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Reader Comments (105)

Posted: Jan 25th 2012 9:49AM HiGHPLAiNS said

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Things are that bad at Blizz where you cannot even get a crew to do Blizzcon? Something is up.

Posted: Jan 25th 2012 9:57AM Lockisezmode said

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No Blizzconn because Blizzard is too busy trying to figure out how to stay alive. I can't wait for people to see the titantic waste D3 is.

Posted: Jan 25th 2012 10:10AM (Unverified) said

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@Lockisezmode

You were in the beta? Friend of mine did the beta and he liked it though his taste isn't exactly what I call top notch. I would never get a game he recommends, lol.
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Posted: Jan 25th 2012 12:33PM (Unverified) said

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@Lockisezmode Yeah, stay alive when their MMO, after losing more subscriptions than most other MMO's even have, is STILL miles above other MMO's in subscriptions. It's not like Starcraft II was the fastest selling strategy game of all-time.

Diablo II is STILL played to this day. You somehow know, even though you don't have access to the full game, that D3 is so bad that all the people who are playing D2 will just ignore D3? Right.
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Posted: Jan 25th 2012 12:57PM (Unverified) said

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@(Unverified)
Lock is right, at least as far as people trying to save their jobs go.

You can talk about all these WoW subs, and you are right. But I guarantee you the investors and executives at Vivendi aren't going "Hey, we still have 10 million+", they are going "You lost 1.7 million in a year after a new exansion with new content coming out". Make no mistake, the urgency at Blizzard is noticeable. The only reason there is an Annual Pass is to try to lessen the number of subs lost this year until MoP is released during the holidays. If they lost 1.7 million during a time new content was coming out (although can 2 raids be called a years worth of content?), imagine how bad it will be this coming year.

And you are right, people are still playing D2. People are still playing D1 as well. Guess what, had D1 been done the way they are doing D3, no one would be playing D1 and before long no one could play D2. Why? Because those games don't need the servers to be on to play.

Constant online DRM for even single player mode, a RMAH that means you will have to compete with botters and farmers and others who are not looking to play a game but rather make money, for bandwidth and item drops. And we will see how happy you are if you spend real money on an item and a week later Blizzard nerfs it because too many of that item has got on the market. Not to mention the sheer idiocy of "We don't want players to pick up white items. They aren't worth vendoring and if players do vendor them, we will make them worth even less gold" when if they don't want players picking something up, JUST REMOVE IT FROM THE GAME.
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Posted: Jan 25th 2012 1:38PM (Unverified) said

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@(Unverified)

Investors aren't dumb to expect a game to be the top MMO in subscriber numbers 7 years after launch. WoW WILL die. At some point, it will have low subscriber numbers. If your investors are expecting you to retain 12 million subscriber, or even grow beyond that, 7 years after launch, you have unrealistic investors. They've lost around 10-15% of the subscriber base since Cata launched. That's hardly a mass exodus, and you can't think of it as "Oh Cata was so bad it drove people away by the millions." Sure, parts of the loss can be attributed to disenchantment with the expansion, but again, a 7 year game isn't going to be healthy regardless.

If you're playing D2 to this day you're most likely not playing single player. A single-player game doesn't really have this longevity. That's not to say that the single-player DRM isn't dumb, because I absolutely hate it....but the reason D2 is so popular even today is because of the online, and that's the same reason D3 will be popular. Are there people who are going to not buy D3 because they only play single player and hate the DRM? Sure, but that is no where near the number of people who are going to be playing online, where the DRM almost doesn't effect them at all.
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Posted: Jan 25th 2012 6:17PM (Unverified) said

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@(Unverified)
We are talking about a game that has never suffered losses before. Wrath was stagnant and didn't grow it. But they lost customers IMMEDIATELY following Cataclysm's release. You're right, if the losses had been in 2012 when no new content was being released.

But another worrisome factor is the outside merchandise decline. This is something that has gone strong for years even before WoW. This is a telling sign that the main base of Warcraft fans is leaving, the fans you would expect to be there no matter how long the game is out, and their leaving has to be worrisome.
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Posted: Jan 25th 2012 10:02AM sandals said

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Maybe they though that the pitches would be disappointing.

"Hey guys, Pandas!"
"Hey guys, pet battles!"
"Hey guys, guess what diablo is not coming out yet"
"Hey guys Titan MMO is a civil war shooter"


Ship staring to sink.

