Tom Chilton is Mr. WoW. Not only is he current game director of the phenomenally popular MMO, but he had a hand in the game’s original 2004 release and its subsequent expansions, The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King, making him one of Blizzard’s main men. Here, in the second part of a mammoth interview conducted at the Warcraft Regional Finals 2009 in Cologne, Germany, last weekend, we discuss WoW’s future, including what the next expansion might bring. You can read Tom’s explanation of the changes Patch 3.2 will bring in the first part of the interview.
VideoGamer.com: When I interviewed you at Leipzig last year you told me that the goal is to release an expansion every calendar year. Is that still the case?
Tom Chilton: Yeah I would still say that's the case. We'd like to hit each calendar year somehow. Whether or not that actually happens in the near term I don't know yet. It's safe to say there will be more expansions for WoW, and it's safe to say we have long term things we're working on right now. They get players excited and give players a lot of new stuff to do all at once so it's really cool. Whether or not that actually happens a year from when Wrath of the Lich King came out, not likely! But we'll see. We're still trying to get it to the point where we're able to deliver them more quickly than we were before.
VideoGamer.com: What kind of discussions and work is being done on the next expansion? Has brainstorming begun?
TC: Perhaps! You'll just have to wait for more info on that!
VideoGamer.com: The first expansion was set in Outland, the second in Northrend, which was a little closer to home. Is there anywhere else left on the original map that can accommodate an expansion or does it have to be somewhere foreign?
TC: No I don't think it has to be anywhere completely foreign yet. There are parts of the map that we have left ambiguous and unexplored. There are parts of Eastern Kingdoms and Azeroth that haven't been filled out yet. Out there in the South Seas there are islands, there's out where the Maelstrom is. There's still quite a bit of land mass. We keep referring to the Emerald Dream, which is maybe not exactly in Azeroth, but is sort of tied to it in some way or another. But there are definitely places in Azeroth itself that are close to home that haven't been filled out yet, so there's more room for that sort of thing.