Two Million And Counting…

The news is out, Blizzard has surpassed two million paying subscribers worldwide, all playing World of Warcraft. That’s just insane. That’s a lot of money rolling in. Can they handle it? Will they stay on top? Is there nothing left for them but a big crash?

The crash has already started, at least in my little world. Most everyone I know that has played it – including casual and hard core players – has quit playing already.

But still, 2 MILLION PAID SUBSCRIBERS. As Abalieno wrote: “You say that some parts of the game are broken? HA! Two million subscribers. Rimshot.” That is the fact, Jack.

– Ethic

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I own this little MMO gaming blog but I hardly ever write on it any more. I'm more of a bloglord or something. Thankfully I have several minions to keep things rolling along.

16 thoughts on “Two Million And Counting…”

  1. I dont want to say I told you about the crash, but I told you about the crash! ^^

  2. It actually doesn’t matter if the game starts to crash now or not, they still rake in a tidy profit on their investiment. Lets do some basic math:

    2,000,000 subscribers X $50.00 box price = $100,000,000

    Lets say that attrition and new subscription rates average out so that they can only hold the 2 million for 6 months, then it’s ALL gone, game crashed, servers have to close and everyone gets laid off.

    2,000,000 X $15.00 per month X 6 months = $180,000,000.

    So that’s $280,000,000 of retail. Lets say that Blizzard only sees 15% of that total as profit.

    $280,000,000 * .15 = $42,000,000 profit.

    If they can only hang on to these folks for 6 months, then the whole thing crashes the next day, they still come out pretty happy. If their suscriber base shrinks down to just 500,000 but they can hold these folks for a year or two, their financial picture looks even rosier.

    Like it or not, like them or not, Blizzard will make a lot of money off of this game and will have a HUGE affect on their competition.

  3. make that 1,999,999 subscriptions. Think I’m going to cancel my account.

  4. Cancelled mine a couple of months ago, but what I think that this likely means is that we will continue to see a lot more games in similar veins pop up, whether we like it or not.

    To be honest, WoW is a pretty good game, and I can’t even really put my finger firmly on what I didn’t care for, other than that all of my friends had outleveled me and I had no one to hunt with really.

  5. The problem with WoW, is that when making a game like that you need a game hard enough to keep people going until you add more content. WoW is a great game, it just lacks content.

  6. “just lacks content”

    I have to disagree with you there. In my opinion, WoW has more content than any other MMO I have played and I have played most of them. The problem is more likely that you go through the content too fast. There are so many quests it makes my head spin. Sure many are boring, but it is still content. I can’t speak for the high end as I did not get past level 28 when the honor system chased me away.

  7. “Sure many are boring, but it is still content.”

    I don’t know. If you have the same quest done with 20 cover-stories, isn’t your range of “new content” the text or graphics added? “Kill 10 rats,” “defeat 20 goblins,” and “arrest 30 Hellions” are all pretty much the same quest, although you might get a paragraph explanation on each for why you are doing so. Love City of Heroes though I do, we should recognize that more missions of the types “defeat all,” “defeat the boss and things near him,” and “click something in the mission” (or combinations thereof) are not really adding anything new. Adding new enemy groups could be, if they are not essentially copies of existing enemies with new art and a different damage type.

    Some maps/missions I might consider unique enough to justify calling them entirely new content. How many WoW quests (outside instances) are something substantially different from “get 5 x,” “defeat 10 y,” or “go talk to z”?

  8. It takes time writing all of those back stories and integrating them into the world, consitency, it’s like a massive epic saga and sure the writing isn’t great, but it’s better than nothing. When getting down to the nitty-gritty mechanics you’re right and a lot of players don’t play mmos to read and could give a shit about paying attention to the lore. The majority are more concerned with the whack-a-mole treadmill and the rewards therein. Got any other ideas for questing mechanics in particular? :)

  9. One of the problems I noticed with WoW was what I was call a non-linear progression. Lvl 1-10 were blindingly easy and quick. At about level 13-ish until about 20 it became a long slog. But then at the 30’s it went fast again until your 40’s were it slowed again. Late 40’s-low 50’s went fast, but came to a near halt in the middle part of the 50’s. Then boom! The last 3 levels flew by. The dead spots in the progression made it sometimes hard to play.

    And once you got to 60, then what? You could either grind away in raids (that were quite fun the first 5 times… but lost luster soon after) or go PvP. Once the honor system hit, PvP became no longer a matter of skill vs skill, it was ‘can-I-stay-connected-in-the-lag-longest’. That’s a killer there. Even in the only game were mass PvP was done right (PlanetSide, my opinion) when it started to slow to a chug I would leave.

    More content would’ve kept me longer, but not forever. I saw the same trouble that has all but killed AC2 (people zooming through the content) as I saw in WoW. It’s not lack of content, it’s lack of content ‘speed bumps’.

  10. “It’s not lack of content, it’s lack of content ’speed bumps’.”

    To anyone that played the original EQ, WoW got rid of what we hated the most – you couldn’t do anything by yourself after a certain point. Because WoW made it possible to level all the way to 60 without ever having to group, you could play the game on your own terms. If you want to do instances or raids, you can, but it isn’t REQUIRED.

