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Reader Comments (63)

Posted: Dec 9th 2010 2:08PM turkeyspit said

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Why is WoW so popular? It's the little things. Blizzard does alot of little things right - so much so that it compensates for when they do the big things wrong.

What little things? Stuff like mounts (gosh do I miss having a Flying Mount in other MMOs), vanity pets, crafting, holiday events, combat animations (especially melee ones), sounds. WoW has it's own style, and it comes off well.

WoW will not exist in 20 years, but I have no doubt Blizzard will be running some other popular MMO. It is sad however, that there are so many other MMO titles out there that could be more viable, if people would just hop off the WoW bandwagon and give them a shot. But since it's always easier to stay with what is familiar, when a new title emerges, WoW players jump in, thing "I like WoW better", and jump out again.

Posted: Dec 9th 2010 2:12PM Ocho said

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20 years is a long time to say that anything will be the same way we know it today. So I don't agree with the 20 years... look at how we game today compared to 1990. 20 years is unrealistic... Now for Blizzard to have the top one, well that might be more realistic to say, because they would just keep the momentum they have going from one into the next, into the next.

I think Jeff Strain and Jack Emmit have the right ideas. A game is measured from its own worth, and so the team that focuses on its own product and gives it its own special care will make the best product, and gamers love a great product, and Jack Emmit is correct that WoW will be chipped away at, but it will be chipped away naturally as the market keeps expanding and expanding...

Just look at the iPhone/Android battle. Apple made an amazing product when smartphones were just coming out. They weren't the first, they used some ideas that came previously, but dang was their product nice. Now, its taken a while, but suddenly Android has come out of the woodwork, offered a similar product that's built on a different more open premise, and it's quickly gaining ground to to take the market from Apple's grasp, especially as the market grows and grows.

So, it can be done... but a game that is solidly good enough to fully compete with WoW just hasn't come along yet. (sorry for the long post)

Posted: Dec 9th 2010 2:48PM DemonXaphan said

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Well with the leaked info that appeared we know that Blizzard will be making expansions for WOW for the next 10 years, so 20 year reign is possible. Now as for the 12 million subs, i doubt that they will keep that number in the long run.

Posted: Dec 9th 2010 5:57PM Ayenn said

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@DemonXaphan

Would you then say EQ is still on the top over WoW? its been around long enough to provide the design foundation for WoW. SOE keeps producing expansions for it. What you are describing is that situation with declining numbers.

Because WoW has such a bloated subscription high I would guess it will eventually stabilize at around 2 million and will remain there. If it is profitable there is no reason to shut it down. I don't see WoW ever not being profitable. It is now a cultural fixture. It will stand like any other monument does... until some one decides to directly destroy the physical manifestation of the idea.
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Posted: Dec 9th 2010 2:49PM Jaimie said

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@Doba

You wish. :)

Posted: Dec 9th 2010 2:50PM Ryukan said

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These are the most clueless, stupid industry analysts I have ever heard/read. The way it's going the MMORPG genre will be lucky to exist in 20 years, much less WoW. Unless there are some radical and/or innovative changes to the MMOG model the industry is going to seriously start stagnating and diminishing. And WoW.? WoW will be lucky if it can maintain enough interesting content to keep it up another 2 years...20 years is laughable.

Posted: Dec 9th 2010 5:58PM Laren said

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@Ryukan

Wow is growing and getting stronger. It isn't going anywhere for a very long time.

The classical Mmorpgs might be dying, but mmo games are the future of gaming.
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Posted: Dec 9th 2010 9:21PM Dblade said

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@Ryukan I agree with you. I think we desperately need some real change.
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Posted: Dec 9th 2010 2:54PM kgptzac said

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re: title

if that's the case then the industry would already have died from stagnation.

Posted: Dec 9th 2010 3:30PM Bezza said

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Wow deserves credit where credit is due, it was the first big MMORPG and that's fair enough. It clearly reigns over the lowest common denominator in the MMO market. Low end specks, arty low end cartoony graphics, predictible game mechanics and regular expansions and content upgrades make for a popular MMO that most "non-serious-gamer" and "non-techy" players can access with the minimal amount of fuss. As such i am sure it will remain ever popular with that crowd. Credit where it's due, fair enough.