Posted: Jan 25th 2012 8:27PM Utakata said

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@sandals

"Hey guys Titan MMO is a civil war shooter"

Wrong. It's a social MMO with billboards.
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Posted: Jan 25th 2012 10:06AM Braiks said

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@Joaquin Crowe It's a full game actually.

Posted: Jan 25th 2012 10:09AM (Unverified) said

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They could still run BlizzCon just for the players. They wouldn't even need their top devs there for people to show up. Like someone said already, it's mostly for the players to go hang out and be WoW nerds asking each other what purples and oranges they are sporting on which server.

They can just have like 1 or 2 devs show up or some support staff. Still have their costume and dance contest and sell Blizzard stuff.

Posted: Jan 25th 2012 10:12AM Prince David said

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This kind of bums me out. It's something i Look forward to reading about yearly.

Posted: Jan 25th 2012 10:37AM Nucleon said

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I'm not much of a tinfoil hat'er, but this just seems odd. In most industries "Jam-packed schedules" means "lots of stuff being produced and released" which also means "lots of stuff to hype!". So why would they cancel Hypecon 2012?

I have my fingers crossed for D3, but I'm just not sure, from watching the beta footage, that it is really *that* much more awesome than D2. Still we know nothing about Titan and whether it's even an MMO or an MMOFPS.

The future is definitely very stormy for Blizzard. What makes them successful was putting out incredible games that dominated their Genre (WoW, SC1,2/War1,2,3,D1,2), but once the ship starts sinking will the money-men behind the scenes let them get back to core concepts, or will they be fast-releasing garbage to simply cash out until it's over.

I would not be surprised that the upcoming investor call says something like 1,000,000 lost subscribers, and D3 coming out in 3 weeks (even though it's clearly not done yet).

Posted: Jan 25th 2012 10:47AM Dunraven said

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@Nucleon I figure since tor launched they have lost another Million easy; how Mike Morhiame spins this will define how he is perceived by the gaming community for the next ten years.

If he is smart he will tell the investors that yes the last expansion alienated the core casual base and caused players to leave but that they are taking steps to remedy that.......but there is no way that their eight year old game will attract 12.5 million players again and to feel lucky that it is still one of the top MMO's after all this time and that Blizzard is committed to keeping a high subscriber rate.

If he says once again that "they'll be back" the investors won't believe him and he will lose what little respect he has in the gaming community.

Honestly if I was Mike I would look long and hard at Smedly's career maybe even give him a call and learn from those mistakes.

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Posted: Jan 25th 2012 1:09PM (Unverified) said

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@Dunraven
When you say core casual base, who do you mean? Cause the Farmville style casual was NEVER the base. During the time Blizzard has catered to this so called base, they game has not grown at all.

A games base if the player who has something on their must buy and must play list, the fan who will go out to the midnight launch. The Farmville style casual won't do that and doesn't care about the Warcraft franchise. Of course since Blizzard started catering to that mentality, it seems they don't care about the Warcraft story either. Perhaps a huge reason they haven't seen growth in WoW for nearly 4 years now.
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Posted: Jan 25th 2012 10:57AM (Unverified) said

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I think it makes sense given what's on their plate. They probably don't feel that there's enough content to share at Blizzcon with each of their main franchises releasing something this year. And it seems once more they're not willing to share information on their far-off Titan project. Though people are saying host it anyways with what they can offer, you have to keep in mind many people are disappointed with Blizzcon whenever there isn't any big reveal. It definitely feels better to attend an event with a lot of hype that produces a lot of news than a weak one that may make you feel like you wasted money on choosing the wrong year to pay to attend or watch.

Posted: Jan 25th 2012 11:04AM Deadalon said

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Why no Blizzcon? Reason: Blizzard are not releasing MOP this year and they know fans will not be happy about it. So... they know Blizzcon 2012 would be about angry fans asking hard questions.

Posted: Jan 25th 2012 1:32PM (Unverified) said

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@Deadalon that or they are releasing around june, but you won't play it either way, have fun killing space zombies =).
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Posted: Jan 25th 2012 11:07AM Joaquin Crowe said

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Now where will I get my young maidens dressed in scanty Night Elf costumes fix???? Damn you Kotick!!!!!

Posted: Jan 25th 2012 11:21AM (Unverified) said

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Well, with 2 big games and 2 major expansions in the works, I'm not surprised. It takes a lot of resources to run these things and it's not the only big gaming press event they could use to announce new things here. If I remember correctly, Starcraft 2 was announced at Gamecom and they announced Diablo 3 during the French Starcraft tournament. If they can batten down the hatched and get D3, MoP and HOtS all launched this year, then I'll be in gamer heaven.

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