Blizzard wants new World of Warcraft expansions every year

Patrick Carlson at

Somehow it makes sense that when Blizzard releases a trailer for a new World of Warcraft expansion with massive orc cannons mounted on the back of a giant cyclops, people get a little excited. But maintaining enthusiasm for the nine-year-old game might also mean getting new content out at a quicker pace—even as often as once a year—according to new comments by WoW lead systems designer Greg Street.

Blizzard has managed to spread four major expansions over those nine years. There have also been, as Street points out, smaller patches, but shifting to a yearly release schedule for expansions would be a considerable step up. It's a move that could change the way new and returning players view WoW, according to Street.

"We find that expansions are what bring players back to World of Warcraft," Street tells Digital Spy. "Really good patches will keep them, but they aren't as good at bringing players back to the game.

"We really want to get to a cadence where we can release expansions more quickly," he says. "Once a year I think would be a good rate. I think the best thing we can do for new players is to keep coming out with regular content updates."

Let's face it: WoW remains immensely popular, and it's not exactly fighting for its life here. But with the continual churn of new MMOs, many of which are free-to-play, it's clear that Blizzard wants to keeps its position as the planetary leader for just a bit longer.

Thanks, IGN.