Roper: 'We hoped WoW would sell a million'

Blizzard never expected World of Warcraft to become the success it has, Bill Roper tells CVG

No one at Blizzard ever expected World of Warcraft to become the phenomenon it has, according to Bill Roper.

"I remember a meeting at Blizzard where we were hoping we'd be able to sell a million copies of the game", Roper, former Blizzard North employee and now Flagship Studios CEO, has told CVG in an interview.

"You have to remember," Roper continued, "that the most successful American MMORPG at that time was EverQuest with about 500,000 players. It would have been impossible to predict that World of Warcraft would take off as a cultural phenomenon as it did, but those are the kind of surprises that you like to get in life."

World of Warcraft launched in late 2004/early 2005 (depending in which part of the world you lived), and has since gone on to charm over a ludicrously massive nine million players.

But Roper, who quit Blizzard in 2003, says he has no regrets that he wasn't around at the company when the game took off.

"As for regrets, I could never regret starting Flagship and Ping0 and building what we have here. The string of games I worked on at Blizzard makes me proud", he told us.

"And while World of Warcraft was perhaps the one that eclipsed them all, its success was also built upon the work we all did over the years on the reputation of Blizzard and Warcraft as a universe. I am glad that the game has done what it has because it is good for the industry as a whole."