But lets not confuse popularity with quality. There is no accounting for taste and it's accesability as a low end spec MMO is IMO the primary reason for it's success. Hence i don't accept that WOW is a good exsample of a MMO as it will never evolve into a high spec game with cutting edge graphics, physics, game play, or any new inovations because the bulk of wow players simply wouldn't cope with such change. When i veiw the MMO genre, i salute wow for what it is, but i also recognise that it is a dinosaur propped up by a massive subscriber base of players who know no better and who don't look past the horizon to see what the rest of the MMO industry are doing.

Posted: Dec 9th 2010 6:05PM Ayenn said

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@Bezza

I think you need to really try to understand the fine details of the videogame and software industry and how things advance in them. The first big MMORPG was not WoW, It was EQ and UO. WoW was built on the successful designs of those two games. WoW was the most commercially successful MMORPG, true, but "biggest" that is actually arguable.

"But lets not confuse popularity with quality" is so true. I was asked, from the perspective of a designer, if 12 million people could be wrong (referencing WoW, of course). My answer was very simple and was not argued. My answer was "yes", 12 mill people can be wrong". In fact the person who asked me and others in on the conversation just kind of sat there for a moment, processed and then simply accepted the truth of the judgment.
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Posted: Dec 10th 2010 5:31AM Bongo123 said

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@Bezza
I agree with everything you but unfortunately cutting edge graphics, physics and gameplay will only ever attract a small core audience which unfortunately for a buisness model aint good
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Posted: Dec 9th 2010 3:36PM Space Cobra said

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I am thinking this question of 20 years was more being a "Devil's advocate" than a serious question.

Hopefully by 20 years, we would have moved on, possibly to WoW 2 or WoW 3!!

Posted: Dec 9th 2010 3:39PM rgolch said

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My prediction is that in the next 5-10 years, the total number of WoW subscribers will be the same, or increase, but it's percentage market-share of all gamers will decrease. The MMO world is gonna keep growing substantially, and love or hate WoW, it made online gaming usual and common.

Posted: Dec 9th 2010 6:08PM Ayenn said

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@rgolch

The numbers are decreasing even now. It is going through the first of its bleeding. It cannot sustain 10 million just as it could not sustain 12 million. the number of subs will continue to drop until it stabilizes at a moderate number of subs but only a fraction of its "hay day" numbers.
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Posted: Dec 14th 2010 1:45PM (Unverified) said

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@Ayenn

LOL.

Tell it to our servers who are locked on prime time dude.

1000 dollars that Blizzard will announce MORE subscriptions and 100 million dollars MORE revenu for the year 2010 than ends this month.

Seriously.
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Posted: Dec 9th 2010 3:46PM vaajtswv said

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Nooooooooooooo!!
Actually, all I want is something that looks like a Korean MMO but plays like WoW. That will get me off of WoW.

Posted: Dec 9th 2010 4:06PM Brianna Royce said

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@Jaimie Drives me nuts too, the crowd that can't wait to crow about WoW failing. Blizz is doing merges because of OVER population. I saw queues near 2000 on launch night on some servers (and I'm sure some were far higher). There are more people waiting in the queue on some servers than play AT ALL on most servers in multi-server MMOs. :P Dying my foot.

Posted: Dec 9th 2010 4:07PM Aganazer said

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By nature of how WoW expansions work, the later ones will ALWAYS sell less than the previous ones. I can't even upgrade to Cataclysm unless I have WotLK and TBC.

The game is also becoming less and less friendly to new players. Even now, at the launch of an entire world reboot, most of the newbie zones are empty and 99% of the players are level 80+. That will leave a new player cold so they will be more likely to hop on a newly released game rather than feeling like a nobody in WoW.

Posted: Dec 9th 2010 4:44PM enamelizer said

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UO is still going strong and it is going on 14 years, I fully expect WoW to still be running in 20 years. I would be more surprised if it weren't.

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