19 Jan 2010

World of The Rings or Lord of Warcraft ? -Tolkien inspiration in World of Warcraft

Elves, Dwarves, Men, and Little People against Dragons, Orcs, Forsaken Spirits , and Goblins in a world full of magic and epic battles in a neverending quest ?...No, I am not talking about Middle-earth but about Azeroth, the virtual world that Blizzard created for World of Warcraft. In a very recent interview with PC Gamer, Chris Metzen, the guy in charge of creative development at Blizzard, revealed that World of Warcraft shares a great deal with Middle-earth. Well, sure , there are goblins, and orcs, dwarves, and elves...there are dark dungeons, and evil is lurking, but to say Azeroth is closely based on Middle-earth is maybe a long-shoot. Considered one of the 'forefathers' of High Fantasy, Tolkien has inspired countless writers, artists, and game developers and although Tolkien was not the 'first' fantasist, he is the man who shaped the genre, he influenced more then just style and form, he created a world. In World of Warcraft, Azeroth IS NOT Middle-earth but the Tolkien's influence does show in the original and basic game design. Would young World of Warcraft players know about Tolkien and his legacy if asked? Probably not, sadly - but it is nice to know directly from one of the original game developers how important Tolkien has been in the creation of the virtual world of Azeroth.