Blizzard eyes smartphones for WoW pet battles

Lock up your iPhones, gamers: Blizzard is planning to go mobile with its uber-popular World of Warcraft franchise. A new feature in the upcoming expansion Mists of Pandaria will potentially take your in-game pets away from the shackles of your desktop, via a Pokémon-style smartphone application.

The plan sees virtual pets able to battle it out with one another outside of the main game, potentially giving Blizzard its first real mobile gaming experience.

WoW: Mists of Pandaria - Female Pandaren

Our first look at the female Pandaren from WoW: Mists of Pandaria

Amid the media attention surrounding Mists of Pandaria (including the big reveal of female pandaren artwork), game director Tom Chilton has confessed the company is exploring new options.

It’s one of those things that would be kind of be a natural fit for the mobile platform.

In typical Blizzard fashion, the team need to ensure the experience meets the company’s exacting standards, as production director J. Allen Brack chimes in:

The metric is always try to make the most fun game possible. The most important thing is the Blizzard logo. When you buy a game that has the Blizzard logo, you know it’s going to be a great experience.

It’s not hard to come up with a lot of awesome ideas. It’s hard to … execute perfectly on them.

One thing that was not mentioned amid Blizzard‘s recent media frenzy: A release date for Mists of Pandaria, with the developer refusing even to comment on whether the expansion pack will arrive in 2012.

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