    “a lot of players don’t play mmos to read and could give a shit about paying attention to the lore.”

    I always find this amusing. My brother plays single player console games and, the first time through the game, never reads anything the characters say. He pushes buttons as fast as he can to get through that stuff so he can play the game. The second time through he reads it all so he can see what the storry was supposed to be.

    In WoW, there are a bunch of people that play that way, taking the quests and trying to get them done without actually reading the quest log. They are usually the ones asking for help in the General channel. The usual reply is “RTFQL, noob.”

    What have I been doing since I made it to 60?

    – As an engineer, I have been out trying to find all the schematics I don’t have. Only a few left to collect.

    – As a hunter and miner, I was out mining Thorium for Arcane Crystals so I could make a Flawless Arcanite Rifle. I finally finished that goal.

    – I still run Lower BlackRock Spire raids trying to get the last piece of armor I need to complete my Beaststalker Armor set. Just need the damn shoulders.

    – As one of the leaders of my guild, myself and the two other leaders have been working on a reorganization and restructuring of the guild.

    So, even at 60, there is a bit more for me to do. Sure, just playing the game for advancement pretty much ends at 60, but if you set yourself some new goals, it’s possible to continue playing, assuming you really like the game and want to play it.

    I assume none of you guys are working on PvP ranks? I know I am not, mainly because it is not clear how they are calculated and the right strategy to use to improve your rank, but I have been Rank 3 Sergeant for 3 weeks now and I have done only minimal PvP, mostly solo, mostly just killing people that came near my or attacked me while I was doing something else.

  11. There is no doubt in my mind, this game is not done yet. I would not be suprised to see significant growth still to come. It’s just with my core group. We were in the beta and started on day one. We are done (for now). I know I’ll be back some day. It’s too good not to.

  12. Failure to group in an MMO is a failure of ones social integration, not a gaming benefit.

    I have said it before and I will say it again. The Casual MMO Gamer is a contridiction in terms.

  13. Having gotten to 60 twice in WoW on 2 different servers, been 67th “honor” (har har) rank out of who knows how many people on Archimonde, gotten a decent amount of my epic armor, and tried battlegrounds…. I can honestly say I can’t even bring myself to log in anymore. I play games for fun, and I’m a pretty hard-core gamer most of the time but this game just hit a certain “not fun anymore” point on my fun meter so I’m off doing something else now. 1,999,997 active accounts (counting inhibit and my 2) and dropping!

    Forced myself to log in a couple times in the last week to give battlegrounds a shot, but it’s just “same old stuff, with a new twist!” that you have to wait 1-3 hours to get into. I don’t have that much time on weekdays so I go look for people to pvp that are 50 and up… but they’re all hanging out by the BG entrance duelling. Yawn, stick a fork in it, WoW’s done (for me at least).

    Eve’s still fun for me since I can see all the shiney that awaits, and I really really wanna kill a red with a bounty on his head… that’s my shining future goal. Meantime just figuring out the game is 75% of the fun I’m having. Figuring out new games is probably why I switch games so much, once I’m a pro I get bored.

  14. “Failure to group in an MMO is a failure of ones social integration, not a gaming benefit.

    I have said it before and I will say it again. The Casual MMO Gamer is a contridiction in terms. ”

    Yes, but do you base this saying on any actual experience with players in a game of just your own jaded viewpoint?

    I find it amusing that you suggest that it is a failure of a game player to socially integrate, primarily because game players have never been know to want to socially integrate. If they did, they wouldn’t be playing games. They’d be out meeting new people. LFG in bars and at clubs and such.

    Casual gamers really do exist. Most are over the age of 25, have families, kids and wives. They play in their free time and do their best to also take care of family stuff and work to get their bills paid. They may own a console or two and like to game with their spouses and kids.

    IMO, casual gamers are the ones that keep the games alive well after the hardcore gamers have moved on. Casual folks are usually still playing a year or two after the hardcore have moved on to the next shiny, mainly because they still haven’t seen everything, or killed all the big bosses, or run out of things to keep them entertained.

  15. Gotta agree with Tom here…I’m am almost the very definition of what you said Tom, though I’m not sure that I’m not socially integrated.

    32 years old, married, one child. I think I have adequate socialization skills in RL, considering it is necessary in my job, both as a teacher/administrator, and formerly as a youth pastor.

    Anyway, yes, casual gamers are needed as well, and what keeps a lot of people in WoW is that friendliness to casual gamers. I think it would probably be the best entry level game for someone coming in new since it tells you so much of what to do. I have a friend playing Guild Wars with me now as their first MMO, and they have struggled a bit just because it is not quite as friendly with the learning curve.

    And yes, casual gamers are the ones who pay the bills for the most part. Hardcore gamers are maxed out in a few months, if that long, and are bored, and then move on to the next game. Casual gamers, who despite their odd play times and styles, often develop great guild relationships, may be there for a long, long time, I might cite my old guild in Asheron’s Call as an example. I myself paid for a sub on that game for 3 years, and my highest level toon was in the 60s. So that company made a ton of money off of me, largely because they were friendly to the casual gamer.

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