." Fair enough. Most game companies would love to be in a position where the biggest competition for their MMO is another one of their MMOs.
Blizzard's next MMO has yet to be formally announced or dated. World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is expected to arrive next year.