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With World of Warcraft fading

With World of Warcraft fading

World of Warcraft, Blizzard smash hit, golden goose, and the acknowledged most popular MMO on Earth (as certified by the Guinness Book of World Records) is past its prime. Subscription figures have fallen from 12 million just after the release of the last expansion to 10.2 million, due partly to the popularity of Star Wars: The Old Republic. WoW isn dying it ridiculous to use that term given that the game could lose 90% of its playerbase and remain both profitable and one of the largest MMOs in North America but it is fading.

At seven and a half years old, it no longer a fledgling upstart or a product in its prime and that presents Blizzard with a bit of a problem. The company has been characteristically tight lipped about its plans for the future, but there are plenty of clues about what the company plans to do next. Real ID is a service that ties your actual name and online status in any Blizzard game into the Friends list that pops up in Starcraft, World of Warcraft, or the upcoming Diablo III. Unlike a standard friends list, which only tells you if a person is online and in game, Real ID linked friends can communicate across different WoW servers and completely different games.

The company decision to give Diablo III away for free to anyone willing to commit to a 12 month subscription for World of Warcraft is also telling. True, it definitely a move aimed at propping up WoW revenue stream, but it also a tacit experiment with the idea of subscribing to Blizzard games in general rather than any specific title. The fact that Diablo III contains a dual auction house system that allows players to sell items for gold or hard currency is a further experiment in content pricing and an examination of what the market will bear (and how players will react).

Blizzard titanic, cohesive futureWorld of Warcraft has been an unbelievable cash cow for Blizzard Activision, but attempting to clone its success is more likely to produce two stunted bovines rather than a second champion milker. MMO sequels that debut alongside their predecessors run the enormous risk of fragmenting and alienating an existing player base. If the second game duplicates the game mechanics and structure of the first, players complain that they paid $60 for a glorified patch, while a sequel with vastly different rules and structure alienates the players who made the first game popular. No MMO sequel has ever been more than a tepid success; the few that have been released often cannibalize their predecessors subscriber base, only for both games to crater as players who were used to a (relatively) balanced and well functioning engine skip out on the erratic and bug ridden sequel.

Blizzard is working on another MMO, but the game, codenamed Titan, is reportedly designed to appeal to casual players and to emphasize gaming with people you know rather than with strangers. Blizzard believes it can co exist side by side with WoW by appealing to a somewhat different group of gamers.

1 of 2Tagged InI not usually one tocriticizearticles but this one feels like its written by someone that hates Blizzard and doesn really know what going on.

1) WoW is 7 and a half years old, not 8 and half.

2) Most of the subs lost due to the last expansion where at the start of it, which came a whole year before The Old Republic came out. Sub loss was pretty mellow by then and most likely was due to people getting bored with the expansion than anything else.

3) Most subs lost were over in Asia so its not like something like TOR had anything to do with that.

4) Blizzard has stated they don intend to make a sequel to WoW and feel that the current iteration can keep going for some time. They been slowly sprucing up the graphics over time so it hardly feels as dated as a lot of people try to make it out as.5) WoW is dying? From the perspective of someone who plays the game, I can tell you its far from it. People are also quite excited about the upcoming expansion despite how much people like to make fun of it having pandas.

Like I said, it sounds like FUD from someone that hates Blizzard or WoW. Blizzard has nothing to worry about if you ask me.

I deeply amused by your comments.

I a Blizzard gamer going back to Blackthorne and Warcraft: Orcs and Humans on floppy disks. I beta tested Starcraft: Brood Wars, Diablo II, Warcraft 3, World of Warcraft, every WoW expansion, and Diablo 3. I joined the WoW closed beta in March of 2004, just after the Tri Horde Push. This also explains why I had eight on my mind instead of seven; I played the game longer.

I was a major Diablo II modder in the pre Lord of Destruction days, on friendly terms with Bill Roper and the Blizzard PR folks, and have devoted a significant chunk of my total gaming in the past ten years to Blizzard products. I eagerly looking forward to Diablo III.

And I think WoW has been a fabulous game. God knows I paid them well over a thousand dollars for the privilege of playing it these past eight years.

Care to revisit your previous statements?

Joel, whilst I use the word as an opener, you are dweebier than dweeb mc dweeb. Id love Soukosa to revisit his statement, but alas I can wait no longer. You, by your own admission have paid a bunch of nerds good money to wallow in their fantasies and even claim to know them personally (although I doubt they share the same memory capability on recalling journo dweebs by name). Gz on your insights into the world of war? craft?, erm, click, fest. Palas icons are way better than droods to click on ftw.

World of Warcraft fading, what will Blizzard do next? will sell Blizzard as soon as it stops being a cash cow. That is what corporate vampires do. Buy something that makes money, squeeze all the money out of it they can, then sell the carcass.

Activision killed WOW by forcing Blizzard to change the game so it appealed to retards. The game was geared towards gamers. It taught and required concentration, focus, group dynamics, group cooperation, planning, etc, etc, etc.

Activision forced Blizzard to remove everything in the game that required more than a 6th grade level intelligence to bring in the bowlers, the miniature golfers, the stuffed animal collectors and everyone else who has an attention span of 15 minutes or so in order to maximize short term profits.

Now that the 15 minutes is up for the people with a 15 minute attention span, WOW is losing subscribers and money. And WOW has no future because they destroyed the game that brought in the real gamers. The game that required intelligence, focus, concentration, and attention to detail.

None of those people are ever going back to land

I agree with you on 90% of what you say. The other 10% is really to say that I do appreciate some of the down Blizzard has done and to say I appreciate that WoW isn hardcore. I play to have fun, relax and in some cases socialize virtually with people. If I want hard core, do or die I play CoD or some other game. I think it an ecosystem that allows all TYPE of gamers to play and enjoy and I like that about it.

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