Is Activision Blizzard's World of Warcraft About to Go Mobile?

Hang tight, mobile blood elves, for help may soon be on its way.

Activision Blizzard (Nasdaq: ATVI  ) has yet to bring its biggest cash cow, World of Warcraft, to any mobile gaming platforms. That's left an opening for mobile rivals to swoop in with their own massive multiplayer online role-playing games, or MMORPGs.

French game developer Gameloft, which is notorious for making mobile knockoffs of popular titles from other platforms, has its own MMORPG for Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) iOS and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) Android, called Order & Chaos Online. The game is pretty clearly a mobile replica of World of Warcraft, complete with a paying subscription.

Order & Chaos Online at least shows that there's user demand for mobile MMORPGs, and it seems Activision Blizzard is fully cognizant of that. Senior WoW producer John Lagrave recently told Eurogamer that the company is "certainly looking into" bringing the popular game, which had about 10.2 million subscribers at the end of last year, to the iPhone.

Lagrave acknowledges that "the world is evolving toward that little handheld device," but the company won't go for it unless it knows it can do it right. Currently, Activision Blizzard's only WoW mobile app for iOS and Android is a World of Warcraft Mobile Armory app that allows players to keep track of their characters and some other basic tasks, but no full gameplay.

It would be a smart move, and it could even help Activision turn the tide on its WoW subscriber losses. The company has already moved some of its other popular franchises to iOS and Android, including Call of Duty.

If Activision Blizzard brings WoW to mobile platforms, maybe Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: EA  ) will even follow suit and bring its new rival MMORPG, Star Wars: The Old Republic, over to try to crash the party.

Until then, mobile gamers will have to turn to knockoffs to get their MMORPG fixes instead of the real deal.

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Fool contributor Evan Niu owns shares of Apple, but he holds no other position in any company mentioned. Check out his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Activision Blizzard, and Google and has written calls on Activision Blizzard. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple, Google, and Activision Blizzard, creating a bull call spread position in Apple, and creating a synthetic long position in Activision Blizzard. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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  • Report this Comment On March 22, 2012, at 8:50 PM, lukem5 wrote:

    If the writer of thisa article played WoW they would understand that the idea of bringing WoW to a mobile platform is completely asinine.

    There is NO WAY you can play WoW on an iphone, you would need a full keyboard complete with the custom macros you implemented on your PC.

    I hope someone brings out WoW mobile so I can laugh at its horrible failure.

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