Blizzard Entertainment just can’t escape comparisons between World of Warcraft‘s Mists of Pandaria expansion and Dreamworks’ Kung Fu Panda films. But just to refresh everyone, Pandarians came first.
That commonly-dismissed fact was explored in great detail during an interview by VentureBeat, where Blizzard president Mike Morhaime and chief creative officer Rob Pardo discussed it at length:
Morhaime: Yeah. I guess the funny thing for us — this is our perspective — but we’ve been talking about adding Pandaren as a playable race for World of Warcraft since long before Kung Fu Panda. It just so happens that Kung Fu Panda is very popular and they did an awesome job with the movies and we’re fans of the movies also. That doesn’t really change the fact that the Pandaren race has been part of the Warcraft mythology for a really long time.
Rob Pardo: Well, with the Kung Fu Panda thing, it’s kinda tricky because we had pandas first. The Pandaren Brewmaster started in Warcraft III. And it actually originated — I don’t know if you know this — as an April Fools’ joke. We did this whole Pandaren race as a real-time strategy race, and we’ve been slowly adding them to the game. We were originally maybe going to do it as part of the Burning Crusade expansion, but we felt like it was better to hold off until we could do something with their landmass, too.
As noted by interviewer Sebastian Haley, Morhaime and Pardo can’t wait for people to stop asking them questions about it.
Sales of Mists of Pandaria were noted to “disappointing,” according to investment bank Lazard Capital Markets, who cited that the physical sales for the expansion was down 60 percent from World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.
VentureBeat later followed up their own report of that quote with a statement from investment bank Brean Murray, Carrett & Co., who stated that Pandaria would be “a key driver” for Activision Blizzard’s Q3 2012 revenue.
In the rest of the piece, various other topics are discussed, including why StarCraft has a capital “C” and World of Warcraft doesn’t (it happens to be a simple licensing issue), and why BlizzCon was skipped this year. Apparently, the company need time to focus on game development, which makes sense, considering how busy they’ve been with WoW, Starcraft II, and Diablo III.