Archive for September 17th, 2008

I happened upon this little gem today:

WoW can haz free?

They link to an article that suggests that Blizzard has spent $200 million to date (five years so far) on keeping WoW up and running. That seems like a lot (and it is), but compared to the revenue they are likely bringing in with over ten million subscribers at around $15/month ($9 billion over five years, or $1.8 billion per year), that’s a surprisingly small amount. Now, non-Americans don’t pay as much as we do for a few reasons, and they haven’t had that many subscribers for the whole five years, so that total is probably closer to, say, $2-3 billion or so, but still… yikes.

I’m not sure I can take those assertions at face value, (more…)


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This is just a minipost to point out a distinction that may not be clear in my other writings.  I love World of Warcraft.  I love the art direction, the animation, the music, the lore and the game itself.  It’s not perfect, and I can find many ways to make it better, but when all is said and done, it is a remarkably accessible game that is thoroughly fun to play.

I do not, however, love the business aspects of the game.  To my mind, the subscription model is an unnecessary barrier to entry, a limiter on innovation, a constraint on design, and a dishonest representation of the costs of the game.  This is a systemic complaint that I have with the MMO genre, and not something specific to WoW, though WoW does have some unique troubles within those broader complaints.

This dichotomy is why I’ve written that I would pay good money for an offline version of WoW.  The game is that good.  I simply refuse to support a business model that I see as ill-advised froma game design standpoint, and unnecessarily expensive from a gamer’s standpoint.

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